Conduits of the Living Waters

Conduits of the Living Waters

“Also I heard the voice of the LORD, saying: ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?’ Then I said, ‘Here am I! Send me.’” (Isaiah 6:8)

A conduit is a channel of some form that is typically used to transmit or distribute something through it. Aqueducts, for example, are built to guide a water stream from its original source to a designated location where fresh water may not be available. There is no question that these forms of conduits are instrumental for the survival and development of a society dwelling in a geographic region isolated from an abundant supply of fresh water. The aqueduct not only distributes fresh water to regions that do not have direct access to a river or a water spring, but it also helps prevent drinking water from becoming contaminated by human waste or other pollutants that would make them harmful to drink. This reveals that the water that flows through the conduit is not meant to remain still inside of it, or else it will stagnate and become an incubator for bacteria or parasites that will corrupt it. Thus, a conduit’s purpose is to transfer, distribute, and protect the object being conveyed through it. It is valuable to mention that in ancient times these water channels were commonly built either out of limestone or brick to help preserve the purity of the waters flowing through them. In his second epistle to the Church at Corinth, the inspired Paul declared, “but we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us” (2nd Corinthians 4:7). Paul had previously established that he and his fellow laborers of the Gospel did not handle God’s Word inappropriately by teaching the Corinthians their private interpretation of what the Holy Spirit revealed to them through inspiration (cf. 2nd Corinthians 4:1-6, 2nd Peter 1:19-21). Instead, the apostle emphasizes that their purpose for preaching the Gospel was never for self-gain, but “the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2nd Corinthians 4:6). Ergo, the “treasure” mentioned in the following verse is in reference to the Gospel of Jesus (also mentioned as “the word of God,” cf. 2nd Corinthians 4:2-4) and the “earthen vessels” are the human instruments dispensing its message to the world (cf. 2nd Corinthians 4:5- 6). Curiously, the Bible is often illustrated as the source of water for the thirsty soul. After healing a man lame from birth, the apostle Peter asked the marveled crowd “Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this? Or why look so intently at us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk” (Acts 3:12)? Similar to Paul’s words to the Corinthians, Peter first establishes that the miraculous power belonged to God and not them. He then proceeds to preach to them the Gospel, revealing that it was with Jesus’ authority that they were able to heal the man with the intent to preach to them what they now heard (cf. Acts 3:13-18). Peter exhorts his audience to “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19). Peter alludes to God’s salvation as the source that would refresh their inward man parched from sin descending from heaven, echoing the Master’s words to the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well (cf. John 4:6- 15). The prophet Zechariah concurs with Peter saying, “in that day it shall be that living waters shall flow from Jerusalem. Half of them toward the eastern sea and half of them toward the western sea; in both summer and winter it shall occur” (Zechariah 14:8). The striking similarities between Zechariah and Isaiah’s prophecy confirms that both are speaking about the Day of Pentecost when the very first Gospel sermon was preached by Peter and the eleven, fulfilling the prophecy (cf. Isaiah 2:1-4, Acts 2:14-39). However, observe that the conduit utilized by God to dispense the celestial waters of healing to mankind is what Paul refers to as the “earthen vessels.” Peter boldly told the Jewish rulers who sought to silence them from preaching in the name of Jesus, “For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20). Irrefutably, Peter had firmly in mind the commandment given to them by the Savior prior to ascending to heaven (cf. Acts 1:8). The apostles were not the sole conduits distributing heaven’s living waters to humanity, for the inspired Luke attests, “Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word” (Acts 8:4). Verily, it is important to realize that as Christians we are the spiritual channels that have been designated the precious task of distributing God’s glad tidings of salvation (cf. Matthew 28:18-20, Luke 24:46-47). Like the drinking water must continuously flow throw the water channel to prevent stagnation, the same is true for the spiritual growth of a disciple of Christ (cf. John 15:1-8, 2nd Peter 3:17-18). The apostle Paul disclosed to the Ephesians, “For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles – if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you” (Ephesians 3:1-2). A litter further into the same chapter of the Ephesian epistle, Paul espouses that “this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the Church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Ephesians 3:8-11). It must not be doubted that God has chosen His special people to be the bearers of glad tidings for the world. We, as the Church of Christ, are the conduits of the living waters that spring forth from heaven; the same healing waters that were dispensed to us to heal us from the wounds of sin (cf. Isaiah 35:1- 10, Ephesians 2:1-8). Therefore, let us not selfishly hold hostage the Gospel news of salvation and let us be the conduits that dispenses heaven’s living waters.


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