Streams of Living Water

Bible Book: John  7 : 37-52
Subject: Living Water; The Evidence of Salvation; Salvation Available

John 7:37-52

Today we will look at part two of Jesus’ second discourse and how people react to His words. Like most of John, this is a simple passage that is easy to understand, so easy that children can understand it. So let’s read it and see what God has in store for us.

Read John 7:37-52

Remember John writes with a purpose in mind, that people will believe in Jesus (20:30-31). You can see this purpose clearly in Jesus’ words in our passage. So let’s look at a real simple outline of the text.

I. The Offer of Life to all People

Remember Jesus is in Jerusalem at the Festival of Shelters (booths, tabernacles) talking to crowds of people. Our text tells us on the last, most important day, He stood up and cried out these incredible words.

If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. The one who believes in Me as the Scripture has said will have streams of living water flow from deep within him.

Wow what a statement, what an offer. According to the second word of this offer, who can be saved?

Anyone. When we started the gospel of John, we had a brief overview of seven major themes and things to look for in the gospel of John. One of these was that there are twenty declarations in John that anyone can be saved. By my count, this is number 15 of those 20, and it is very clear.

If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. The one who believes in Me will have streams of living water flow from deep within him.

The gospel is not the gospel unless it is available to all people. Look at how Paul describes this.

Read Romans 1:16

The gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes. It is the offer of salvation to everyone. Just like the twenty passages in John and the many others in the New Testament show us, any person can be saved.

How many of you have ever heard of a resort fee? A resort fee is an additional charge that hotels, condos, or other rental properties add on to your daily rental fee. Maybe you are looking for a hotel online, comparing prices and looking for a good deal. You book a place then when it comes time to pay and multiply the nightly rate by the number of nights you will be staying, you wonder why the bill is so much higher. Then you realize, oh, there is a $35 a day resort fee added to our bill.

According to Wikipedia, hotels took in 2.47 billion in resort fees in 2015. Resort fees are deceptive. You think you are looking at one simple price, then all of a sudden you realize the bill is much higher.

How many of you have ever felt deceived by a resort fee or some other form of false advertising?

It probably damaged the trust you have for the business because they were misleading you, deceiving you. Now let me ask you another question.

Do you think God would offer salvation to all people time after time in the Scripture if He really knew He only wanted to save a few people, the elect?

In order to maintain their beliefs, Calvinists must redefine every one of these offers of salvation to all by saying that all or anyone means all kinds of people or Jews and Gentiles or the elect. If this is true, in John 3:16 God would be saying I loved the world so much that I sent Jesus my Son to earth so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.

But then when a person says, okay God, I want to take you up on this offer, God says, "Oops, sorry! You can’t be saved because I didn’t choose you."

If that were true, God would be like the people who charge resort fees, misleading them and deceiving anyone who reads His Word. But God is not like that. As our text says, He offers salvation to anyone who is thirsty, anyone who will believe in His Son Jesus Christ. Now look how people respond to this offer in the rest of our text.

They argue among themselves about who Jesus is. We’ve seen this a lot in recent passages, but here it really seems to intensify. Some people think Jesus is the Prophet (v.40). Others say He is the Messiah (v.41). But then an argument breaks out as to where the Messiah will be from.

Earlier in verse 27, some of the people were saying that no one would know where the Messiah would be from. Now some are asking, the Messiah will be from Bethlehem won’t He, and not from Galilee? They were correct but unsure. And we see in verse 43 that the crowds were divided on who Jesus was.

Then verses 45-49 the Jewish leaders, the chief priests, and Pharisees argued with the men who were supposed to arrest Jesus for them. Why didn’t you arrest Him? They said no man ever spoke like this. And the leaders mocked the servants saying, “He’s fooling you too, you don’t know the law.”

After that, the Pharisees argued with one of their own, Nicodemus, because he spoke up for Jesus. Remember Nicodemus was the one who came to Jesus at night and questioned Him in chapter 3, and Jesus told him a person must be born again in order to see the kingdom of heaven. Jesus went on to quote John 3:16 to Nick. And we will see later in John 19:39 that Nicodemus helped bury Jesus after his crucifixion, so Nicodemus quite likely came to know Jesus at some point, although there is no conclusive evidence of his conversion in Scripture.

As we’ve talked about before, the point of all this is that people had many different opinions of who Jesus was then and they still do today. But the offer of salvation is to all people. If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Jesus and anyone who believes will have streams of living water flowing from within him. This leads to our next idea.

II. The Evidence of Life for all Believers – the Holy Spirit

Look back at verses 38-39. The one who believes or, as the ESV and NIV say, whoever believes, will have streams of living water flowing from deep within him. Notice how verse 39 tells us what these streams of water are, the Holy Spirit.

He said this about the Spirit, those who believed were going to receive the Spirit, for the Spirit had not yet been given because Jesus had not yet been glorified. Jesus was telling the people that the Holy Spirit will come later. We see this happening in Acts chapter 2.

As believers today, we have an advantage over the first disciples. We receive the Spirit immediately when we repent of our sins and believe in Jesus Christ. They had to wait.

Look back at our text, to see who receives the Spirit - the one who believes in Jesus. Only believers have the Spirit. The Spirit is evidence that we have eternal life. The Bible is full of passages that attest to this truth. Look at several of these with me.

Read Ephesians 1:13-14

This verse is worth memorizing. When you heard the gospel and believed, you were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit who is the down payment of our inheritance. Remember Jesus promised the Spirit in our text in John. this is the promised Holy Spirit that Paul talks about here in Ephesians.

Now look at a longer passage with this same idea. In Galatians, Paul demonstrates that people are justified or saved by faith and not by works. Notice this idea.

Read Galatians 2:15-16

See Paul’s argument. We are saved by faith in Jesus. Now look at how he continues this theme.

Read Galatians 3:1-6

Paul asks several rhetorical questions. Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law or by believing what you heard? Does God give you he Spirit and work miracles among you by doing works of the law or by believing what you heard?

The answer is obvious and implied. We receive the Holy Spirit when we believed in Jesus, and the Spirit is evidence of salvation. Romans 8:9, Romans 8:16, 2 Corinthians 1:22, 1 John 3:24, and 1 John 4:13 are other texts that show us this truth.

One of the great truths of Christianity is the assurance, and the presence, and the reality of the Holy Spirit for believers. Some people may ask well how do I know I have the Holy Spirit?

The Holy Spirit has many roles. He inspired the writers of the Bible (2 Peter 1:20-21). He has multiple roles in salvation as He convicts us of sin, points and draws us to Jesus when the gospel is preached, and as we just saw assures us of salvation once we repent and believe in Jesus.

Then the Holy Spirit has a huge role in sanctification, or the process of growing in Christ. Notice how Paul states this.

Read Romans 15:15-16

We are sanctified by the Spirit, so if the Holy Spirit is not active in our lives, we need to closely examine ourselves to make sure we know the Lord. A saved person should have the Holy Spirit actively working in their life in the following ways. The Holy Spirit…

A. Convicts us of Sin - John 16:8

A Christian who has the Holy Spirit living inside of him or her should be convicted of sin. If we do something wrong, the Spirit inside of us should be saying Michael that is wrong. Now this isn’t an audible voice, but it is obvious. It is possible to quench the Spirit and get hardened to sin. So some Christians who don’t listen to the Spirit and give in to sin may stifle this conviction of the Holy Spirit, but if it’s not there somewhere, you’re probably lost.

What this means is if a person is proud of his sin, he is almost certainly lost. A common question people ask now is can a person be a homosexual and be a Christian. Here is my position on that based on God’s Word, based on John 16:8.

I believe it is possible (notice I didn’t say likely, simply possible) for someone to be gay and saved, but it is impossible for a person to be gay and proud of it and saved. You know why? Because a person who is proud of their sin has no conviction of it. And if they have no conviction of sin, they don’t have the Holy Spirit. And if they don’t have the Holy Spirit, they are lost. This leads to the next way the Spirit is at work in the lives of believers.

The Holy Spirit also …

B. Guides us into all Truth – John 16:13

This one is closely related to the previous idea. The Spirit will guide you into all the truth, not some of it. A person who refuses to agree with God’s Word on what is and isn’t sin likely does not have the Holy Spirit. Remember, the Holy Spirit who lives inside of believers is the same Spirit who inspired the writers of the Bible.

This is why I cannot understand liberal theology. “Lord, these people don’t believe your Word. Are they saved?” That’s between them and God. But according to God’s Word, if you have the Spirit, He will guide you into all truth.

The Holy Spirit also …

C. Leads us to Obey Jesus – Galatians 5:16

Notice how all these are related. It is worth reading all of Galatians 5 later, but for now look at this verse. “If we walk by the Spirit, we will not carry out the desires of the flesh,” or as the old NIV says we “will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” This is telling us that the Holy Spirit wants to lead us to obey God. This doesn’t mean that we will always obey God, but it does mean that if we are saved the Holy Spirit will lead us to obey rather than disobey. He will convict us of sin, guide us into all truth, and lead us to obey God. This is the process of sanctification.

Now look at one more evidence of the Holy Spirit.

D. Produces His Fruit in us – Galatians 5:22-23

When we are saved, we get a taste of this fruit of the Spirit. For the first time we experience real love, real joy, real peace, and all the other 6 fruits of the Spirit. As we walk in the Spirit and obey the Lord, seeking Him and spending time with Him, the Spirit produces more fruit in our lives.


There is nothing like knowing Jesus and experiencing the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. Each of us who know the Lord should be aware of the Spirit’s presence in our lives as He continually sanctifies us and makes us more and more like Jesus. But, in order to receive the Spirit, a person must come to Jesus and believe in Him. Do you believe in Jesus?