Rawlings School of Divinity
Doctor of Philosophy
Richard Alan Fuhr, Jr.
Living Water, Holy Spirit, Baptism, Regeneration, Renewal, Born-again
Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion
Panicker, John, "Living Water: A Hermeneutical and Exegetical Approach" (2023). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 4366.
Throughout Scripture, God refers to people, objects, words, and other things of the universe to help man understand him. In the New Testament, Christ used parables, metaphors, and signs to reveal himself and his salvation plan. The crown jewel among these symbols is the living water, symbolizing the Holy Spirit who is the ultimate source of salvation. God did not impose death on man, but man chose death over life by disobeying God’s command not to eat from the tree of the “knowledge of good and evil.” He decided to accept Satan’s seduction and counsel and willfully transgressed against his creator God. The encoded and conceded consequence is “in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Gen 2:17). Thus, death entered the world, and all became dead in sin. Man, who does not possess the power to resurrect himself from death and give new life, needs the grace of God to regenerate and be renewed to inherit the kingdom of God. In his lovingkindness and mercy, God bestowed the grace of the Holy Spirit, called the living water, along with the source of grace, the Holy Spirit. Thus the born-again status was received “by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5). This is the work of God’s grace. This regeneration and renewal takes away the fallen state, as described in Titus 3:3. It is the gift of the Holy Spirit in the new birth, “born again” of the Spirit (John 3:5). The Holy Spirit is revealed as the agent who performs an amazing change in the renewed person, the instantaneous change which takes place at conversion.