Romans 8 is the premier chapter written by Paul on the Holy Spirit. The use of “Spirit” occurs 19 times, more than any other chapter in the entire Bible. To help us understand the third member of the God-head, the Holy Spirit, a look back at the events in John 4, 7, 14, 15 & 16 is certainly helpful and necessary.
The story of the woman at the well in Samaria begins this study. To her, the chance meeting with this stranger is first puzzling, yet it ends in amazement. Jesus asks for a drink but why, she wonders, does a Jew ask a Samaritan?Jesus explains: If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water. With the woman still in question about the stranger’s water, she receives this response: Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.
Three chapters later in John 7, Jesus stands in Jerusalem’s center court, just a few days before Passover, and shouts: If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. John explains this statement in the very next verse: By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.
Let’s see…the Holy Spirit, then, equals “Springs of Living Water” and later on in John 14, 15,16 — the Holy Spirit is referred to by Jesus as “Spirit of truth,” “Counselor,” “Comforter” and “Him” and “He”: Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you. And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment….(Joh 16: 4-15).
Jesus died so that springs of living water could be poured out on a thirsty world through and by His Holy Spirit. The springs of water contain love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, mutual affection and godliness. The springs of water contain grace, mercy, compassion, forgiveness, patience and hope. The springs of water are not proud, do not boast, are not self-seeking, are not easily angered, keep no record of wrongs and never delights in evil. The springs of living water generated by the Holy Spirit, always protects, always trusts and always hopes — and never gives up!
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. (Rom 8:1-6)
Attention must be given to the last words of Jesus: The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life. (Rev 22:17)
Scott and Jane Johnson minister with East Faulkner Church of Christ and BRG Bible. Bible questions can be sent to [email protected]