Soul Winning: Obstacles (John #11)

Soul winning is bringing a person to Jesus Christ, removing all things that stand between their soul and the savior.


  • vss 1-4 – Divine appointment – meeting with the Savior.  You aren’t told whether the need was his thirst or the Samaritan woman’s chance to meet the Messiah.  You will notice that your intersection with Jesus Christ is going to revolve around a need.
  • vss 5-8 – 6th hour is noon.  It’s hot.  Jesus Christ is thirsty.  He asks for water twice in the gospels and neither time does he get it.
  • vss 9-10 – She wonders what the catch is.  Why is a Jew asking me for water?  Jesus says, If you really knew who I am then you would’ve asked me for living water.
  • vss 11-14 – She thinks the water is physical water.  Kind of like Nicodemus thought Jesus was talking about another physical birth.  Jesus Christ is talking about the spirit of God being likened to living water.
    • John 7:37-39 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.  He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.  (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
    • See also Revelation 21:6, 22:1, 17.
  • vs 15 – So Jesus Christ is likening the Spirit of God to living water.  And he is the one who will give it.  So now she begs Jesus Christ to give her this water, but she still thinks it is something she can drink and it will satisfy her physical thirst because of what she says in verse 15.
  • And the soul winning begins.  Winning souls means understanding the things that come between the soul and the savior.

Sin (vss 16-18)

  • Go call thy husband – Jesus Christ is God and he knows your heart.  He’s begun to identify the things that come between her soul and the savior.
    • Your iniquities have separated between you and your God.  He already sees the sin that keeps you from him.  So he responds in kind to her.
    • You can’t keep that coal in your pocket.  It will find its way out.
  • I have no husband – She thinks she’s got him.
    • She answers him in street lingo, not doctrinal terms of marriage.  She doesn’t have a ring, hasn’t gone before the JP for a marriage license with the guy she’s living with.  So she thinks she’s got him.  “Oh, I’m not married.”
    • You know that’s how you respond when the Holy Spirit starts to deal with your sin.  You look for the loopholes.
  • Sin is:
    • Proverbs 21:4 An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin.  The wealthy man in Luke 12:20 is a tragic example.
    • Proverbs 24:9 The thought of foolishness is sin.  Which way you’re going.  If you’re thinking about it, you’ll be doing it before long.
    • Romans 14:23 Whatsoever is not of faith is sin.  Faith is personal and faith is the basis for your relationship with God.  It will be impossible to teach your children to live a faithful life if your life lacks in faith.
    • James 4:17 Therefore, to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
    • 1 John 3:4 For sin is the transgression of the law.
    • 1 John 5:17 All unrighteousness is sin. There are paths of righteousness according to Psalms 23:3, and there are paths of unrighteousness.
    • 1 Corinthians 15:56 The sting of death is sin.
  • One of our defenses is we don’t call sin “sin” anymore.  We give it fancy names:
    • The world imposes a system of thinking on you and I that demands we accept defeat.  It says, once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic and the highest you can hope to be is a “recovering alcoholic”.  No victory.
    • God’s vocabulary is a victorious one though.  There is a remedy for sin.  There is no remedy for a disorder or disease if you want to follow that worldly line of thinking.  So call it what God calls it and get the victory over it!
  • James says SIN = Lust + Opportunity (James 1:14-15).  The woman at the well lusting for companionship and finding it in a willing man.  Lust meets opportunity = SIN.

Religion (vss 19-24)


  • Our fathers… ye say… – next thing is the religion argument.  We’ve done it this way for years.  You say do this, we say do that.  No one is really right or wrong.  We’re all worshipping the same God.
  • Ye worship ye know not what.  Does your religion leave the most important questions unanswered?
    • Why do you do the things you do?  And I’m talking to saved people too.  How much we parrot because we’ve failed in our relationship with Jesus Christ to get anything from him personally.  What benefit are you looking for?  Are you getting that benefit?  How do you know God is happy with you?  What if He’s not?  How would you know?
    • Real basic test.  If your belief in God doesn’t affect who you are.  Doesn’t cause your life to change any, then whatever you’re calling your religion has no affect on you.  I can do what I want to do and have my religion.  So it may be your religion, but it isn’t God’s.
      • What makes you think it has an eternal effect if it doesn’t even have a temporary effect?
    • Funerals reveal the nature of one’s religion.
      • When a soul is saved there is grief, but it is a hopeful occasion.  Looking forward to the future with assurance.
      • With religious funerals where a person is not saved, the grief is almost unbearable.  There is hopelessness and wishful thinking.  People trying to reassure themselves without any assurance at all.
  • true worshippers – The most vocal critics Jesus Christ had when he walked this earth was the religious crowd.  Implying there are false worshippers.  So what’s called worship doesn’t honor God just because it’s called worship.
    • This lady is religious, but not saved.  Religious and blind.  Eternal life is not a religion.  It is a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
    • Jesus Christ just said there is a right way and wrong way to approach God.  He just said a religion that keeps its people in suspense and hangs fear over their head is worthless in approaching God.  If your religion is characterized by an unknown God, it isn’t helping.
    • and they that worship him MUST worship him in spirit and in truth – People say, we all believe in the same God in different ways.  Jesus Christ just said that’s a fairy tale.



Neglect (vss 25-26)

  • People wrap their neglect in some spiritual wrapping paper.  I’m waiting because I’m patience.  I don’t like to rush to decisions.  No, you’re just afraid to make a decision.
  • Neglect is intentional ignorance.
    • Neglect is the lazy way – Convenience may be the problem –  It gets in the way of my routine.
    • Neglect is the cowards way – Fear may be the problem – you just don’t want to face this head on
  • Neglect assumes you have another day to think about it.  Tomorrow is the day that never comes.

Nothing between my soul and the Savior, Naught of this world’s delusive dream:  I have renounced all sinful pleasure – Jesus is mine!  There’s nothing between

Nothing between, like worldly pleasure:  habits of life, tho harmless they seem, Must not my heart from Him ever sever – He is my all! There’s nothing between

Nothing between, like pride or station: Self or friends shall not intervene; Tho is may cost me much tribulation, I am resolved! There’s nothing between.

Nothing between, e’en many hard trials, Tho the whole world against me convene;  Watching with prayer and much self denial – Triumph at last, with nothing between.