There is nothing like a glass of ice-cold, crystal clear water. It’s one of the most valuable privileges we have in this life. For the residents in Kanawha County in West Virginia, this privilege was lost. A few years ago, residents began reporting a foul odor in the air. Investigators soon discovered that a 48,000-gallon tank of chemicals had been leaking into the Elk River, which is the source of water for about 300,000 residents. Before they could send a warning about the poisonous water, 1,000 calls had already been placed to 911.
Pure water is so valuable. When this is taken away, it’s devastating. The same is true spiritually. The only pure spiritual water comes to us from Jesus (John 6:35). The problem is, some have added different ingredients to Jesus’ life-saving water, making it corrupt.
Some add mud to the clear water. Scripture is extremely clear on matters of worship, church organization, moral guidelines, and salvation. Over time, people have slapped their muddy opinions into Jesus’ pure water. Let’s remember that the Lord isn’t a God of confusion, but of peace (1 Corinthians 14:33). He has made things clear, and we have muddied things up. Let’s look to the pure words of Scripture for the answers.
Some add sweeteners to the water. Everyone likes a warm, fuzzy, feel-good message. This is why our society has adopted mottos like, “everyone’s right,” “do whatever makes you happy,” “let’s all just get along,” and “don’t judge.” There is no sweeter message, no words that tickle the ears more, than ones that give us permission to do anything and everything our hearts desire (2 Timothy 4:3). The hard truth is, there is a right and wrong way (John 14:6), and we will be held accountable for everything we do by the Bible’s rules, not society’s (John 12:48; Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).
Some add poison to the water. These poisons come in the form of half-truths, one-verse theologies, and the blatant ignoring of God’s commands. It has tainted Jesus’ life-saving water. There is nothing worse than taking Jesus’ life-saving water and turning it into a life-taking elixir.
The pure water of the Word is the most valuable resource in life. May we never be guilty of changing what God has set in place. Let’s close with an important reminder from Paul about those who try to “change the water.”
“I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!” (Galatians 1:6-9).