Throughout human history, the exchanging of gifts has been a part of our lives. It's rewarding both to give and to receive gifts. The hardest part, for some of us at least, is to find the right gift!
Today, I want to talk with you about the greatest gifts! The greatest gifts are from our Triune God. The Father gives us His Son; the Son gives us the Holy Spirit; and the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit give us eternal life!
In John 4:1-42 John narrates the story of Christ's witness in Samaria. At Sychar, a city in Samaria, Jesus stopped at Jacob's well. While He was resting there, a woman came to draw water. As the story unfolds, the main subject is eternal life. Because of the gifts of God, we have eternal life! Let's talk about it.
One, God gives us His Son.
Jesus asked the woman of Samaria to give Him drink, but she objected. Then, He said "if you knew the gift of God," you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water. The "gift" of God might refer to spiritual life, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, or to all three! However, in my view, the main reference is to Jesus Himself!
God gave us His Son. The Son is the Pearl of great value. It is He who above all others is the greatest gift. It is through Him, the Savior of the world, that we have eternal life. Eternal life cost Him everything, but eternal life through Him is a free gift to us. Let us believe in Him and through faith receive this great gift!
Two, Jesus gives us the Spirit.
Jesus promises to give living water. The metaphor "living water" can refer to spiritual life, to the Holy Spirit, to Jesus, to the teaching of Jesus, or to all of the above. If we use the term in a general sense, living water can refer to anything that brings us eternal life. However, the primary reference is to the Holy Spirit.
Along with the Father, Jesus gives us the Spirit. The Holy Spirit, too, is a gift from God. Just as we accept Christ through faith, so we receive the Holy Spirit as a result of faith. The apostle Paul rhetorically asked (Galatians 3:2), "did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?" The Holy Spirit is one of God's greatest gifts to us!
Three, the Spirit gives us eternal life.
The living water that Jesus mentions refers primarily to the Spirit. When we receive the Spirit, He becomes a well of water springing up to eternal life. The Spirit exalts Christ, quickens us, and applies the presence and work of God to our lives.
Through the Spirit, our Triune God gives us eternal life. Jesus said (John 6:63), "'It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing.'" Let us not lean on ourselves for our salvation. Rather, let us open our hearts to the presence and work of the Spirit. It is the Spirit who makes us a new creation.
Four, we must drink the living water.
God gives us Jesus; Jesus gives us the Spirit; and the Spirit gives us eternal life. What must we do? Jesus said that whoever "drinks" the living water will never thirst. The metaphor "drinks" means "believes" in Christ and "receives" His gift. This reemphasizes all that we have said above.
The verb "drinks" in this context puts the emphasis on the initial act of believing and receiving, but it does not limit us to the initial act. We must keep on believing and receiving.
The one who drinks will never thirst. This means that he or she will never feel the pain of thirst. Of course, we continue to have deep longings and desires for fellowship with God. We must keep on drinking!
The greatest gifts are from God. God gives us His Son, the Son gives us the Spirit, and the Spirit gives us eternal life. When we believe in Christ, we receive His gift of eternal life. All that God has for us becomes ours. We must keep on drinking, keep on believing, and God will keep on giving!
Finally, while we look for gifts to give, remember that the greatest thing we can do is to tell about Christ. Through Christ others can have the greatest gifts! Their lives will be filled with eternal life.