Many Christians long to experience God beyond empty rituals. We are spiritually thirsty, desiring to encounter God Himself. Pastor Lutzer reflects on the context and meaning of Jesus’ words in John 7 about the living water of the Spirit. What does the Bible say about becoming worthy of the filling of the Holy Spirit?
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Transcript: Welcome to “5 Minutes with Pastor Lutzer.” I’m so glad that you joined us again today for this series of messages on the Holy Spirit. And if you missed some of the previous episodes, go back and review them because in this series what we want to do is to introduce (or reintroduce) ourselves to the blessed Holy Spirit in a way that will be transformative.
Well, today we’re going to speak about the filling of the Holy Spirit.
Let me ask you this: Have you ever been filled with the Holy Spirit? Notice what Jesus said. We’re actually in John 7. We read:
On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let them come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
Let me give you the context. The feast that is spoken of is the Feast of Booths. It lasted a week. The priest would go down to the pool of Siloam; he’d bring back a pitcher of water which was poured onto the altar. It symbolized the coming of the Holy Spirit. But Jesus was distressed and he cried out with a loud voice. Why? Because He saw that this ritual was not meeting people’s needs. The people who came with guilt left with their guilt; the people who came with their frustrations and their anxieties left with their frustrations and their anxieties; so Jesus said, “He who is thirsty, come to Me and drink.”
Now, one of the things that is necessary—let me ask you this question, let me put it this way: Are you thirsty? Do you have within you a desire for God? You know, in the 16th century there was a writer who pointed out very clearly that all of us are born with a thirst. And remember Augustine, the first page of The Confessions, “O God, Thou hast made us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless until they find their all in Thee.” So Jesus says to anyone, and this includes you and me, if we are thirsty let’s come on to Him and drink because He is going to be giving us living water.
We have the privilege of experiencing the ministry of the blessed Holy Spirit of God. If you want to know exactly what I believe about that you’re going to have to tune in next time because I’m going to be explaining something that I think is very confusing to a lot of people. Because many people think to themselves, “Well, I’m unworthy to receive the Spirit in His fullness. I’m so unworthy. What are the requirements?” Well, we’re going to be discussing that next time.
For today, I want to remind you of something. When Jesus was speaking to the woman at the well, and you know the story well in John 4, when He was speaking to her—here was a woman who had been married five times and now living common law with a man. And Jesus says to this woman, “If you believe on me, I will give you living water that will spring up into everlasting life.” Could that woman depend upon her husband for a spiritual nourishment? Of course not. She didn’t even have a husband; she was living with this other man. But Jesus said, “You are going to have independent, personal strength. Your thirst can be quenched, regardless of those around you. You can receive the blessed Holy Spirit of God and receive the water of life.”
You say, “Well, Pastor Lutzer, I’ve never experienced that.” You may be a believer and you wonder, “How can I become worthy of such a blessed experience?” Well, that’s what we’re going to talk about next time. For years, I wondered about this also and we’ve always—frequently at least—made it so complicated but you’re going to be surprised at how simple it really is.
Subscribe, follow, and share and above all be sure to tune in next time as we continue this study of the filling of the Holy Spirit. But as for today, well, you just go with God.