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                          "THE GOSPEL OF JOHN"

                  The Promise Of The Spirit (7:37-39)

INTRODUCTION

1. During the Feast Of Tabernacles, there was a daily ceremony involving
   water...
   a. Each day, the priests and the people would joyfully make their way
      to the pool of Siloam
   b. Using a golden pitcher, water was drawn, taken back to the temple,
      and poured on the altar of burnt offering
   c. The words of Isa 12:3 were then sung:  "Therefore with joy you
      will draw water from the wells of salvation."

2. On such an occasion Jesus used the opportunity to extend a wonderful
   promise...
   a. Inviting those who thirst to come to Him and drink - Jn 7:37
   b. Those who believe in Him will have "rivers of living water" flow
      from their hearts - Jn 7:38

3. The apostle John explains that this promise concerns the Holy
   Spirit... - Jn 7:39
   a. Whom those who believe would receive
   b. Who had not yet been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified

[What else might we glean from the Scriptures concerning this promise of
the Spirit?  Let's first take a closer look at...]

I. THE NATURE OF THE PROMISE

   A. FROM THE TEXT...
      1. A promise foretold by the Scriptures - Jn 7:38; cf. Isa 44:3;
         58:11
         a. "The reference is not to any single passage, but to the
            spirit of the Scripture, notably such passages as Isa 55:1;
            58:11; Ps 36:8-9." - B. W. Johnson
         b. "...referring not to any particular passage, but to such as
            Isa 58:11; Joel 3:18; Zec 14:8; Ezek 47:1-12; in most of
            which the idea is that of waters issuing from beneath the
            temple, to which our Lord compares Himself and those who
            believe in Him." - Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown
      2. A promise that makes one a blessing to others - Jn 7:38
         a. "out of his heart will flow rivers of living water"
         b. "When a man turns himself to the Lord, he shall be as a
            fountain filled with living water, and his streams shall
            flow to all the nations and tribes of men" - Kuinoel
         c. "...those who are Christians shall diffuse large, and
            liberal, and constant blessings on their fellowmen" - Barnes
      3. A promise offered to believers - Jn 7:39
         a. Not to those who have yet to believe
         b. Which is why I do not believe it refers to the ministry of
            the Spirit through the Word alone, for such occurs even on
            those who do not believe - e.g., Jn 16:8
         c. Note this observation by Robert Milligan:
            1) "He manifestly refers in this passage to something which
               had hitherto been enjoyed by no one, and which could be
               enjoyed by none until after that he himself was
               glorified." - Robert Milligan, Scheme of Redemption,
               p.283
            2) "This, it would seem, could not have reference to the
               mediate agency of the Spirit, through the written word
               and the ordinary workings of God's providence; for
               through these media the Spirit had always operated on the
               minds of both Jews and Patriarchs." - ibid.
            3) "Christ is speaking here of what is peculiar to his own
               personal reign and administration." - ibid.
      4. A promise extended to all believers - Jn 7:39
         a. Not just to select disciples with special tasks, such as
            apostles and prophets
         b. Which is why I do not believe it refers to miraculous
            manifestations of the Spirit, such as the gifts of the
            Spirit, for not all Christians had such; note also:
            1) This promise of the Spirit had not yet been given
            2) Yet miraculous manifestations of the Spirit had been
               experienced prior to the glorification of Jesus - e.g.,
               Lk 1:41,67
      5. A promise given after Jesus was "glorified" - Jn 7:39
         a. I.e., after His resurrection and ascension to heaven
         b. "The first and second chapters of the Book of Acts is the
            best comment upon this passage. When Jesus ascended to the
            right hand of the Father and was glorified, he sent forth
            the Spirit upon his apostles on the day of Pentecost, and
            the apostles in turn promised the gift of the Spirit to all
            who would believe, repent, and be baptized." - J. W.
            McGarvey (Fourfold Gospel)

   B. FROM OTHER TEXTS...
      1. We conclude that it refers to the gift of the Holy Spirit
         a. Promised to all who repent and are baptized - cf. Ac 2:38-39
         b. Given to all who obey - cf. Ac 5:32
         c. Imbibed by all who are baptized - cf. 1Co 12:13
         d. Sent into our hearts because we are God's children - cf. Ga
            4:6
      2. We conclude that it refers to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit
         a. Who indwells all that belong to Christ - cf. Ro 8:9-10
         b. Making their bodies a temple of the Spirit - cf. 1Co 6:19

[That this promise refers to the gift or indwelling of the Spirit given
to all Christians becomes more apparent as we now focus our attention
on...]

II. THE BLESSINGS OF THE PROMISE

   A. THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT...
      1. Remember what Jesus said of those who receive the Spirit - Jn
         7:38
         a. "out of his heart will flow rivers of living water"
         b. I.e., they will become a blessing to others; note again:
            1) "When a man turns himself to the Lord, he shall be as a
               fountain filled with living water, and his streams shall
               flow to all the nations and tribes of men" - Kuinoel
            2) "...those who are Christians shall diffuse large, and
               liberal, and constant blessings on their fellowmen"
               - Barnes
      2. Especially when they bear the fruit of the Spirit in their
         lives- Ga 5:22-23
         a. Such as love, joy, peace
         b. Such as longsuffering, kindness, goodness
         c. Such as gentleness, faithfulness, self-control
      -- Bearing such fruit of the Spirit, they bless the lives of
         others!

   B. THE AID OF THE SPIRIT...
      1. The fruit of the Spirit becomes possible with the aid of the
         Spirit
         a. Who helps us to put to death the deeds of the body - Ro 8:
            12-13; cf. Col 3:5-8
         b. Who enables us to be filled with joy and peace, abounding in
            hope - Ro 15:13
      2. For the Spirit is God's instrumental agent to strengthen the
         Christian
         a. Strengthening with might through the Spirit in the inner man
            - Ep 3:16
         b. With a power working in us - Ep 3:20
   -- We are able to be a blessing to others, with the aid of the Spirit
      working in us!

[Jesus therefore offers us the opportunity to be blessed by the Spirit's
indwelling, so we can be useful in blessing the lives of those around
us.  But to ensure that we receive this blessing of the Spirit, let's be
careful to consider...]

III. THE RECEPTION OF THE PROMISE

   A. GIVEN TO THOSE WHO OBEY...
      1. By believing in Jesus Christ
         a. The need to believe emphasized twice in our text - Jn 7:
            38-39
         b. For faith is necessary to receive "life in His name" - cf.
            Jn 20:31
      2. By repenting of our sins
         a. The gift of the Spirit promised to those who repent - Ac 2:
            38-39
         b. Those who repent will experience "times of refreshing" (what
            could be more refreshing than "rivers of living water"?)
            - cf. Ac 3:19
      3. By being baptized for the remission of our sins
         a. Those baptized are promised the gift of the Spirit - Ac 2:
            38-39
         b. They are made to drink into one Spirit - cf. 1Co 12:13
      -- As Peter put it, God gives the Holy Spirit to those who obey
         Him - Ac 5:32

   B. EXPERIENCED BY THOSE WHO GROW...
      1. By singing psalms, hymns, spiritual songs
         a. We are to be filled with the Spirit - Ep 5:18
         b. Which we can do by singing - Ep 5:19
      2. By studying the Word of God
         a. Which is the sword of the Spirit - Ep 6:17
         b. The means by which the Spirit teaches and instructs the
            Christian, for it contains the revelation of God given by
            the Spirit to inspired men who wrote it for our benefit- cf.
            1Co 2:9-13; Ep 3:5-7
      3. By praying, making requests regarding the Spirit
         a. That God would fill one with all joy and peace in believing,
            abounding in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit - Ro 15:13
         b. That God would strengthen one with might through His Spirit
            in the inner man - Ep 3:16
      4. By turning away from sin
         a. Lest they grieve the Spirit - cf. Ep 4:29-31
         b. Lest they quench the Spirit - cf. 1Th 5:19

CONCLUSION

1. What a wonderful promise Jesus offers in our text...
   a. The Holy Spirit to those who believe in Him
   b. A refreshing drink that can become rivers of living water
      1) First refreshing our souls
      2) Then refreshing the souls around us by His impact on our lives

2. How sad if we quench the Spirit Who is intended to quench our
   thirst...
   a. By failing to obey the Lord
   b. By failing to grow in the Lord

May our attitude and heart's felt desire be similar to that of the
Samaritan woman, when Jesus spoke to her at Jacob's well...

   "Jesus answered and said to her, 'Whoever drinks of this water
   will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall
   give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him
   will become in him a fountain of water springing up into
   everlasting life.' The woman said to Him, 'Sir, give me this
   water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.'" (Jn 4:13-15)

Are you willing to say to Jesus, "Sir, give me this water, that I may
not thirst" by coming to Him in faithful obedience...?
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