You Are Saved by Grace, Not by Religion 1920x1080

You Are Saved by Grace, Not by Religion

This article is based on Pastor Adrian Rogers' message, Stop Enduring Religion.

John 7:37-39

This article is based on Pastor Adrian Rogers' message, Stop Enduring Religion.

John 7: Religion vs. Relationship

The Jews had many ceremonies and feasts, but there was one that outdid them all in festivity.

At the climax of the feast of tabernacles, the priest would go down to the pool of Siloam and fill a golden pitcher with water. The people would follow him, dancing and playing cymbals. The priest would then pour out that water at the altar. As he did, hilarity would break forth from the people.

Jesus was watching their ecstasy. He was normally quiet. (See Matthew 12:19.) But in the midst of all this…

On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink” (John 7:37).

Christ Jesus, the Water of Life

Jesus heard them chanting—“With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation” (Isaiah 12:3)—and He Himself is that well of salvation. Every Old Testament ceremony and feast prophesied and pictured the Lord Jesus.

There He was, the very water of life, in their midst. He was right there. And they were paying no attention to Him.

Jesus knew that after that singing and dancing were over, they would go back to their own heartaches, fears, and failures, and this would all be gone as a memory of a religious exercise.

People need a vital relationship with Jesus Christ, the Son of God: true salvation with joy.

Have You Drunk the Living Water?

“Come to Me and drink.” Jesus was talking about salvation, yes, but more than salvation. He was speaking of the Holy Spirit, whom people receive when they believe on Christ.

…Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:14).

Have you drunk deeply of Jesus?

How to Build a Relationship with God

To whom is Jesus speaking when He says, “Come to Me and drink”? He is speaking to thirsty people.

There are people who come to church like they are doing God a favor. They do not come thirsting for God. Some have a shallow thirst; they will get a shallow satisfaction. Many are not thirsty at all, because they are filled with the stagnant waters of self-love and worldliness.

If you do not have more of God, it is because you do not want more. The first thing to do is analyze your life and pray that God would grant you a burning thirst.

Saved By Grace Through Faith

Jesus said, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink” (John 7:37b). He was talking of Himself. You come to Christ. You do not come to rituals and rules.

Sometimes we get the idea that we want more of God, so we think, “If I can just discipline myself enough, pray enough, and live cleanly enough, then I will be a candidate for that blessing.” That is works-righteousness, and you will never, ever make it.

Christ is the way to holiness. You cannot live rightly until you are filled with the Holy Spirit. Do not wait until you are better.

Don’t come to Him with your fingers crossed behind your back. You cannot, at the same time, intend to cling to Satan and this world.

Many will drop out at this point. They may say, “Yes, I am thirsty. Yes, indeed, Christ is the answer.” But they never dare to take what He promises.

You must appropriate that which God has for you, and you do it by faith. Drinking is active. Take the free gift of God and say, “Christ Jesus is mine. I claim all that you have for me, Lord. I believe in you.”

Become a River of Living Water to Others

He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water (John 7:38).

When you are saved and filled with the Spirit, your life will overflow with joy, testimony, and service.

A Christian like this is one who not only has his own needs met, but also is able to meet the needs of others. He is not a reservoir; he has become a river.

Most folks come to church thinking, “How wonderful if I could have my thirst assuaged.” But how many say, “Oh God, I want to be a blessing!”

When Jesus said, “as the Scripture has said,” He is likely referring to Ezekiel 47. Here is a vision that Ezekiel saw:

Then he brought me back to the door of the temple; and there was water, flowing from under the threshold of the temple toward the east, for the front of the temple faced east; the water was flowing from under the right side of the temple, south of the altar (Ezekiel 47:1).

The temple in the Old Testament was a picture of the believer today.

Notice the source of this river. It is coming out of the temple, flowing past the altar. The altar speaks of Christ crucified, and that river of living water will always flow past the cross.

And when the man went out to the east with the line in his hand, he measured one thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the water came up to my ankles. Again he measured one thousand and brought me through the waters; the water came up to my knees. Again he measured one thousand and brought me through; the water came up to my waist. Again he measured one thousand, and it was a river that I could not cross; for the water was too deep, water in which one must swim, a river that could not be crossed (Ezekiel 47:3-5).

Notice the marked course of the “waters.” The river keeps getting wider, and deeper.

Then he said to me: “This water flows toward the eastern region, goes down into the valley, and enters the sea. When it reaches the sea, its waters are healed” (Ezekiel 47:8).

If you were to go to the Temple Mount, more than 2,000 feet above sea level, and face east, you would see the terrain dropping down to the lowest spot on Earth—1,400 feet below sea level—at the Dead Sea.

Ezekiel saw a river come up from the Temple, flow past the altar, and go down through the wilderness to the Dead Sea.

There will be life where there was death when the river begins to flow out of you.

And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live….Their fish will be of the same kinds as the fish of the Great Sea, exceedingly many (Ezekiel 47:9a,10b).

That is, there will be as many fish in the Dead Sea as in the Mediterranean.

Along the bank of the river, on this side and that, will grow all kinds of trees used for food; their leaves will not wither, and their fruit will not fail. They will bear fruit every month, because their water flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for medicine (Ezekiel 47:12).

There will be fruitfulness where there was barrenness. (See Galatians 5:22-23.)

Jesus said, if you thirst, come to Him and drink, and you will be satisfied. But more than that, there will be in you a river of living water, and where there was death, there will be life.

List of Scriptures Referenced in This Article

John 4:14, 7:37-39; Isaiah 12:3; Ezekiel 47:1-12; Galatians 5:22-23

More Bible Verses About Living Water

“Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance. Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you—the sure mercies of David (Isaiah 55:1-3).
And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb….And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely (Revelation 22:1,17).