John 4:40-42 So when the Samaritans came to [Jesus], they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. And because of his words many more became believers. They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Saviour of the world.”
Something God makes very clear in his Word – his revealed truth to lost mankind – is that saving faith can only come from a personal encounter with Jesus Christ as the only Saviour. We must realise and acknowledge that we, personally, are lost sinners, who need a Saviour to rescue us from the consequences of our sin.
In his infallible, inspired Scriptures God tells us that, without a Saviour, we are destined for eternal separation from him, the Living, Life-giving God, in Hell. He tells us that we must, at some point in our lives, accept Jesus as our personal Saviour and let him be the Lord of every part of our lives. John writes elsewhere: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son” (John 3:16-18); “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life” (John 5:24); “He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 5:12).
Thankfully, we can be very grateful to others (parents, grandparents, siblings, children, pastors, Sunday school teachers, SRE teachers, work colleagues, team mates, friends, etc, etc) who have prayed for us and taken time to tell us about Jesus and what he has done for us in his life, death and resurrection. But none of this information about Jesus achieves anything for us unless we come to know him personally as Saviour.
Jesus made such a difference to the life and future hope of the woman at the well in Samaria that she went to tell everyone in her town about him. But each one of them had to come to him and taste this life-changing experience for themselves before it could be of any benefit to them. As we read through John’s Gospel and Letters we cannot help but be moved by how much it meant to this faithful disciple of Jesus that others should know and experience for themselves this saving faith.
– Bruce Christian