Ellet J. Waggoner
The Present Truth : December 15, 1892
Jesus, wearied with His journey from Jerusalem, was sitting at noon by the well of Jacob, near the city of Sychar in Samaria, while His disciples were in the city in search of food. As He sat there a woman of the city came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” “Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” The woman said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?” 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.” John 4:9-14
Truly it is no wonder that the woman said to Jesus, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.” As yet she did not realize the nature of the water, which Jesus promised. But afterwards when she found out just what He meant, she was still as willing to receive of it. What that water is, which Jesus gives is made very clear by His words on the last day of the feast of the Jews: “On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart [out of his very being] will flow rivers of living water.” John 7:37, 38
Here we have the promise of living water, the same as He promised to the woman of Samaria. Here, as there, the water is to be in the very being of the one receiving it. And here we are told that that water of life is the Spirit of God, which is given to every believer in Christ.
Let us now read another statement. The Spirit of God through the apostle Paul said: “So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” Romans 8:8-11
Here we have a parallel to the statement that the water that Christ gives will be in the believer a well of water springing up into everlasting life. It is life itself, because it is righteousness. The apostle has said that to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Romans 8:6. And we have also read that the Spirit is life because of righteousness. This, then, is that birth of the Spirit, which makes one entirely new; it makes the sinner righteous by making him a keeper of the law of God.
“For we know that the law is spiritual.” Romans 7:14. That is, the law is of the nature of the Spirit of God. This is further shown by the fact that those things that are in harmony with the law of God are the fruit of the Spirit. See Galatians 5:22, 23. So the reception of the Spirit of God makes the sinner into another person, with a different nature. It makes him living a different life. The Spirit is the Spirit of God, and its righteousness is the righteousness of God, and that is expressed in the Ten Commandments. The Spirit ministers this righteousness to the man, and lives in him. His character is then the character of God, because he is one with God, he has been made a new creature, created in Christ Jesus unto good works. He has “put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:24
This is the beginning of eternal life, for the life of the Spirit of God is eternal, and it is that life which the man now lives. This is the life of Jesus manifest in mortal flesh. 2 Corinthians 4:11. It is of this that the beloved disciple speaks in his epistle, when he says that he who confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is born of God. 1 John 4:2. God dwells in that man as truly as His life was manifest in Jesus of Nazareth. Not because there is anything in that man himself comparable to Jesus of Nazareth but because Jesus, who is the fullness of God dwells in that man. “By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.” 1 John 4:13
This life is received by faith, and must be retained by faith. So long as a man keeps the faith, he will live the life, for “the just shall live by faith.” He may go to the grave, but nothing can affect his eternal life. That is “hid with Christ in God.” As it was not possible that the grave should hold Jesus, so it is not possible that the grave should hold him. See Acts 2:24. When he breathes his last He is just as sure of eternal life as he ever was. For Jesus said, “The water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” And again, “If the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwells in you.” The power of the life that is given to the man at conversion raises him from the dead, if he died in faith.