Is a "Believer" Saved?
7When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, "Will you give me a drink?" 8(His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) 9The Samaritan woman said to him, "You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?" (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.) 10Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water." …
13 Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." … 25The woman said, "I know that Messiah" (called Christ) "is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us." 26Then Jesus declared, "I who speak to you am he." …
Jesus tells this woman what sin she has committed. He says he can give her living water if she asks. Does he tell her she must turn over a new leaf in order to receive the living water? No. He doesn’t even tell her that she must put the man out of her house that is not her husband. He simply tells her that she can ask and she will get this “water” that will quench her thirst – she will never have to seek for this water again. He then explains that the water is eternal life.
28Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29"Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?"
John doesn’t say that she was converted. He doesn’t say that she went about preaching that Christ was offering eternal life. She told the townsfolk of her amazing encounter, including Christ’s miraculous knowledge of her living situation, and then, she asked a question: “Could this be the Christ?”
30They came out of the town and made their way toward him. … 39Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony, "He told me everything I ever did." 40So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. 41And because of his words many more became believers. 42They said to the woman, "We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world."
This is quite amazing. The woman told the people about a conversation with a very unusual and giftedly insightful man, asked them a question, and then the conversion of many people happened. Verse 42 says that they heard him for themselves and they knew that He is the savior of the world. Verse 41 says they “became believers.” Are these people saved? Does the phrase “became believers” connote salvation? Are these "believers" recipients of eternal life? Are they set to escape condemnation? I have always assumed so. However, they didn’t have time to prove repentance. John doesn’t say they did anything, except hear ... and “become believers.” Are these people any better off than the demons of James 2:19?