The Gospel According to MacArthur: Examining the book the The Gospel According to Jesus Pt3 (The Woman at the Well)

We have already seen MacArthur’s example and interpretation of the story of Nicodemus. Now let’s look at his next example of the woman at the well.

“He Demands True worship:”

“Those who oppose lordship salvation often point to this account as proof that salvation is a gift apart from any demand for commitment of the sinner’s life.1 But we dare not base our theology of salvation only on information gleaned from this account — or worse, label crucial elements of the gospel as nonessential because they are omitted in John 4.”

(What demand of commitment IS part of the gospel??)

“To call her to Himself, Jesus had to force her to face her indifference, lust, self-centeredness, immorality, and religious prejudice.”

(Unbelievers need to understand that they are sinners and thereby lost but there is no specific sin like these that they have to confront first in order to be saved.)

“The reason He had to go that way was to fulfill a divine appointment at Jacob’s well.”

(Be careful about this divine appointment idea. There are opportunities all around us to present the gospel. There doesn’t need to be some kind of divine appointment for it to happen. Also remember that God knows if and when people will be saved but does not make anyone be saved.)

“And His timing was critical. Had He arrived at that well ten minutes early or late, there may have been no woman. But His schedule was perfect; He wrote the script Himself even before the foundation of the world.”

(It is not like God writes scripts for us and we just follow through in them like puppets.)

“God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34),”

(No He is not, but that idea refutes the Calvinistic idea of unconditional election. God does not choose some for heaven and leave the rest with no choice but hell.)

“One author goes so far as to say, “The synonyms for ‘faith’ in the New Testament cannot mean ‘commit.’ For example, in John 4:14 Jesus said, ‘But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst.’ Later, Jesus said, ‘Whoso eateth My flesh and drinketh My blood hath eternal life.’ (John 6:54). Obviously, these statements suggest ‘appropriation,’ not commitment.”2 Can we concede that the verb “drink” conveys the idea of appropriation apart from commitment? Certainly not. Matthew 20:22 (“Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?”) and John 18:11 (“The cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?”) both use drink in a way that clearly implies full compliance and surrender. Furthermore, to attempt to define faith with a metaphor is unwarranted selectivity. What do we then do with verses such as John 3:36 (“He who does not obey the Son shall not see life”), and Hebrews 3:18 – 19 (“Those who were disobedient . . . were not able to enter because of unbelief”), which clearly equate disobedience with unbelief? The fact that Jesus offered this woman living water does not in any way minimize the factor of commitment ever present in true faith. The living water He held out to her was the gift of salvation, including all that is inherent in the reality of redemption — freedom from sin, the commitment to follow Jesus, the ability to obey God’s law, and the power and desire to live a life that glorifies Him.”

(What more of a clear statement do we need to know that MacArthur adds to the sole condition of faith in Christ alone for eternal salvation?)

“Jesus never sanctioned any form of cheap grace. He was not offering eternal life as an add-on to a life cluttered with unconfessed sin. It is inconceivable that He would pour someone a drink of living water without challenging and altering that individual’s sinful lifestyle. He came to save His people from their sin (cf. Matt. 1:21), not to confer immortality on people in bondage to wickedness (cf. Gen. 3:22 – 24).”

(Grace is not cheap or costly. It is free. Salvation is a free gift for us because Christ purchased it. MacArthur’s last statement actually directly denies the gospel because all lost people are in bondage to wickedness !! If He will not give people the new man upon faith in Christ (regeneration) then no one will be saved and the Bible is a lie.)

“G. Campbell Morgan, commenting on this passage, writes, “How did He reply? ‘Go, call thy husband.’ Why that? If she was to have that well of water springing up in her, there must first be moral investigation and correction.”4 Willingness to confess the reality and odiousness of one’s sin is an essential manifestation of genuine spiritual thirst.”

(Spiritual thirst?)

“God’s objective in salvation is to create a true worshiper5 (cf. Phil. 3:3).”

(We must first be born again in order to worship in spirit. We can’t be born again by believing a false gospel.)

“When Jesus said the Father was seeking true worshipers, it was more than a statement of fact. It was a personal invitation to the Samaritan woman. Do not miss the importance of that invitation. It debunks the notion that Jesus was offering eternal life without making any demand for a spiritual commitment.”

(No, salvation is not obtained by barter as in my spiritual commitment in exchange for salvation.

Joh 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

Joh 4:24Godisa Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

All this means is that only those who have been born in Spirit – given the new man – can truly worship God.)

“The call to worship the Father in spirit and in truth was a clear summons to the deepest and most comprehensive kind of spiritual submission.”

(No, what was needed was for her to believe the truth as in the gospel. That is the same for everyone. Salvation is always by grace through faith. Eph 2:8-9 Jesus was not giving her special extra requirements. Did Paul lie when he told the Phillipian jailer to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved? Did the thief on the cross have to promise spiritual commitment? Abraham’s spiritual commitment was accounted to him for righteousness or was it his faith? (Rom 4:3-5) For God so loved the world that the gave His only begotten Son that whosoever – makes a spiritual commitment to follow Christ? – no – whosoever believeth on Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. Jn 3:16)

“The irresistible grace of the Messiah had penetrated her heart. Step by step He had opened her sinful heart and disclosed Himself to her; and apparently she responded with saving faith.”

(Irresistible grace is a lie of Calvinism. She simply was presented with the truth and believed it. The gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation. Rom 1:16)

“The woman’s actions at this point strongly indicate that she had become a believer. She “left her waterpot, and went into the city, and said to the men, ‘Come, see a man who told me all the things that I have done; this is not the Christ, is it?’ ” (vv. 28 – 29). She evidenced all the characteristics of genuine conversion. She had sensed her need, she had confessed her guilt, she recognized Jesus as Messiah, and now she was showing the fruit of her transformed life by bringing other people to Him.”

(Actions do not prove that a person is a believer.

See this:

And this:

Salvation is about being born again and being declared righteous based on Christ’s righteousness thereby being saved from the penalty of sin. Right living comes then from walking in the Spirit, not by doing right things in order to be spiritual.)

“God seeks people who will submit themselves to worship Him in spirit and in truth. That kind of worship is impossible for those sheltering sin in their lives. Those who confess and forsake their sin, on the other hand, will find a Savior eager to receive them, forgive them, and liberate them from their sin.”

(On the contrary, those who believe the gospel of Christ trusting Him alone to save them will be accepted by the Lord who is already seeking them with open arms. Eternal salvation is by grace through faith. MacArthur does not get to change scripture to suggest otherwise.)

“The final chapter of the Bible closes with this invitation, which evokes a picture of the Samaritan woman: “Let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost” (Rev. 22:17). While it is free, it is not cheap; the Savior Himself paid the ultimate price so that thirsty, repentant seekers can drink as deeply as they like.”

(Salvation is a free gift offered to all. All may freely drink. All may decide to believe the gospel. However, sadly many try to obtain salvation MacArthur’s way by adding to the gospel and turning faith into repentance of sins and commitments to follow or worship. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ today. Now is the time. Do not wait. Do not try to bargain your way to heaven or try to earn it in any fashion. Christ has purchased the gift of salvation so trust Him for it and He will freely give it to you. The ability to walk in the Spirit comes only after being born again in the spirit.)


Jim Floyd

Btw, for any doubting that eternal salvation is obtained through faith alone, please see the following link. This refutes the charge that the free grace gospel is a watered down gospel. Salvation is by grace through faith and there is no adding or subtracting from it.

This entry was posted in Calvinism, Heresy, Lordship Salvation, Reformed Theology, Salvation and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The Gospel According to MacArthur: Examining the book the The Gospel According to Jesus Pt3 (The Woman at the Well)

  1. Pingback: The Gospel according to John MacArthur | Redeemingmoments

  2. hollysgarcia says:

    Reblogged this on Redeemingmoments and commented:
    If you have not read part 1 & 2, you may want to start there.

  3. john says:

    Jim, thanks for another sobering installment marking MacArthur’s errant teaching. I hate the term “cheap grace.” God’s grace is amazing and priceless. MacArthur’s counterfeit is cheap and worthless.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s