He must increase
He must be first
He must become greater
He must grow more prominent
He must become more important
HE MUST INCREASE, but I must decrease (John 3:30 NIV)
HE MUST BECOME GREATER; I must become less. – (John 3:30 NIV)
HE MUST GROW MORE PROMINENT; I must grow less so. John 3:30 AMP
HE MUST BECOME MORE IMPORTANT while I become less important.” John 3:30 TEV
From this Scripture we learn many important things which relate to the Christian’s every day living.
In many different practical ways Christ wants to be first in the life of the believer.
- Christ – First in our affections.
- Christ – First in our hopes and aspirations.
- Christ – First in our plans and programs that the believer seeks to engage in.
The first lesson:
JESUS BEING FIRST – THE CENTER
JESUS IS TO BE FIRST – Above and Before All other things He is to have the ‘Pre-Eminence’ in all things
“He also is the Head of [His] body, the church; seeing He is the Beginning, the Firstborn from among the dead, so that He alone in everything and in every respect might occupy the chief place [stand first and be preeminent. Col 1:18 AMP
“And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist” Col 1:17 NKJV
1. IN OUR PROMOTION!
- IN THE PROMOTION OF CHRIST there must also be a commensurate lessoning of the promotion and presentation of our own selves.
2. IN OUR THINKING LIFE!
- JESUS CHRIST MUST TAKE ON AN IMPORTANCE IN THE THINKING LIFE of God’s people so that He is
- looked to,
- turned to,
- and sought after; – (first – before all else).
3. AS OUR FOCAL POINT
- HE MUST BE THE FOCAL POINT for all those who claim him as Lord and Saviour. – (so many loose sight of this fact and then wonder why they enter into many difficulties and sorrow of soul)
4. IN INTERPRETING EVENTS!
- JESUS MUST TAKE THE FIRST PLACE IN OUR INTERPRETING of EVENTS and HAPPENINGS that we go through. – Such events should not be solely viewed in natural terms and with natural explanations. Where is Christ in all these things?
(This is why many loose their way and tend to see “man” and evaluate such events on a mere human level and miss the Spiritual content of them (Jesus).
5. PROMOTION AS THE ONLY HOPE!
- GOD’S PEOPLE MUST BE SET FOR THE PROMOTION OF CHRIST JESUS as the hope of all mankind. (This must be practiced in the lives of ourselves and our families etc)
6. OUR SERVICE IS TO HIM!
- JESUS IS THE ONE TO WHOM WE ARE TO RENDER OUR SERVICE. (Many seem to ‘loose’ God in their perspective of things particularly when man or organisation has disappointed them)
(”Serving the Lord with all humility in tears and in the midst of adversity (affliction and trials) which befell me, due to the plots of the Jews [against me]”) Acts 20:19 AMP
7. THE ONE TO ‘TURN’ TO!
- HE IS TO BE SET FORTH BEFORE GOD’S PEOPLE as the one in whom they are to go to in the hour of need.
8. THE ONE WE ‘LOOK’ FOR!
- HE IS THE ONE TO WHOM THEY MUST “LOOK TO” FOR HEALING, AND HEALTH AND HELP. (not to the evangelist or preacher alone)
9. IN OUR COUNSELLING!
- IN OUR GIVING COUNSEL AND ADVICE to people God’s people should always point them towards Christ Jesus.
- Christ must be presented as a significant part of the solution in the application of counsel and advice given.
10. IN OUR PREACHING! – The Cross, the Christ, the Centre and the demands of God
- IN OUR PREACHING & TEACHING CHRIST SHOULD BE CENTRAL TO THE MESSAGE.
- CHRIST should always be EXALTED.
- THERE SHOULD ALWAYS BE A GOOD CONTENT OF THE CROSS in our presentation of the Word of God, both to the sinner and the saint.
- OUR MESSAGE should be CHRIST CENTRED.
- TO PRESENT GOD’S DEMANDS!
- IN THE PRESENTATION OF THE GOSPEL SHOULD ALWAYS BRING IN VIEW GOD’S DEMANDS ON MAN AND MAN’S RESPONSIBILITY TO GOD.
- Coming to Christ is not doing God a favour.
- It is not coming to Christ to be blessed and to receive.
- It is because GOD HAS COMMANDED MAN to repent and believe. – Acts 17:30 NIV
GOD HAS SET FORTH CHRIST AS THE FULLNESS OF DIVINITY
For it has pleased [the Father] that all the divine fullness (the sum total of the divine perfection, powers, and attributes) should dwell in Him permanently. Col 1:19 AMP
GOD HAS SET FORTH CHRIST AS THE SUM TOTAL OF ALL THINGS THAT WE SEE (Creation)
GOD EXPECTS THAT HE WILL BE LOVED FIRST BEFORE ANY HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS
“Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; Matt 10:37 NIV
GOD STATES THAT DISCIPLESHIP DEMANDS OBEDIENCE TO GOD FIRST BEFORE OTHERS.
“Whoever comes to me cannot be my disciple unless he loves me more than he loves his father and his mother, his wife and his children, his brothers and his sisters, and himself as well. Luke 14:26 TEV
GOD IN CHRIST WAS HIS MEANS OF REDEEMING ALL MANKIND
That is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 2 Cor 5:19 NKJV
GOD DEMANDS THAT ALL MUST HONOR HIS SON – CHRIST JESUS
Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him. John 5:22-23 NIV
CHRIST IS THE HEAD OF THE NEW CREATION MAN
So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 1 Cor 15:45 NIV
CHRIST IS GOD’S MAN FOR HIS REDEMPTIVE PURPOSES IN THE EARTH
GOD WILL DO NOTHING FOR MAN OUTSIDE THIS MAN’S REDEMPTIVE WORK ON THE CROSS.