Whosoever! Any one! Man or woman, Jew or Gentile, bond or free, young or old, rich or poor, it makes no difference. With God there is no respect of persons.
Whosoever will! That does make the difference.
Let him take the water of life freely!
Life! What is it?
Who among men is able to answer that question? Life is the mystery of all mysteries. We feel it; we enjoy it; we know when it is not longer there. But, what it is nobody knows; not even your greatest scientists.
Scripture approximates a definition of life when it says in John 17:3, “This is life eternal, that we know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ Whom Thou has sent.”
Hence, life is more, then mere existence. It is to know God, will God, love God, dwell with God, see Him, hear Him, glorify Him, walk and talk with Him. Sweet, blessed, unending communion with God; that is life.
By the same token, death is more than mere non-existence. It is to have no part in God, spiritually; to hate Him, reject Him, be His enemy, the object of His consuming wrath. “To live apart from God is death.”
In nature water is that which sustains and maintains life, quickens it, enriches, refreshes. It is that without which we cannot do, and live
Spiritually it is no different. Water, in our text, is indicative of all that imparts life, is necessary for it, and belongs to it. It is that which quickens, enriches, refreshes, restores the soul.
The water of life! More concretely now, what are those waters, and where must we go to obtain them?
In last analysis, of course, those waters of life are in Christ, Christ as the Word incarnate, Christ as He suffered and died for us, gave His body to be broken and blood to be shed, arose from the dead, ascended to heaven, and is not seated on the right hand of God. He is our Fountain of life. He Himself is also the water. When He quenches the thirsty soul He does so by giving no less than Himself. Christ is everything! He is the altar and sacrifice; the priest and the lamb; the fountain and the water. That is because everything centers in Him.
Therefore, to know Him is to know the Father; to come to Him is to come to the Father; to possess Him is to possess everlasting life. In His blood we have atonement, complete forgiveness of all sin, the right of life everlasting. By His Spirit we have deliverance from the ethical power of sin and death, new life, communion with God; regeneration, conversion and sanctification, wisdom, hope, faith – everything! What does all this up to? Life! Everlasting life!
Hence, the waters of life are Christ Himself. To take the waters of life means to take Christ, appropriate Him, and drink Him. “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried: If any man thirsts, let him come unto me and drink.” John 7:37.
In living connection with the Christ the waters of life are the Holy Spirit by whom all the spiritual blessings of salvation are bestowed. “For I will pour water on him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my Spirit upon thy seed”. Isaiah 44:3.
Out of Christ, through the Spirit, they are all those spiritual blessings themselves of knowledge and wisdom, life and glory, righteousness and holiness, and all the other riches of the grace of God.
Those waters of life come to us, are presented to us, administered, and served through the means of the Word of God. Without that Word and its living preaching there can be for us no living waters. Through it we receive Christ, His Spirit, and all the blessings of heaven. To take the waters of life, therefore, implies that we take hold of the Word of God, study it eagerly and discerningly, drink deeply from its refreshing streams.
Let him take, drink, receive, believe, appropriate, and live forever. He may! Those waters of life were merited for him in the death and resurrection of his Lord. He, by the same power of divine grace that made the dead heart alive, the obstinate willing. He must, for this “will” cannot do otherwise than embrace all the blessings of salvation in Jesus Christ, our Lord.
You need take nothing along as payment. These waters of life are not for sale. Theirs is no price on them. You don’t purchase them with money or good works, or anything or yourselves.
In fact, you may take nothing as payment. You come with nothing, or you don’t come at all. You take these waters as poor, lost sinners or you don’t take them at all. Thank God! If salvation were contingent on anything of us, what hope would there be? If God did require a price, what could you possibly offer Him?
Salvation is free, or there can be no salvation at all.
Why? Why must it be that way?
Because we ourselves have nothing to offer? Yes that’s one reason-but not the main one.
A deeper reason is that Christ alone, His blood, His cross, may be the only price of our redemption. These waters of life were purchased, but they were bought by Christ alone. That’s the way God wanted it, that His own Son might be for a countless throng of redeemed the only Fount of all life.
The deepest reason of all? That God Himself might be all in all, now and forever.
(* Next time: “Whosoever will”.)