Wednesday, January 28, 2015

My Sin And My Savior

Recognizing my need and the one who fixes my need.

John 4:15-26  "Please, sir," the woman said, "give me this water! Then I'll never be thirsty again, and I won't have to come here to get water."

16  "Go and get your husband," Jesus told her.

17  "I don't have a husband," the woman replied.

Jesus said, "You're right! You don't have a husband  18  for you have had five husbands, and you aren't even married to the man you're living with now. You certainly spoke the truth!"

19  "Sir," the woman said, "You must be a prophet.  20  So tell me, why is it that you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship, while we Samaritans claim it is here at Mount Gerizim, where our ancestors worshiped?"

21  Jesus replied, "Believe Me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem.  22  You Samaritans know very little about the One you worship, while we Jews know all about Him, for salvation comes through the Jews.

23  But the time is coming, indeed it's here now, when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship Him that way.  24  For God is Spirit, so those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth."

25  The woman said, "I know the Messiah is coming, the One who is called Christ. When He comes, He will explain everything to us."

26  Then Jesus told her, "I AM the Messiah!"

Jesus has been talking to the Samaritan woman at the well, he has told her about a source of water that is way better than what she is going to get out of the well that her ancestors dug. She is anxious to receive the living water that Jesus is talking about but he doesn't just give it to her right away.

Who wouldn't want the benefits that Jesus has told her about? This water sounds awesome! So far the woman has seen that she has a need but she hasn't realized what it is and who can fix it. It's like when we witness to somebody and have them say a magic prayer. If they are saying the prayer as a way to avoid hell then they haven't really understood.
You know, so many people think of conversion like that. You know, they think: I want, I want, I want. That's not it. You know what it is?

It's "I repent...I sorrow...I am undone...I hate my sin...I sacrifice...I give myself to Christ, it's I give, I yield, I trust, I repent. It's a different thing.

- John MacArthur
All of a sudden the conversation turns into a new direction, out of the blue Jesus asks to see her husband, he had a purpose in moving the conversation forward, Jesus takes her to the point where her sin is crystal clear to her. Jesus wants her to realize that she needs him, he doesn't save us without full knowledge of what we are being saved from. We need to come face to face with our sin and come to the point of hating it.

Now it's the woman's turn to redirect the conversation, she is thinking "enough about me and my sin, let's change the subject and talk about what religious teachers always want to talk about, religion." Or maybe she realizes that she needs to get right with God but she doesn't know where to go to get right. Maybe she wants to know what rituals she needs to perform in order to get right with God.

The history of the religious establishment was very messy, the Jews taught one thing and the Samaritans taught another and then there are all of the pagan countries all around them with their own ideas about God, who can really know what is right? Worship is the important thing, a right attitude and a right relation with God, it doesn't matter to God where it happens. In fact it should happen everywhere on any day at all times.

When you read this portion of scripture it is just a simple dialog, we don't have any definite idea of what the woman was feeling and what she was thinking. I imagine that at this point in their conversation this outcast was even more down on herself than ever. Jesus didn't leave her hopeless, he finally reveals himself to the Samaritan woman, after she has seen her sin and her need for a savior he shows her the solution.
Regret is that activity of the mind (intellect) that causes us to say, “Why did I do that?” Remorse touches us a little deeper causing us to feel disgust and pain (involving both the intellect and the heart), but not causing us to change our ways.

True repentance brings in the third aspect of our minds – our will. To truly repent one must have a change of will. “Godly sorrow” is the catalyst that brings us to true repentance.

- Warren Wiersbe, Be Reverent, p. 149
Wiersbe says that a distinction must be made between regret, remorse and repentance. The woman at the well probably felt the pain of regret everyday, she may have even felt remorse but she didn't have the Godly sorrow that prompts a change of will. Remorse should not be confused with repentance.
2 Corinthians 7:10 For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There's no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.
That is the process that we all need to go through. We need to see our sin with the same disgust that God has. We need to agree with God instead of seeing sin as fun and desirable. Our carnal nature is opposed to seeing sin the way that God does.

Most of us come to Jesus with selfish motivations, we want to avoid hell or we want Jesus to fix the disasters we have created in our life, that's a good place to start but God wants you to grow in him and realize that true repentance requires us to have a change of heart which changes our will to sin.