The search for a Fountain of Youth has been the subject of lore since as early as the 5th Century B.C. in the writings of the Greek historian Herodotus; during the time of Alexander the Great in the 3rd Century A.D; and even the Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon in the 16th Century as he explored the New World and the coast of Florida. Although no such fountain has ever been found, Jesus did speak during His earthly ministry of a Fountain of Living Water “springing up into everlasting life,” (John 4:14).
As Jesus waited at Jacob’s well on His journey through Samaria while His disciples went into the city to buy food, Jesus spoke with a Samaritan woman who had come to draw water, asking her for a drink of the water. As their conversation progressed Jesus offered her “Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst.” The woman, thinking Jesus was speaking of physical water, requested, “Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw,” (John 4:5-15).
As Jesus continued on in His earthly ministry He shared with the Jewish people on the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem, “If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink. He that believeth on Me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of Living Water,” (John 7:37-38). The Prophet Jeremiah had written 500 years earlier just before the Jewish people were taken captive to Babylon, “O LORD, the Hope of Israel, all that forsake Thee shall be ashamed… because they have forsaken The LORD, the Fountain of Living Waters,” (Jeremiah 17:13).
Just as the Samaritan woman looked for a fountain of water that would cause her not to have to make daily trips to Jacob’s well, before understanding Jesus was speaking of spiritual water that leads to eternal life, those who seek after a fountain of youth will only find fulfillment and Everlasting Life in CHRIST, the Fountain of Living Water.
In Paul’s letter to the churches of Galatia in Asia Minor, churches he previously had visited on his missionary journeys, Paul addressed those in their midst who were attempting to pervert the Gospel of Christ (Galatians 1:7). There were those who were coming into the churches and telling those who had put their complete faith in Christ’s death, burial and resurrection for salvation as Paul had preached, that in addition they needed to be circumcised for complete salvation. In Galatians chapter five Paul adamantly disputes the notion anything needs to be added to Christ’s sacrifice for salvation.
Paul admonished the Galatian Christians to “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage” (5:1). Paul wrote that if anything is added to God’s free gift of salvation, “Christ shall profit you nothing” (5:2). Paul declared those who agree to the need for circumcision in addition to faith in Christ for salvation place themselves back under the Law, and “Christ becomes of no effect unto you,” (5:3-4). Earlier in Paul’s letter he had written to the Galatians, “By the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified,” (2:16). Jesus said during His Sermon on the Mount, “Think not that I am come to destroy the Law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil,” (Matthew 5:17). Christ fulfilled through His death, burial and resurrection all that is needed for man’s salvation.
There are those who promote, in addition to faith in Christ, the need to immediately be baptized to wash away sin or the need to do good works in order to obtain forgiveness of sin and salvation in Christ. Just as with those in Paul’s day calling for circumcision to be added for salvation, Paul emphasized, “For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love,” GOD’s love: AGAPE love (Galatians 5:6). The attempt to obtain salvation by any other means but through faith in Christ Alone is a false salvation. Paul calls it “another gospel: which is not another,” and gives this proclamation, “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed,” and to emphasize the importance of his point he immediately repeats, “As we said before, so say I now again, If any preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed,” (Galatians 1:8-9).