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John 4:15-18 - The Subject of Sin

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“The Subject of Sin”

John 4:15-18


Last week we seen that Jesus promised the Samaritan woman “living water”. 

We seen that “living water:”

·                  is “of God”

·                  is “the gift” of God

·                  is “given by asking for it”

·                  is “the only water that will quench a mans thirst”

We noted that “living water:”

·                  is from Christ alone (Jn.7:37; Rev.21:6 cf. Jn.6:63; Rev.21:6; 22:17)

·                  is a well of water placed in a man (Jn.4:14; 7:38-39 cf. Jn.14:16-19; Eph.1:13-14; 4:30)

·                  is the only water that will keep a man from every thirsting again (Jn.6:35; Isa.49:10; Rev.7:16)

·                  Living water springs up and continues to spring up and bubble flowing on & on (Isa.12:3)

·                  Living water springs up into everlasting life (Rev.7:17; 22:17)

However, something had to be discussed before living water could be given to this woman:

·                  The subject of sin

·                  Christianity begins by bringing people to the truth about their own depraved condition, but it does so to convince them of their need of Jesus Christ and to prepare them for understanding who He is and what He accomplished for them by His death and resurrection. 

Jesus said, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance" (Mark 2:17).

It is only when you and I have recognized the nature of sin and its gravity that we will come to the One who is our soul’s physician.

I.                  The Request for Living Water (v.15-18)

A.       Living Water Gives Satisfaction, Fulfillment, & Purpose in Life (v.15)

Jesus had just made a profound statement (v.14)

1.      The source of satisfaction.

a)         God and His Word, not physical food (Luke 4:3-4)

b)        Jesus Christ

(1)        The Bread of Life (John 6:30-36)

(2)        The Living Water (John 4:10-14; 7:37-39)

(3)        Jesus is the only door that opens to healthy and lasting nourishment (John 10:9)

(a)         His pasture alone can satisfy the soul

For He satisfies the longing soul, And fills the hungry soul with goodness. (Psalms  107:9)

The LORD will guide you continually, And satisfy your soul in drought, And strengthen your bones; You shall be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. (Isaiah 58:11)

(b)        His pasture alone can restore the soul

He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.   He restores my soul (Psalms 23:2-3)

(c)         His pasture alone can give life & give it forever

“I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.” (John 6:51)

(d)        His pasture alone can feed with knowledge and understanding

“And I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding. (Jeremiah 3:15)

2.      The cause of dissatisfaction.

a)         Sin—Worldliness, indulgence, spiritual hunger (Luke 15:11-16)

(1)        He suffered hunger.

(a)         The world’s garbage (riotous living) will always leave a man empty and hungry. The world, its pleasures and wealth and styles, will please the body, but leave the soul empty.

(b)        In contrast, only the man who “hungers and thirsts after righteousness will be filled” and bear the fruit of God’s Spirit

(2)        Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness are  filled with both abundant life and eternal life.

(a)      He is “full of goodness, filled with all knowledge” (Romans 15:14).

(b)      He is “filled with all the fullness of God” (Eph.3:19).

(c)      He is “filled with the Spirit” (Eph.5:18).

(d)      He is “filled with the fruits of righteousness” (Phil. 1:11).

(e)      He is “filled with the knowledge of His [God’s] will” (Col. 1:9).

(f)        He is “filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 13:52).

3.      Living water gives us purpose in life.

a)         Saved to Worship – 1 Peter 2:9

(1)        For the Father is seeking such to worship Him (v.23)

(a)         All of creation is responsible to worship God

·                  Worship is not optional (Matt.4:10 cf. Ps.150;1-6)

·                  Jesus is fully God & is worthy to accept the worship of others (Matt.14:33)

·                  This is the mark of the believer (Phil.3:3)

b)        To be Conformed to the Image of Christ – Romans 8:29

(1)        But we all… are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory (2Cor.3:18)

(a)         Romans 13:14 – Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, make no provision to fulfill the lust of the flesh

(b)        Ephesians 4:24 – Put on the new man

c)         Saved For Good Works – Ephesians 2:10

(1)        To do good works & to glorify God

(a)         Matthew 5:14-16

(b)        Philippians 1:20-22 – To magnify Christ in my body

(a)        (Romans 6:13, 19; 12:1); (1 Corinthians 6:20)

(b)        Jesus died for us that we should live, not for ourselves, but for Him (2Cor.5:15).

B.       Her Sin Was Exposed (v.16-18)

1.      Jesus had stirred conviction and confession of her sin (v.16)

a)         Jesus Wanted Her to confess her sins voluntarily

(1)        Just as God wanted Adam to confess his (Genesis 3:8-10)

(a)         Do not hide yourself from the Lord, He loves you!

(b)        When you hear the Spirit of the Lord convicting you about your sin, confess it.

(2)        She was weary & heavy laden & sin was the cause

(a)         She needed rest from the heavy load of her sin, guilt & shame (Matt.11:28-30)

"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.   "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.   "For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30 NKJV)

b)        Conviction is Essential for Salvation

(1)        Definition of Conviction—Acts 2:37

(a)      The word “pricked” (katenugesan) means to convict, sting, sense pain and hurt.

(a)        Conviction is an emotional movement of the heart.

(b)        A person senses sorrow over disappointing God.

(c)        The person’s heart is touched and moved to some degree of brokenness, Godly Sorrow—2 Cor. 7:10 for more discussion.

(d)        Conviction is being pricked with a tug, a pull, a knowledge, an awareness.

·    It is a sense of sin, of doing wrong, of breaking God’s law, of being disobedient.

·    It is a sense of failure, of coming short, of not measuring up, of disappointing God.

·    It is a sense of needing more and more of the Lord and His righteousness.

(b)      Conviction causes people to seek answers, to ask, “What shall we do?”

(2)        The Essentials of Conviction

(a)         Must be conviction that Jesus is Lord (Acts 9:4-5)

(b)        You must face your own sin to be saved & humble yourself (Luke 15:17-19)

(c)         Must humble yourself despite any questions or doubts (John 20:24-29)

(3)        Signs of Being Convicted

(a)         A great sense of unworthiness (Luke 5:8)

(b)        A pricking, convicting, bothersome conscience & heart & doing what Christ demands (Acts 9:5-6)

(c)         A defensive attitude (John 20:24-25 cp. John 20:26-29)

(4)        The Source of Conviction

(a)         One’s Conscience & thoughts (John 8:1-9; Romans 2:15)

(b)        The Gospel (Acts 2:37-38)

(c)         The Holy Spirit (John 16:8-11)

c)         Example of being convicted but rejecting—Felix Acts 24:24-25

(1)        The Hardened Heart (John 12:37-50)

John tells us that Jesus had done many miracles before them, yet they did not believe.

(a)      Why is it that some people refuse to believe in Jesus Christ?

(a)        Jesus tells us that they love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil.

(b)        Some are afraid of the cost.

(c)        John tells us something rather frightening in verse 39 he tells us that “they could not believe”.

(d)        He declares that God has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts.

(b)        Many times miracles only lead to a hardened heart.

(a)        The rich man & Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31) “if he goes to them from the dead he will repent”

(b)        Pharaoh (Exodus 8:32) “made stiff the heart of Pharoh”

(2)        The Reasons & Danger of Resisting

(a)         Unbelief & Sin (Heb 3:7-19)– Not standing on the Word of God. 

(b)        Rebellion (Acts 7:51)– resisting God’s Spirit.

(c)         Entertaining thoughts that are displeasing to God (2Cor.10:5).

(a)        Entertaining these thoughts will lead to committing the sin (Prov.23:7 cf. Matt.15:19)

(b)        Continual repeating of sin will make you callous to the Word & Spirit of God (1Timothy 4:2 cf. Rom.1:28; Eph.4:17-19 “who, being past feeling”).

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.   For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. (Galatians 6:7-8 NKJV)

(c)        This will lead to ignoring your conscience, not hearing God’s voice anymore.

(d)        Justifying the sin – pointing to other peoples sin saying, “well he or she does it”

(e)         Resisting Reproof – as soon as you’ve recognized your sin, ask for forgiveness.  Time does make a difference to yielding to God’s Spirit.

(f)          Refining or Reconstructing Your Testimony – you say things that make you feel better.

d)        Repentance is Necessary for Salvation—Acts 2:38

(1)        Definition of Repentance

(a)         Repentance means to change; to turn; to change one’s mind; to turn one’s life.  It is a turning away from sin and turning toward God;

“For they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, (1 Thessalonians 1:9 NKJV)

(b)        Repentance is turning to Jesus Christ and trusting in Him for the forgiveness of your sins. If you believe in the Gospel but you do not repent, then you really do not believe the Gospel.

·                  The first Word of God, breaking the 400 years of silence!

·                  Jesus’ first sermon began with the same imperative (Matt. 4:17), setting the tone for His entire earthly ministry (Luke 5:31).

·                  God “commands all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30-31).

·                  God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance (2Pet.3:9).

·                  The Great Commission: Jesus commanded the apostles to preach repentance (Luke 24:47). 

(c)         Refusal to repent results in:

(a)        Treasuring up for yourself wrath (Rom.2:5)

(b)        Repentance in the last days leads to judgment (Rev.9:20-21)

(c)        Jesus Himself said, “unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3, 5)

(d)        A final day of judgment before God (Rev.20:11-15)

(2)        The Attitude of repentance is essential (Luke 7:36-50)

(a)         Intellectually—repentance begins with a recognition of sin—the understanding that we are sinners, that our sin is an affront to a holy God, that we are personally responsible for our own guilt.

(b)        Emotionally—genuine repentance often accompanies an overwhelming sense of sorrow.  This sorrow in and of itself is not repentance; one can be sorry or ashamed without being truly repentant.  Judas felt remorse (Matt.27:3), but he was not repentant.

(c)         Volitionally—repentance involves a change of direction, a transformation of the will.  Far from being only  a change of mind, it constitutes a willingness & determination to abandon stubborn disobedience and surrender the will to Christ.  Repentance alters the character of the whole person.

2.      Jesus does not accept a person trying to avoid their sin (v.17).

She told the truth, “she did not have a husband,” but she was living with a man whom she was not married to—the sin of fornication.

a)         You cannot avoid your sin, you must face it – Proverbs 28:13

(1)        Confess your sins to God (1Jn.1:9),  He will not turn you away (John 6:37)

3.      Jesus knew all about the woman (v.17-18)

a)         Jesus Knows the Truth About Every Man’s Sin

(1)        Christ not only knows all—He keeps an account.  The sinner is guilty of every act of disobedience.

Can anyone hide himself in secret places, So I shall not see him?" says the LORD; "Do I not fill heaven and earth?" says the LORD. (Jeremiah 23:24)

For My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from My face, nor is their iniquity hidden from My eyes. (Jeremiah 16:17)

And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. (Hebrews 4:13)

Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, (Acts 3:19)


(a)        To search for, in our hearts (Psalm 139:23-24)

(b)        To make us know our (Job 13:23)

(c)        To forgive our (Luke 11:4 cf. 1 John 1:9)

(d)        To keep us from (Psalm 19:13)

(e)        To deliver us from (Matthew 6:13)

(f)          To cleanse us from (Psalm 51:2)

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