The disciples of John the Baptist came to him and reported that (John 3:26) "all are coming to Him [Jesus]." The comments by the disciples imply that they were unhappy with this. John the Baptist used the occasion to exalt Christ and to once again clarify that he was not the Christ. The Baptist declared (John 2:30), "He [Jesus] must increase, but I must decrease." This event gave rise to the words of our text. Following are some key thoughts from this passage.
One: Exalt the Supreme Christ!
The thrust of the text is that Jesus is above all others. He is the Savior of the world. The passage explains why the Baptist must decrease, but Jesus' ministry will increase. John the Baptist was the forerunner of Christ, but Jesus came to bring the full truth to the people.
Given the supremacy of Christ, our proper response is to believe in Him and to worship Him. It is precisely the supremacy of Christ that the world is so reluctant to acknowledge. The world now, as in the time of Christ, wants to make Him "one of" the prophets and not the unique Son of God.
Two: Set Your Seal that God is True!
John the Baptist, as well as others, received the testimony of Christ. All who receive Christ's testimony set their seal that God is true. Ultimately, it is God Himself (John 6:27) who puts His seal upon Christ, but the one who received Christ's testimony also bears witness. Believe and set your seal today!
The believer sets his seal, or attests, that God is true. The one who accepts the witness of Jesus declares that Jesus speaks the Word of God. To reject the testimony of Christ is to declare that God is a liar. The believer's seal is best seen in his transformed life. This transformation demonstrates in life who Christ is, what He has said, and what He has done.
Three: Receive the Spirit Given by Christ!
The text can mean that God gives the Spirit to Christ without measure or that Jesus gives the Spirit to believers without measure. The former meaning seems to fit the context best. Certainly, God gives the Spirit without limit to the Son. Thus, what the Son speaks is truth without flaws.
We know that Jesus, in turn, gives the Spirit to believers. We should continue to receive the abundance of the Spirit that He pours out upon us. None of us has the Spirit in the same way as the Son, but the Son's outpouring upon us is abundant. The Spirit gives to each of us a gift or gifts for service to the body of Christ.
Four: Declare the Truth to Others
In verses 35-36 we read: "The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hand. He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."
These verses point to Christ as the way of salvation. The believer receives eternal life; the unbeliever is subject to God's wrath. This is the message that we must declare. We must be uncompromising in our declaration of the truth.
Christ is above all; we must worship Him. When you believe in Christ, you set your seal that God is true! You acknowledge that what Christ says is truth. You put your faith in the One whom God has given the Spirit without measure. Then, in turn, Jesus pours out the Spirit upon you abundantly. Then, you go forth to declare the uncompromising truth concerning salvation through Christ.
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