THE SCARLET PATH


                                             "THE WELL OF SALVATION"

                                                 JOHN 4:1 - 14


INTRODUCTION:

          HERE IN THIS PASSAGE OF SCRIPTURE, WE FIND POSSIBLY ONE OF THE FAVORITE STORIES FOUND IN THE NEW TESTAMENT.

           WE FIND IN THIS CHAPTER THE FACT JESUS' LOVE AND UNDERSTANDING OF PEOPLE REACHES OUT TO ALL PEOPLE.  HIS LOVE FOR MANKIND INVOLVED NO BOUNDARIES, FOR HE LOVINGLY AND COMPASSIONATELY REACHED OUT TO A WOMAN WHO WAS A SOCIAL OUTCAST.

          IN CONTRAST TO THE LIMITATIONS OF HUMAN LOVE, CHRIST EXHIBITS THE CHARACTER OF DIVINE LOVE THAT IS INDISCRIMINATE AND ALL ENCOMPASSING, JOHN 3:16


          THE STORY OF THE SAMARITAN WOMAN REINFORCES JOHN'S MAIN THEME THAT JESUS IS THE MESSIAH AND SON OF GOD.  THE THRUST OF THESE VERSES IS NOT SO MUCH HER CONVERSION BUT THAT JESUS IS MESSIAH, JOHN 4:26.

              

                *   I LOVE TO HEAR TESTIMONIES OF SALVATION.

     1. I THINK OF THE CONVERSION OF THE ETHIOPIAN EUNUCH.

          HOW GOD SENT PHILIP INTO THE DESERT WITH THE GOSPEL TO THIS MAN OF ETHIOPIA.

ACTS 8:37 : AND PHILIP SAID, IF THOU BELIEVEST WITH ALL THINE HEART, THOU MAYEST.  AND HE ANSWERED ANS SAID, I BELIEVE THAT JESUS CHRIST IS THE SON OF GOD."


     2. I THINK OF THE CONVERSION OF THE APOSTLE PAUL.

          HOW GOD SAVED THE "CHIEF OF SINNERS" AND GAVE SUCH A CLEAR DESCRIPTION OF BIBLICAL SALVATION.

1ST TIMOTHY 1:16 "HOWBEIT FOR THIS CAUSE I OBTAINED MERCY, THAT IN ME FIRST JESUS CHRIST MIGHT SHEW FORTH ALL LONGSUFFERING, FOR A PATTERN TO THEM WHICH SHOULD HEREAFTER BELIEVE ON HIM TO LIFE EVERLASTING.


     3.  I THINK OF THE CONVERSION OF LYDIA.

          HOW GOD SO GRACIOUSLY OPENED HER HEART THERE BESIDE OF THE RIVER.

ACTS 16:13-15 (13) AND ON THE SABBATH WE WENT OUT OF THE CITY BY A RIVER SIDE, WHERE PRAYER WAS WONT TO BE MADE; AND WE SAT DOWN, AND SPAKE UNTO THE WOMEN WHICH RESORTED THITHER."

(14) "AND A CERTAIN WOMAN NAMED LYDIA, A SELLER OF PURPLE, OF THE CITY OF THYATIRA, WHICH WORSHIPPED GOD, HEARD US: WHOSE HEART THE LORD OPENED, THAT SHE ATTENDED UNTO THE THINGS WHICH WERE SPOKEN OF PAUL.

(15) "AND WHEN SHE WAS BAPTIZED, AND HER HOUSEHOLD, SHE BESOUGHT US, SAYING, IF YE HAVE JUDGED ME TO BE FAITHFUL, AND SHE CONSTRAINED US."


    4.  I THINK OF THE CONVERSION OF THE PHILIPPIAN JAILOR,

         HE SIMPLY BELIEVED ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST'

ACTS 16:30-31 "AND BROUGHT THEM OUT, AND SAID, SIRS, WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED?"

(31) "AND THEY SAID, BELIEVE  ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, AND THOU SHALT BE SAVED, AND THY HOUSE."


     5.  HERE WE FIND THE CONVERSION OF THE WOMAN AT THE WELL.

          I FIND IT OF INTEREST THAT NONE PRAYED "THE SINNER'S PRAYER"

JOHN 3:16-18 (16) "FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD, THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, THAT WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH IN HIM SHOULD NOT PERISH, BUT HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE."

(17) "FOR GOD SENT NOT HIS SON  INTO THE WORLD TO CONDEMN THE WORLD; BUT THAT THE WORLD THROUGH HIM MIGHT BE SAVED."

(18) "HE THAT BELIEVETH ON HIM IS NOT CONDEMN: BUT HE THAT BELIEVETH NOT IS CONDEMNED ALREADY, BECAUSE HE HATH NOT BELIEVED IN THE NAME OF THE ONLY BEGOTTEN SON  OF GOD."


          I FEAR THAT WE HAVE PLACED OUR FAITH IN THE "SINNERS PRAYER" AND NOT IN THE BELIEVING.  PAUL SAID, "i KNOW WHOM I HAVE BELIEVED."

ALL SAVED THE SAME WAY BUT IN DIFFERENT CIRCUMSTANCES.  JEW AND GENTILE.  MORAL AND IMMORAL.  RELIGIOUS AND NON-RELIGIOUS.  MEN AND WOMEN.   HALLELUIAH.

WHAT A SAVIOUR.


          FOR THE REST OF THIS STUDY, I WANT TO LOOK AT THE WONDERFUL CONVERSION OF THIS PRECIOUS WOMAN.  I AM SO GLAD THAT GOD LOVES EVEN THE WORSE OF US SINNERS OF THIS WORLD.


          1.  OUR LORD HAD COMPASSION ON THE WOMAN AT THE WELL - VERSE 3


          "HE LEFT JUDAEA. . . .INTO GALILEE."  THE JEWS, INCLUDING THE DISCIPLES, MADE EXTRAORDINARY EFFORTS TO AVOID SAMARIA.

          OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST MADE AN EXTRAORDINARY EFFORT TO REACH HER.

VERSE 6 SAYS THAT CHRIST WAS "WEARIED WITH HIS JOURNEY".   SALVATION IS NOT A CASUAL ACTION WITH GOD.

LIKE 15:4 "WHAT MAN OF YOU, HAVING AN HUNDRED SHEEP, OF HE LOSE ONE OF THEM, DOTH NOT LEAVE THE NINETY AND NINE IN THE WILDERNESS, AND GO AFTER THAT WHICH IS LOST, UNTIL HE FIND IT?


LUKE 19:10 "FOR THE SON OF MAN IS COME TO SEEK AND TO SAVE THAT WHICH WAS LOST."

          THE MANIFESTATION OF GOD'S LOVE - "FOR THE SON OF MAN IS COME".

          THE MAGNITUDE OF GOD'S LOVE - "TO SEEK AND TO SAVE THAT WHICH WAS LOST."


          2.  OUR LORD CAME TO THE RIGHT PLACE - VERSE 6


          "JESUS. . . .SAT THUS ON THE WELL."  HE CAME TO WHERE SHE WAS.

          YOU HAVE TO GO TO WHERE SINNERS ARE FOR THEY, AS A NORM, WILL NOT COME TO YOU.     I AM GLAD THAT HE CAME TO WHERE I WAS IN JANUARY 2000.

          A.  HE CAME TO THE ETHIOPIAN EUNUCH;

          B.  HE CAME TO THE APOSTLE PAUL;

          C. HE CAME TO THE PHILIPPIAN JAILOR;

          D.  HE CAME YO LYDIA;

          E.  HE CAME TO THIS PRECIOUS WOMAN.

          I'M SO GLAD THAT "HE CAME TO ME".  WHEN I COULD NOT GO TO WHERE HE WAS,

"HE CAME TO ME!"


          3.  OUR LORD CAME AT THE RIGHT TIME - VERSE 6


          "IT WAS ABOUT THE SIXTH HOUR. . . . THERE COMETH A WOMAN OF SAMARIA TO DRAW WATER."     JESUS COULD HAVE COME TO THIS WOMAN EITHER EARLIER OR LATER BUT THE RESULT MAY NOT HAVE BEEN THE SAME.

          I OFTEN WONDERED WHY GOD ALLOWED ME TO DRIFT SO LONG.  I WAS BAPTIZED AND JOINED THE CHURCH AS A TEENAGER, BUT WAS NOT SAVED. GOD WAITED MANY YEARS BEFORE HE STIRRED MY HEART AND I WAS SAVED IN JANUARY 2000.

          GOD'S WAYS ARE HIGHER THAN OUR WAYS.  GOD'S THOUGHTS ARE HIGHER THAN OUR THOUGHTS.  HIS TIMING IS PERFECT.


          4,  OUR LORD CAME THROUGH ONLY ONCE AND THAT WAS FOR HER - VERSE 4


          "THROUGH SAMARIA".   HE MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE EVER PASSED THAT WAY AGAIN. REJECTING CHRIST JESUS IS MORE IGNORANT THAN PLAYING RUSSIAN ROULETTE. 


2ND CORINTHIANS 6:2 "(FOR HE SAITH, I HAVE HEARD THEE IN A TIME ACCEPTED, AND IN THE SAY OF SALVATION HAVE I SUCCOURED THEE:  BEHOLD NOW IS THE ACCEPTED TIME; BEHOLD, NOW IS THE DAY OF SALVATION.)"


MATTHEW 20:30 "AND, BEHOLD, TWO BLIND MEN SITTING BY THE WAY SIDE, WHEN THEY HEARD THAT JESUS PASSED BY, CRIED OUT, SAYING, HAVE MERCY ON US, O LORD, THOU SON OF DAVID."

          (I HAVE TO WONDER; "WOULD JESUS HAVE EVER PASSED THAT WAY AGAIN?)


          5.  OUR LORD CAME FOR THE SAMARITAN WOMAN ALONE - VERSE 8

          "FOR HIS DISCIPLES WERE GONE AWAY."  SALVATION IS AN INDIVIDUAL THING, NOT A GROUP THING.


           THE NIGHT I WAS SAVED, I DID NOT KNOW IF ANYONE ELSE WAS SAVED OR NOT AT THE ALTARS.  THE ALTARS WERE FILL THAT NIGHT AND I ASKED THE LORD TO SAVE ME OVER IN THE CORNER OF THE PLATFORM OF THE CHURCH.

          THOUGH THERE WAS OVER 600 IN ATTENDANCE THAT NIGHT, I WAS ALONE WITH GOD AS HE DEALT WITH MY HEART.  GOD DEALS WITH OUR HEART IN A SOLITARY WAY.  HE CAME TO ME.

          I FOUND OUT THE FOLLOWING WEEK THAT 41 SOULS WERE SAVED THAT JANUARY NIGHT.  HALLELUIAH    WHAT A SAVIOUR.


          6.  OUR LORD OFFERED HER SALVATION JUST BY ASKING - VERSE 10

            "ASKED OF HIM, AND HE WOULD HAVE GIVEN THEE".

           MOST SO CALLED "SOUL WINNERS' WOULD HAVE LED HER IN A PRAYER AT THIS POINT BUT THE LORD KNEW THAT SHE LACKED THE UNDERSTANDING TO BE SAVED AT THIS POINT.     BUT SHE DID NOT ASK.


          I BELIEVE THAT WHEN GOD DEALS WITH A SINNER AND WHEN THEY ARE "RIPE" UNTO SALVATION, THEY WILL DO BUSINESS WITH GOD.

          I ASKED GOD TO FORGIVE ME AND SAVE ME AND HE DID.


          ADRAIN ROGERS ONCE SAID SOMETHING LIKE THIS: "IF YOU HAVE TO PULL ON THE FRUIT, IT IS NOT QUITE RIPE.  WHEN IT IS RIPE, IT WILL FALL INTO YOUR HAND WITH A SIMPLE TOUCH."


          7.  OUR LORD DEALT WITH HER SIN FRANKLY - VERSES 16-17


          "GO, CALL THY HUSBAND". VERSE 16; "I HAVE NO HUSBAND" VERSE 17

          A SINNER WILL NEVER BE SAVED UNTIL THEY SEE THEIR SPIRITUAL NEED.


          REGARDLESS OF WHAT MAN MAY THINK OR SAY, REPENTANCE IS A NECESSARY PART OF SALVATION.

          OUR LORD KNEW WHERE SHE WAS AND WANTED HER YO KNOW THAT HE KNEW.

          HER SOUL WAS LAID BARE BEFORE HER MAKER THAT DAY.


          YOU WILL GET SAVED WHEN YOU SEE YOURSELF AS GOD SEE YOU.

          THEN AND ONLY THEN CAN "GODLY SORROW" BE EXERCISED AND A REAL CHANGE MADE IN A LIFE.  AS LONG AS YOU SEE YOURSELF AS "ALRIGHT" OR "NOT THAT BAD", YOU ARE NOT A CANDIDATE FOR SALVATION.


          8. OUR LORD GLORIOUSLY SHOWED TO HER WHO HE WAS - VERSE 26

          "I THAT SPEAK UNTO THEE AM HE."


          SHE HAD RELIGION (VERSE 25) BUT IT DID NOT AFFECT HER LIFE.

          SHE KNEW THE RIGHT WORDS BUT DID NOT KNOW THE SAVIOUR.


          I KNEW HIS NAME AND UNDERSTOOD THE GOSPEL BUT THAT NIGHT, HE REVEALED HIMSELF TO ME FOR THE FIRST TIME THROUGH THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.  IT WAS THEN THAT I UNDERSTOOD JUST WHO HE WAS  AND TO HIM BY FAITH FOR SALVATION.


         9.   OUR LORD GRACIOUSLY SAVED HER THAT DAY - VERSES 28-29

          "SHE LEFT HER WATER POT. . . . COME SEE A MAN."

          HER WHOLE LIFE'S PRIORITIES CHANGED IN AN INSTANT.  THE NECESSITIES OF LIFE BECAME SECONDARY TO HER CONVERSION.


          GOD WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE WHEN YOU COME TO HIM BY FAITH.

2ND CORINTHIANS 5:17 "THEREFORE IF ANY MAN BE IN CHRIST, HE US A NEW CREATURE: OLD THINGS ARE PASSED AWAY; BEHOLD, ALL THINGS ARE BECOME NEW."


          10.  SHE IMMEDIATELY WENT BACK INTO THE CITY WHERE SHE WAS "WELL KNOWN" - VERSES 28-29

          (AS SHE HAD MARRIED FIVE OF THESE MEN AND WAS LIVING WITH ANOTHER) AND POINTED OTHERS TO CHRIST.


          HER CONFESSION WAS MADE UNTO SALVATION THAT HAD TAKEN PLACE.   MAN BELIEVES WITH HIS HEART BEFORE CONFESSION IS MADE.  THE CONFESSION IS TELLING THE WORLD WHAT TOOK PLACE WITHIN HER HEART.


          A SHAMEFUL WOMAN WAS UNASHAMED OF HER LORD    SHE WENT INTO THE CENTER OF THE CITY FOR WHO HE WAS..  SHE CAME TO THE WELL INSTEAD OF THE NORMAL "WATERING" TIME BECAUSE OF WHO SHE WAS.  SHE WENT INTO THE CENTER OF THE CITY FOR WHO HE WAS. 


           11. SHE CAME TO THE WELL TO FILL HER WATER POT. WITH WATER AND LEFT WITH A WELL OF LIVING WATER - VERSE 14

          "BUT THE WATER THAT I SHALL GIVE HIM SHALL BE IN HIM A WELL OF WATER SPRINGING UP INTO EVERLASTING LIFE"


          WHEN YOU COME TO CHRIST THIRSTY, YOU WILL LEAVE TO NEVER THIST AGAIN,  JESUS CHRIST SATISFIES.


          I AM OFTEN SORRY FOR MY SIN AND HAVE TO REPENT, BUT I NEVER WORRY ABOUT THE PENALTY FOR SIN.

          I NEED NOT EVER DRINK OF THAT "FOUNTAIN" AGAIN FOR SALVATION, FOR HE HAS SATISFIED MY ETERNAL SOUL.


          CONCLUSION:

     GOD HAS PLACED WITHIN EACH OF US THAT HAS ACCEPTED HIM BY FAITH AS LORD AND SAVIOUR A "WELL" THAT ETERNALLY FLOWS.


     NOT A "BORED" WELL THAT DEPENDS UPON SURFACE WATER, BUT A ARTESIAN WELL THAT FLOWS FROM DEEP WITHIN, UNINTERRUPTED BY THE DROUGHT CONDITIONS OF THIS WORLD.


     THE SAMARITAN WOMAN WENT TO JACOB'S WELL FOR EARTHLY WATER AND CAME HOME WITH JESUS' WELL OF ETERNAL WATER.


     HAVE YOU EXPERIENCED THE "LIVING WATER" OF SALVATION?

     IF NOT, COME TO CHRIST BY FAITH, WITH A HEART OF REPENTANCE AND BE SAVED.


     AMEN!