We Heard, We Believe, We Know
One of the most climactic scenes in the Bible is the testimony of faith in Jesus Messiah, by the people of Samaria, in John 4:42, “and they were saying to the woman, ‘It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world.’” The Samaritans, who had believed because of Jesus’ Word preached to them (Jn 4:40–41), were now addressing the woman, who went and gave witness to them about her encounter with Jesus.
The people responded to her request for them to come and see, even as Nathanael had responded to Philip (Jn 1:45–46) and Peter had responded to Andrew (Jn 1:41–42). The voice of Christ calls out to the sheepfold of this world, “Come to Me.”
Those who belong to Christ (1 Cor 3:23) know the voice of their Lord. “Jesus Christ is Lord,” is our shared confession. Christians are the sheep of His pasture (Ps 100:3), and they follow Him because they know He is the Savior of the world (Jn 4:42) like the believers at Samaria knew it.
It is the Spirit of Christ who fills the saints, today, to bear witness and give testimony of Jesus Messiah. Wherever believers go, these shine as lights in the world of darkness. Men love darkness because their deeds are evil (Jn 3:19), and many of God’s chosen people are living in darkness. These will see and come into the Light (Lk 8:16; Jn 3:21), and they will know the truth (Jn 8:32), when the Word of truth is preached to them.
God’s Word is truth for those deceived. God’s Word is light to the blind. God’s Word is life to those who are dead, spiritually, in trespasses and sins (Eph 2:1). It is God’s Spirit who gives life (Jn 6:63), by implanting God’s Word of life, which is able to save your souls (Jas 1:21).
This is the work of God…that you believe in Him whom He has sent (Jn 6:29). Faith is granted to those who God has appointed to eternal life (Acts 13:48; Phil 1:29). Jesus gives eternal life (Jn 17:2), even as He authors and perfects the faith allotted to each elect soul (Rom 12:3; Heb 12:2).
We understand that the Word is from God. We also understand that faith is from God. God implants the Word (Jas 1:21), and He allots faith (Rom 12:3). We remember that not all people have faith (2 Thess 3:2) because not all have ears capable of hearing and because the Word has not done that work for them.
It is God’s decision who He will give ears to hear, eyes to see, and a new heart to believe (Ezek 36:26). The Lord knows those who are His (2 Tim 2:19), the people of His own possession (Tit 2:14; 1 Pet 2:9), whom Christ Jesus purchased with His precious blood (1 Cor 6:20; 7:23; 1 Pet 1:19).
In the eternal counsel of our Triune God, it was predestined that these outcast Samaritans (mixed race Jew and Gentile) would know who they believe. Having heard the woman who met Jesus at Jacob’s Well, and then hearing Jesus Himself, they believed and bore witness right back to the woman. No doubt, her faith was strengthened by their faith expressed in words of spiritual knowledge, that is, knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Pet 3:18). They knew what she knew.
How did they know that Jesus was the Savior of the world? In building His church (Mt 16:18), Jesus had given them something during His brief stay in that city. He gave them His Word, the Word of truth about Himself, the Word of faith to believe in Him. Their ears were good soil, and Jesus planted His Word of life in that unlikely place.
Today, the Spirit, like the wind, goes wherever He wills to go (Jn 3:1–8). The Spirit gives life to whomever He wills (Jn 6:63). The Spirit implants the Word of God through the preaching of the Word. Christ is proclaimed by the man of God (Col 1:28; 2 Tim 2:15), and God gives the increase (Acts 6:7; 1 Cor 3:6–7).
As the Word of God increases, faith increases in those God has chosen to add to Christ’s church. The Christian faith, passed down and common to all the saints (Jude 3), has a shared confession, “We heard the voice of Jesus Christ. We believe He is the Savior of the world. We know who we have believed, and we are convinced that He is able to keep that which we have committed to Him.
By an inseparable union, predetermined, initiated, executed, and held together by God, He has made us know Him. He gave us ears to hear the Good News, and He made us believe Him. How did He do this? He put His Word in us, by the Spirit. The Spirit made us alive with the Word. How does one know he has been given the life of God?
The Samaritans, who had been given life, serve us by the manifestation of their testimony. Such testimony is not shared by unbelievers, who do not have the Spirit, who has not implanted the Word, which is why they cannot hear and why they do not believe, for they do not belong to Christ (Jn 10:26) because they are not of God (Jn 8:47).
When Jesus asks people, today, “Who do you say that I am?” The born again reply, “We know that you are the Christ, the Son of the living God, and we believe that you are the Savior of the world because we have heard the Word of God preached to us, by the man of God, filled with the Spirit of God, as it was planned from eternity.
Spokane Valley, Washington
December 10, 2020