There is precious instruction in the gospel of John where water and the Spirit are presented together.
BORN OF THE SPIRIT
In John 3, Jesus could tell Nicodemus that he must be born of water and of the Spirit; there is the beginning of it all for us. It is no use to discuss doctrine, truth, with one who is not born again. This birth of water and of the Spirit must precede all else for the Christian. Water is here symbolic of the Word of God by which the new birth is operated in the soul. The Spirit of God is the agent which quickens this living Word for the faith and salvation of the believer; the regeneration of man is operated through the Word (Ja.1:18, 1 Pet. 1:23). There need not be much water; one verse will suffice for the Spirit to convince of sin and salvation through faith in the Lord Jesus (John 3:16 for example). We are not to confuse being born of water with baptism, this would be a great mistake, for baptism is a picture of death and not of birth (Ro. 6:3). May we spread the Word about us without giving up for by it God brings about new births.
LIFE IN THE SPIRIT
We again find water in John 4:14 and then the Spirit in verse 23. For the one who drinks the water the Lord gives, drinking in his words as it were, his Word becomes a fountain of water springing forth in life everlasting. The fountain yields water regularly and sufficiently for the need of the one who draws it. Here then is the source for the maintenance(stirring up) of that divine life now in us since our new birth. The refreshment comes from the inside by the application of the Word of God to our souls by the Holy Spirit, in consolation, in correction, in encouragement, in presenting Christ to our souls and our full and perfect potion in Him. It is by reading the Word for ourselves that this marvel is operated in us (1 Thes 2:13), weaning us also of the things of the world. Let us then read the Word regularly; it will result in adoration in Spirit and in truth for when we learn the truth of God it touches us deeply and goes back to Him in true praise and worship.
MINISTRY OF THE SPIRIT
Finally we have in John 7:38 the Word as rivers of living water pouring forth from the belly of ones filled with the Spirit. This is now the ministry of the Word (by the Spirit) towards others either in the gospel or in edification. It is remarkable that it comes from the belly (bowels), the deep inward parts, from what has been assimilated, digested and put into practice. It is not from the head, an intellectual source, nor from an unstable emotional source but from a deep inward and plentiful source in as much as the Spirit is not grieved. Notice the abundance - rivers of living water. Let us take to heart Colossians 3:16.
NOTE: All Bible references are from the King James Version unless otherwise specified. All unsigned material is in the spirit of Ecc. 12:11. Send all correspondence, comments, suggestions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Last update 2010/05/13