A Sermon By

Dr. Walter A. Maier

 ALMIGHTY AND ALL-LOVING GOD.. As we praise Thee for the progress in this mission of the air and for the grace that permits us to broadcast the Gospel in new languages, we also ask Thee to keep our hearts stirred into flame by the fire of faith in Jesus' self-sacrificing love. We have but one message to proclaim, the answer to life's most urgent question, "What must I do to be saved?" Help us use radio's power and penetration in pointing men to the Cross and telling them that on its gory beams Thy Son was crucified for their crimes and killed for their transgressions! Let nothing we can do or say dim the radiance of His redemption. Since all that we are and have, both on earth and in heaven, comes from Thee: since Jesus alone is "The Way, the Truth, (and) the Life," through whom we can approach Thee, help us humble ourselves and, beholding the sin-atoning Redeemer, say, "He must increase, but I must decrease!" Bless the broadcast Gospel of full and free salvation this day by showing many what folly it is to serve sin, but what glory to serve the Saviour Strengthen the preaching of Thy word all over the world! Let every message of Thy pure mercy be as heavenly balm poured forth to soothe distressed souls, and heal broken hearts! Make Christ a living, loving, sustaining Force in
every one of us! As we acclaim Him greater than all men in their might, higher than all saints in their sinlessness-our great God of glory, together with Thee, Father, and the Holy Spirit, our true and only God, we come before Thee in His name and build the hope of our answer on His promise to hear us. Amen!

 The good news concerning the extension of our radio mission for Christ continues. By God's grace we can report that our messages, translated into French, are being broadcast in this language from Port au Prince, Haiti, and Tangier, North Africa.
 Besides, our weekly Gospel instructions are now also translated into the Arabic language and broadcast also from Tangier, North Africa. Thus we enter the great Mohammedan world. The Holy Spirit bless this work and make it a mighty testimony to the only Hope men can ever have for time and eternity, the Lord Jesus!
 This makes six languages in which "Bringing Christ To The Nations" spreads the glorious Gospel: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Afrikaans, French, Arabic. If the Apostles on the first day of Pentecost, without the marvel of radio, without the help of organization, could spread the glorious tidings of the Saviour's blood - bought redemption in sixteen different languages, how urgently do we need the continued help of the Holy Spirit besides the support of your prayers and your love as we try to bring Christ to all the nations, not in six, but in at least six dozen languages! Are you with us'?

 This broadcast, which timidly, yet trusting in God, began with two stations, now, not through man's wisdom and human help - least of all mine - uses more than 900 stations in thirty-eight countries and territories, and receives replies from listeners in more than seventy nations on the six continents. Nevertheless, hundreds of millions must still hear our broadcast of divine grace. In India, for example, a movement is under way designed to place a public receiving set even in the smallest village. If only we could erect our own broadcasting station in this land of 350,000,000 souls for whom the Son of God died, but who do not yet know Him as their eternal Redeemer! We should not only broadcast in China, as we now do, but, in answer to our missionaries' appeals, we should, as we plan, have our own Gospel-dedicated station for China's 450,000,000 to preach the crucified Saviour with greater power, further reach, and deeper penetration than that war-torn nation has ever known.
 First, however, we are eager to cover war-drained, blood-drenched Europe with the evangel of everlasting peace, thus counteracting the shocking inroads of atheism. Though we now have several broadcasts on the Continent,! am asking you earnestly to pray that the Almighty, who has never failed us in the past, would help us place in the heart of Europe a day-and-night super-station to use every modern facility of radio, long and short wave, AM and FM, to proclaim the Gospel in a dozen different languages of the Old World. Stand by us! Speak for us! Pray for us, as under God's guidance we try to make the world's biggest broadcast even larger-for the one purpose of bringing men to pardon and peace, happiness and heaven, in the Lord Jesus!

 No message is more necessary today. Despite present-day progress, two World Wars in one generation did not bring the masses to Christ. Atom bombs, jet propulsion, and all scientific achievements have not helped lead men to heaven. Culture and overcrowded colleges are not making this a Christian nation. Even the 250,000 church buildings in the United States do not always show men the sure road to redemption. Large numbers are groping and grasping for the truth. A Pennsylvania listener writes me: "What I would like to know is: what must I do to be saved? I am sincere, and I want to go to heaven; but how am I to know the truth when men tell of so many ways? Thousands upon thousands of people just want to know the way.... I read about this man Jesus, how they killed Him, and He died and was raised on the third day. Is this true?"
 Are you in doubt like that? Are you eager to find the one sure way to salvation? Are you worried about your sins? Do you want peace and joy in your life? Listen carefully, then, as in plain language I try to show you: THE FAITH THAT SAVES YOU

 We find this set forth convincingly in the words of our text (Saint John's Gospel, chapter four, verses seventeen, eighteen to twenty. twenty - five, and twenty-six), "Jesus said unto her.... thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband.... The woman saith unto Him, Sir, I perceive that Thou art a prophet. Our fathers worshiped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.... I know that Messias cometh, which Is called Christ. when He is come, He will tell us all things. Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he."


 When I tell you that our Lord left Jerusalem for Samaria, don't dismiss this merely as a geographical note! It is rather deep evidence of our Saviour's Love. The Samaritans, a mixed-breed people, were among the most despised in that part of the world. No self-respecting citizen of Jerusalem would go up to their territory alone. Christ's proud countrymen connected the Samaritans with the devil, cursed them, accused them of worshiping earrings and jewelry, denied them the possibility of joining the Old Testament Church, and taught that the resurrection of the body after death was not for these out-casts. To eat with one of them, so the self-satisfied Jerusalemites sneered, was like eating swine's flesh. Haughtily they exclaimed: "May I never set eyes on a Samaritan! May I never be thrown into company with him!" The Samaritans, so ran the popular opinion of that day, were liars, fools, atheists. Keep away from them! or you will get into trouble!

 Jesus, however, deliberately sought them out; for no one was ever too despised, too downtrodden, too declasse, to be received and relieved by the Lord of love. Not only did the Son of God welcome the lowliest of the low; He even went to them eagerly. By following His holy example we have the one power to overcome the cruel racial and religious hatreds which frightfully dis-figure our day. Only when we realize that before God all men in their sins are on the same low level, whether their skin is white or black, red or yellow; and only when at the cross we know that "Christ died for all," and believe that the Living Redeemer holds all mankind in the same high esteem of His heavenly love, can there be any hope of sending back to hell this wicked lie and delusion that some men are too superior to associate or worship with others. The Saviour's compassion for the downtrodden, the spurned, and the hated should be the driving impulse for us to love our fellow men and to help bring them the Gospel of grace. Christ for Germany Christ for Japan Christ for Italy Christ for Russia - these missionary appeals can do more to bring peace and blessing on earth than a thousand high - sounding resolutions by mighty international bodies which leave God out.

 Our Lord was tired when He reached the village of Sychar in Samaria; He was thirsty, too. So He sat down at a historic spot, the well which, according to tradition, the patriarch Jacob had dug almost 2,000 years before. A woman, one of these despised Samaritans, was drawing water, and Jesus without hesitation asked her for a drink. Some of His countrymen thought that they had to bathe themselves after speaking to a Samaritan; and she herself was amazed that the mysterious Stranger addressed her. Was He not one of those proud citizens of Jerusalem who "have no dealings with the. Samaritans"? Besides, was it not forbidden for a man thus to converse with an unknown woman? Then, no religious leader would dare speak a word in public to a lady outside his acquaintance. Many held that on the street a man should never address even his wife. It is only a step from this fanaticism to the brutality of Buddhism which forbids men to look at women when passing them on the road and denies sons the right to hold out their hands in rescuing their own mothers if they are drowning. What contrast of mercy in Christ's compassion for the mothers and daughters of His day! Some of His most comforting messages were addressed to them. He had pardon even for the adulteress whom the self - righteous were ready to stone to death. No wonder women followed Him eagerly and served Him gladly! Today, too, they should be among the foremost in receiving, defending, spreading the Gospel; for it was Jesus who raised their sex from sensuality and slavery to their high, exalted position. The most pathetic spectacle in our modern world is the infidel, atheist female who sneers at Christianity and revels in sin. A missionary in India sends me a newspaper item from this stronghold of heathendom which complains that American women are drinking too much liquor. Wives and mothers of the United States, under God, much of the happiness in our homes and our country comes from faith and devotion to the Saviour! Love Christ! Live Christ! Never leave Christ! God is counting on you. Don't fail Him!

 The Samaritan woman at the well gave Jesus a Drink, but He gave her a thousandfold return. You cannot do anything for the Saviour without having Him do much more for you. According to His own words, whatever we give to the poor and needy in faith, the food we send to Europe's hungry millions, the clothing we bundle for the Innocent victims of war's terror, we do for our blessed Redeemer, as He Himself will tell us on the great and awful Day of Judgment. Do we need further urging to give more to our suffering fellow men, send more milk, more garments to hungry, handicapped children?

 Our Lord began by telling the woman about the water of life, that is, the faith in the self-sacrificing  love which sent Him to the cross for our sake. Jesus promised her: "Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst." By this picture He asks us to believe in His full, complete atonement on the cross and assures us that to enter heaven we  need nothing in addition to His substitutionary self-sacrifice, since He has done everything required for our redemption.

 Before the woman at the well could believe this, she had to realize that she needed a Redeemer; she had to understand clearly that because of her sins, she was hopelessly lost. Besides, our Saviour was never content merely to exchange a few pleasantries with people and let them pass on their way. He wanted those whom He met to know the danger threatening their souls, and the eternal safety they could surely find in Him, their Deliverer. Plainly and directly every record of Christ's contact with sinful men cries out to preachers and laymen today: "Don't be ashamed to speak to people of their soul's salvation! Don't hesitate to warn them of hell! Don't ever' fail to hold out the hope of heaven in Jesus!"
 See how the Son of God did this at Jacob's Well! In two short sentences He uncovers that woman's scarlet past. He had never (met) her before; yet He knew her better than she knew herself. Unsparingly He reveals, "thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband:"
 How this must have amazed the woman! How it must stun each of us to realize that in exactly the same way our Lord can read our past! Everyone of us has a past, a record of damning, destructive sin. We may try to forget it, disguise It, excuse it, deny it; but Christ sees it. Just as there is no perfect crime, so there is no secret sin. In your blindness and self-conceit some of you outwardly polished and socially approved people may boast that you have kept your transgressions concealed. Years have passed since you defied the Almighty by shattering His holy Law; you smile in self-satisfaction as you think your tracks well covered, the guilt and consequences of your iniquity either set aside or pushed on someone else, but you are wrong. God sees you! He knows the secrets of your life; and some day, at His appointed time, you will face His judgment and answer for every evil that has ever stained your soul. "Be sure your sin will find you out, "the Holy writ warns. The all-knowing God sees every transgression of His law.

 Suppose our Saviour would meet each person in our country personally and privately as He met that Samaritan woman! How often would He not reveal the same scarlet sins of which she was guilty! As one after the other passed before Him, He would say: "You sinned against God by divorcing your life mate." "You sinned against God by breaking your marriage vows." "You sinned against God by deserting the one to whom you pledged yourself 'until death do you part.' " "You are sinning now, carrying on a secret, sordid affair." "You are sinning against your God and yourself through your evil, destructive habits and vices. You have sinned against God and your fellow man by helping young people fall Into uncleanness, by making money on vice." Thus, in many of us the Saviour would reveal the guilt of the same sin which stained the soul of that Samaritan woman at the well.

 But Christ's penetrating, stronger - than - X - ray vision goes far deeper. He hears even the words we speak and knows the very thoughts and desires in every heart. If you were to stand before Him in this moment, would not He who reads men's minds discover your impure impulses, lustful desires, unholy emotions, sinful covetousness?

 For the salvation of your soul, don't parade your-self as clean and perfect! Scripture warns: "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." Don't try to laugh your transgressions away or even boast of them! If you do, someday they will haunt you until you scream in terror. Don't blame another man or woman for your sin; but confess that it was your fault, that you your-self have deliberately, repeatedly, ungratefully broken the  Almighty's Law! However, wantonly the world may smile at evil, applaud iniquity, pay high prices to witness the contemptuous casting aside of the divine command, "Keep thyself pure", however brazenly best sellers may ridicule chastity, public entertainment question it, the example of the high and wealth show contempt for it; BELIEVE GOD when HIS word tells you in a hundred passages that these sins of the flesh, if unforgiven and unremoved, can send your soul to hell, bar you eternally from heaven!

 It was not easy for Jesus to unveil the purple past of that Samaritan woman; and it is not pleasant for any preacher of His truth to repeat the unsparing verdict of Scripture. "AU have sinned..." and to add, "The wages of sin is death." Yet you cannot measure your need for a Saviour until you see the charges your sins have raised against you, until you believe that the Almighty is so just, holy, and perfect that each transgression of His Law which remains charged against YOU dooms you to eternal death. Be-fore we go on, we want you to be absolutely convinced about this: IF you are to be saved, you must realize that you NEED to be saved, and then confess your sins, every one of them, without limit or excuse, bringing them all before God in real soul repentance'.



 The woman at Jacob's Well admitted her sins. She made no defense, offered no explanation. Stunned by the fact that Jesus had revealed her past, she declared, "Sir, I perceive that Thou art a prophet." Any well-informed person ought similarly to concede that Christ is a Prophet. Read His Word. Learn how long in advance the Saviour accurately predicted one event after another. Whether you accept our Lord as your Saviour or not, you ought to be convinced, merely by reading the New Testament and seeing Christ's imprint on history, that He is heaven's mighty Prophet. This, however, is not enough. The Samaritan woman had to learn more. So, after Jesus had laid her sinful life bare, she began to think of an escape from her guilt. She started to talk religion with the Redeemer. She was eager to find peace and pardon. She wanted to know what she had to do to secure divine favor. So she turned to her Samaritan creed; and that is where the trouble started. She said: "Our fathers worshiped in this mountain; and ye Say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship." She was perplexed, you see, by a man-made religion. The Old Testament directed believers to sacrifice and worship in Jerusalem; but the Samaritans did not accept the whole Old Testament and add the counterfeit claim directing people to worship God on Mount Gerizim, there in Samaria. That, in principle, is the fault with many churches today. If this woman was in a quandary because of the conflicting opinions in two groups or worshipers separated by thirty miles, what would she say today when the Christian creed is taught differently by more than two hundred divisions and subdivisions of denominations, when in the very same city churches, erected by contradictory groups, preach different messages, yet all call themselves Christian? Why this unhappy conflict? Does our Lord want it that way? Never! On the very night of His betrayal He pleaded repeatedly that those who are His might "be one," even as He and the Father "are one," and show this unity before the world. The trouble now, as at the time of our text, is this, that men will not take the whole Bible at full face value and let the Divine word be entirely decisive. They have placed man-made limitations on His love, restrictions on His grace; and the Church, instead of being united in blessed oneness, is split into small, mutually exclusive groups. The hour struck long ago when those who believe in the full, inspired truth of the Bible and in the redemption through God's Son, Jesus Christ should meet In earnest, prolonged study to examine the differences which classify believers into opposing denominations and to learn what Scripture says In final authority. Pray and work for true church unity, not for a hasty agreement to overlook doctrinal differences, but for an earnest delving into Bible truth and a Spirit-filled, complete agreement'.
 "Our fathers worshiped in this mountain," the woman declared; but Jesus shows her that the "'fathers" were wrong. The fact that the "fathers" taught a certain doctrine does not make it right; the only thing that counts is what our Heavenly FATHER wants and what you do. Many "fathers" in the past have mistaken told the masses that if they would get rid of their sins they must do so themselves; they must earn or pay their way into heaven; they must fulfill all God's demands, if necessary by lashing their backs bloody, subjecting their bodies to pain and cruelty, as the fakirs in India, when they lie on beds of sharp spikes or gaze into the white-hot sun until they become blind. This is man's mistaken way to salvation, trying to earn it, buy it, acquire it himself - the worst of delusions, since it contradicts the clear word of Scripture, sets Christ's cross aside, and leaves its victims in endless fear that despite their effort they have failed to get right with the Almighty. The Bible teaches that no man can pay the price required for his redemption. Listen to Micah as he asks: "Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the high God? Shall I come before him with burnt - offerings, with calves of a year old? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? (Micah 6:6, 7) All this, Micah learns, cannot remove our sins. May the Holy Spirit guide you in seeking your redemption to rely not on human opinion, or the "fathers", or man - made mistakes, but on Jesus Christ Himself!

 Suddenly the woman at the well, groping for a solution to her problem, recalled the teaching of Scripture concerning One who was to come and deliver His people from the guilt and curse of their iniquities. Wistfully she exclaimed: "I Know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ. when he is come, he will tell us all thing.." Even the common, uneducated people in those days knew about the coming Conqueror. A n d why not? Scores of passages in the Five Books of Moses, which the Samaritans accepted, and in the entire Old Testament, which they should have believed, pointed in glorious prophecy to a future Deliverer from death. He was to be born into this world, although He was the LORD Himself, and His "name" was (called) "Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace." He was to heal and help His people; and then, by the most magnificent mercy which the Triune God could plan and execute, He was to give Himself as the Atonement for every human sin, the Ransom for mankind's guilt, the Redemption from eternal ruin, the Deliverance from everlasting death. He was to take the sinner's place and in His own body, soul, and mind suffer the punishment, the curse, the agony, each of us had deserved for his sins. He was to complete that redemption, give Himself in full, eternal payment for all our iniquities, so that nothing required for our salvation would be left unfinished, undone. Listen to Isaiah, as in only four of the eleven startling predictions concerning Christ's atoning love -contained in a few verses of his fifty-third glorious chapter -- he declares. "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed."(Isaiah 53:5)

 The picture of this sin-bearing Redeemer came back to the Samaritan woman from the first pages of her Bible where it was promised that He would deliver mankind from the devil; and while she thought vaguely of that marvelous, merciful Messiah, "Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he." This is one of the Bible's crown and climax verses. May it bring you its glorious blessing today! By its promise, our Lord, who is The Truth, tells you, whoever and whatever you are: "(I, who speak to you through Scripture, am the Messiah, that is, the Christ, the Son of God, the Saviour of mankind. I have loved thee with an everlasting love. I was born into this world for you. I was persecuted for you. I was lashed bloody by the scourge of sinful, scornful men, as I paid the punishment for your transgressions. I let the nails of death crush through My hands and feet on Calvary's gory cross, so that I could free you from hell. I died at Calvary for you, suspended between my Father's heaven that forsook Me and men's earth that rejected Me. Because I bought you with this price of blood and the agony of death, you are Mine. You need only believe Me, only trust Me, only rely on My redemption, and you will know that your sins have been wiped out forever, that every charge against you has been canceled, every sentence of guilt retracted, every threat of hell completely defeated.)"

 What, then, must you do to be saved? "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved," Heaven's own truth promises. Here is grace for each one of you, no one excluded. Here in the Gospel is pardon and love for every transgression. In the heavy mail of the past weeks have come many letters from distressed listeners wondering whether Jesus will forgive them. A woman writes me that when her aged mother left her home, slipped, fell, and broke her hip, she scolded her; now, after the mother died as a result of this accident, she asks  whether the Saviour can forgive her. Another mother who feels herself responsible for her child's accidental death, pleadingly seeks to know whether the loving heart of God's Son can receive her. An Arizona woman, victim of a degrading habit, distressed over the vile, blasphemous thoughts that in-voluntarily rise in her mind, asks whether there is any hope of forgiveness for her. Not the "fathers," not human reason, not man - made religion, but the blessed Redeemer, who never can make a mistake, answers you - the Spirit grant that you will believe it that His blood "cleanseth us from all sin." When God says "all" He means "all." The greater your transgressions are, the greater is His grace. Therefore, take your selfish thoughts, your impure words, your evil deeds to the Cross, and leave them there!

 Christ's forgiveness of your sins is full, covering the worst, the lowest, the most vicious sin which depraved men can commit; it is Free, offered you without money or price, although it cost Him His Life. Thank Heaven, it is also sure and certain! Once your sins are washed away in the blood shed for you at Calvary, no one, not even the devil and his legions can bring them back. They are wiped out forever. How different with men! A young sailor, stationed at Treasure Island, San Francisco, made it a point each week to call his family in Saint Louis shortly after this broadcast was finished The fact that both listened to the same message gave them a feeling of closeness though they were separated by many hundreds of miles. One Sunday, lust as he had stepped into the telephone booth, another sailor who has shot and killed a comrade, was seeking to escape from the police. He tried to hide in the very  telephone booth in which our young friend had placed the call to his parents. Within a few moments the police were on the scene, tore open the telephone booth, and found the killer collapsed on the floor at the young man's feet. Thinking that both were involved in the murder, the officers took the two of them and the corpse to headquarters. For hours the innocent young sailor was severely grilled in a third-degree examination. Finally, after he convinced the authorities that he was innocent, they permitted him to return to the naval station. Later the young man checked the official naval records and made sure that no stigma remained attached to his name. However,  the father, an attorney, was not satisfied. He knew that criminal records were transferred to the FBI, so he investigated there. Can you imagine his surprise when he learned that despite all official promises to clear his boy, his son was still listed by the FBI, charged with being implicated in murder. - Jesus never makes a mistake like that. When He says, "Thy sins are forgiven," they are completely, eternally, all - assuredly forgiven; they never need bother you anymore.

 We hope we have made it plain to you that in confessing your sins, following God's word, not man's, and acclaiming Christ, your sin-destroying Saviour, each one of you can have forgiveness, life, salvation, heaven. If you know the Son of God and your faith is living, not dead, you will do what that Samaritan woman did. She ran as quickly as she could to tell the whole town about Jesus, challenging everyone: "Is not this the Christ?" Followers of the Saviour, with the Gospel attacked as it has never before been assailed in this country, open your lips and testify to the hope you have in the message of salvation! Invite others to come to Christ! Bring them, lead them to their best and truest Friend! Enjoy one of the highest happinesses men can ever know, the assurance that with the Holy Spirit's guidance you have helped bring a lost soul home to heaven!
 If you are still without Jesus, be fair enough to do what those Samaritans at Sychar did! They pressed Him to stay with them for two days. Our Lord never turned down an invitation like this, and for two blessed days He taught those outcasts, lowest of the low though they were. As a result, we are told, many believed Him. You see, it does not take long to hear and accept the Saviour's truth. In a relatively short time today's broadcast has given you the promise of the faith that will save you. For your soul's sake, whatever your prejudices against Jesus may be, how ever strong you doubt His power to save to the uttermost, won't you be at least as fair as those Samaritans were and ask the Lord to stay with you until you hear Him explain His own truth in His own words? You have the sacred treasure, the Gospel, in your Bible; and I represent a great Christian movement which wants to send you an instructor in divine truth, to give you any help you may need in coming to the Cross and the faith that can save you. What will you now do with the Son of God?

 You have heard the story of your Redeemer's self - sacrifice for your soul. If you never knew it before, you know it now; and from this moment on you take sides either with Him or against Him Be-fore you do anything else, join the large number of those throughout this country and in many foreign lands who write us that they gave themselves to the Lord during these broadcasts right before their radios! Make this Sunday your spiritual birthday, the date of your rebirth in faith! Give yourself to Him now! Then write us for guidance, direction, instruction, not from man, not from the "fathers," hut from Christ, and we will thankfully send you everything you will need to know the whole plan of your salvation with the joy, the power, the blessing it always brings. "Come thou with us," we promise, "and we will do thee good." "Come unto Me," Jesus pledges, and you will be saved. The Holy Spirit grant that from the North and South, the East and West, multitudes will now answer: "Just as I am... O Lamb of God, I come, I come!" Amen!

This Lutheran Hour  sermon was taken from "Global Broadcasts Of His Grace," Copyright 1949, Concordia Publishing house. Used by Permission.
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