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Let’s pray. Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets. But in these last days, He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed the heir of all things, through whom also He created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature, and He upholds the universe by the word of His power. After making purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name He has inherited is more excellent than theirs. Oh, Father, speak to us now about your Son, speak to us through your Son, speak to us that we might know and trust in your Son, that we might decrease and He might increase. We pray in His name. Amen.
I invite you to turn in your Bibles to John chapter 3 as we continue our series through the Gospel of John. Coming to the end of chapter 3, verses 31 through 36. John chapter 3, verses 31 through 36. This is page 888 in the pew Bibles.
“He who comes from above is above all. He who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks in an earthly way. He who comes from heaven is above all. He bears witness to what He has seen and heard, yet no one receives His testimony. Whoever receives His testimony sets His seal to this, that God is true. For He whom God has sent utters the words of God, for He gives the Spirit without measure. The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hand. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.”
It’s been several weeks since we’ve been in John’s Gospel together, and you’ll note that we left off from verse 30, that short famous verse of John the Baptist, “He must increase” John says about Christ, “but I must decrease.” It’s a great verse. It’s one of my favorite verses, hope it’s one of your favorite verses. Many of you have it memorized, it’s short, it’s sweet, it’s one of the most necessary verses for living the Christian life. It’s one of those great verses on humility. Who doesn’t love a great verse on humility, for other people? [laughter] It’s a wonderful verse you’d like your children or your spouse to memorize.
But it is more than a sentiment in general about humility. It’s not just a statement that you shouldn’t be proud or you should be humble, it is a statement about inverse exultation. We go down, Christ goes up. Christ goes up, we go down. That’s the way it’s supposed to work. There’s a famous saying about the task of the preacher, that no man preaching can both make himself look clever and Christ look mighty to save. I must decrease, Christ must increase. It’s the rule of inverse exultation.
You remember what it’s like to ride on the seesaw, on the teeter-totter. Many, many tailbones have been severely bruised in that exercise, because you get some, some bigger-than-you friend who’s sitting there loading down the bottom and then in a moment of spontaneous standing, jumps up and runs away and you go slamming down. You know how the teeter-totter works. You push up and down and up and down and yes, you can try to maintain perfect equilibrium right in the middle, but sooner or later, someone’s going up, someone’s going down. That’s how it works. You, you have to be in one place or the other.
And so it is with this principle of inverse exultation, that as you are on this spiritual teeter-totter, seesaw, with Christ, you either say “Christ, go up, I’ll go down,” or you, probably don’t say it but in your heart you feel like it, not so subtly, “Christ, I’m glad to have you on the teeter-totter, I love to be playing at recess with you, you’re a friend of mine, I just want you to understand that I’m going to be up and you’re going to be down.”
John the Baptist gives us the prayer that we all ought to pray. He must increase, I must decrease. It’s a great verse, it’s a great thought, but have you ever stopped to think why? Why should we decrease and Christ increase? I mean, it’s not a true principle across the board that you can say about everyone else. Christ can say it about Himself; you can’t say it. I mean, you know, an older sister might want to say it to her younger sister in the reverse, “hey, you must decrease, I must increase.” Yeah, a jerky husband might want to say it to his wife, a boss might think about it relative to his subordinates. Someone might even think it to themselves about someone else from another class or race, you know, you exist that I might be lifted up, that you might be lowered.
Isn’t it amazing how easy it is for all of us to live life as if we were the center of the story, and the best actor in the motion picture of the history of the world goes to. And the best supporting actor, as well, and maybe the key grip and the dolly grip and the screenwriter, and most of the, you know, Jesus can get a, you know, something. We live our lives thinking that we’re the point of it all, that we’re the center of it all. Isn’t it easy?
Everyone on the road exists for you to get where you need to go in a timely fashion. That’s what I think. That’s why they exist. And the people that are dilly-dallying at the left turn, they got whatever, you know, we take my kids to school and come to work here down 51, you know you got that, that double left turn that’s going here so you can get the shortcut into church. I don’t know how many times we’ve been coming down and I see cars in front of me and I start saying “you’ve gotta want it [laughter], you’ve gotta want it.” And I see some of my pastors sometimes, the Petersons or the Baxters, and I can tell you, they want it. [laughter] And I’m thankful for that. I think “no, you, you are on the road either getting in my way or helping me not be tardy again.”
We live our lives thinking that. People who are serving us. I was getting my family some food at Panera and they were out of macaroni and cheese and as much as I try to remind myself I’m a pastor, I’m a godly person, when the manager comes out and says “sir, I’m so sorry, we don’t have any macaroni and cheese,” my countenance is, is like we’re out of rations for the month, you’ll have to starve, I just, really? Did we have a… What? How is this humanly possible? This is what you do. I just feel in that instance, no, you exist for me! How dare you make me, my children, now eat soup when they wanted macaroni and cheese? You must decrease, I must increase. That’s what we think.
Have you ever thought why, why does John say Christ must increase? Verse 31 through verse 36 give the answer. They provide the theological summary and the justification for John’s statement in verses 27 through 30. What we see here, as one commentator puts it, is the surpassing significance of Jesus Christ as the one sent from God. So John doesn’t just leave us with “hey, that’s the principle, Jesus up, you down.” He gives us reasons why we must be at the bottom and Christ must be at the top.
Four reasons Jesus deserves to be at the top of the exultation teeter-totter.
Number one. Because of where He comes from, because of where He comes from. You look at verse 31: He comes from above. Or later, just a parallel statement at the end of the verse, He comes from heaven. And you contrast that with what is in the middle, he who was of the earth belongs to the earth. So John the Baptist was of the earth, and John is representative of humanity, speaks for all of us. We are of the earth, Jesus, the Son of God, is of heaven. There are really only two places you can be from. You can be from heaven, or you can be from earth.
Now most of us are proud and rightly so, maybe proud of where we’re from. And you may think where you’re from is pretty impressive. Have you met people who feel really, like where they’re from is very, very special? They’re called Texans. [laughter] It used to be its own country, I’m told. No, but you’re, you know, you’re proud to be from North Carolina. When we moved here and people wanted to tell us about all the great things about the mountains, just you know, a little, they’re a couple hours away and you go in the opposite direction and you get the beaches and you get the ocean. Have you tried the Cheerwine? We have everything here. You all have things to be proud of.
So I grew up in Michigan and I remember when I was in seminary I had a friend who was from Minnesota and we got into a spirited discussion about how many lakes were in our states because Minnesota is the “land of 10,000 lakes” and I was trying to tell him actually Michigan also has 10,000 lakes, we just don’t have to brag about it, but we do have 10,000 lakes. We got into a point, he was arguing that Minnesota has so many lakes it actually has more shoreline than Michigan. I said have you seen the glove? It’s all water around it. So sure enough I found a Trivial Pursuit card that said which Great Lakes state has more shoreline than the entire Atlantic seaboard. It was Michigan. I framed it. [laughter] I got it in my office. You can see it. I wanted my friend from Minnesota to understand.
You’re proud from where you’re from, some of you, your neighborhood, your city, your region. You’re from New England or you’re a southerner or you’re from the Pacific Northwest. Or your heritage. Hispanic, Scottish, German, Irish, or Korean American or African American. Or you’re from the Netherlands. As you all know, “if you ain’t Dutch, you ain’t much.” [laughter] Yeah, we get it. You sing the song “I’m Proud to be an American.” I mean, I hear that song and, you know, it’s kind of cheesy but I start tearing up, I say “yes!”
That’s fine, that’s great to have some sense of where you’re from and your heritage and your history, just so long as we keep this in mind: We’re all from earth, not heaven. We love to celebrate diversity, and done the right way, it can be a good thing to celebrate diversity, but there is a diversity that we don’t have: None of us come from heaven.
Jesus came from heaven. Where you are from shapes how you think, how you talk, how you dress. If you grew up with grits, you love grits. If you didn’t, you’re curious what they are. It shapes how you speak, an accent, a dress, a tie. My house growing up had Dutch plates, it had blue delft on the walls, it had wooden shoes on the fireplace, where, where our ancestors were from still shaped us centuries later, and many of you have the same sort of tie to your ancestors.
Don’t forget, you and I are still shaped by our first ancestor: Adam. His sin, his guilt, his corruption. You can’t escape it. That’s why Jesus told Nicodemus “you must be born again.” That’s why He said to all of us “you must be born again.” Because you can’t escape your family ties.
Some of you would love for everyone to know the family that you’re a part of, all the heroes, and some of you would rather bury it. We all actually come from the same family. We all have the same ancestor. We all come from that same couple, Adam and Eve, which means we’re all born of this earth, inheriting from them guilt and corruption and sin, but Christ came from above. He did not need to be born from above, because that was His natural habitat. Spoke of His authority, His magnificence, and His power.
You see what it says here in our text: “He who comes from heaven,” end of verse 31, “is above all.” All. Do you believe that? I mean, do you really believe that? Truth be told, many of us believe Jesus is above most. Now we say all, but we mean most. Is He above your kids? Is He above their soccer and baseball schedules? Is He above your finances? Many of you say “Jesus, you’re above all, as long as it doesn’t mean that I don’t get what I want.” Is Jesus above your desires? Above your sense of right and wrong? He who is from above is above all. If He’s above all, of course He must increase, we must decrease. He’s from heaven, we’re from the earth. Where He comes from.
Here’s the second point why Jesus must be at the top of the exultation teeter-totter: Because of what he speaks. You see verse 32, 33, end of verse 34. We read that Jesus bears witness, verse 32, bears witness to what He has seen and heard. Remember, He comes from heaven. He can speak with supreme authority on heavenly matters. He’s been there, He’s lived there, He created whatever there is there. You read later that he utters words of God, verse 34, for He whom God has sent utters the words of God. That’s His natural habitat, heaven. He speaks, He utters, words of God. Of course He can speak of heavenly things, because that’s where He’s from. Why shouldn’t we listen to Him?
You know, we, we have seen in the last 10, 20 years a number of runaway best-sellers about people who supposedly die and go to heaven and come back. I wonder if some of you have loved those books. Let me be so bold as to say you probably shouldn’t. People give so much credence to stories of people dying, going to heaven. You remember, there is one place in the Gospels, it wasn’t a death, into heaven and come back to tell about it, but you remember the Apostle Paul said I knew a man once who was caught up into the heavens, and he was so over-awed about it he didn’t even want to speak about it. He didn’t even mention his name. He was caught up in some sort of vision of the heavenly places. Didn’t come down to write a book about it. And many, some of the most famous stories have been shown to be outright fabrications. And people will say, and perhaps with good intentions, will say “but, but, we need to listen to this 6-year-old boy. He went to heaven. How could we not listen to him?” Christians will devour the book and devour the movie and buy the journals and get the matching his and her heavenly towels and all of the paraphernalia. “But he went to heaven!”
All the while, a book sits on their shelves, collecting dust, with a voice from heaven about a man who came from heaven. This Christ comes from heaven and so He can bear witness to what he has seen and heard. So we don’t need to look for stories, fabricated or otherwise, of little boys and girls who have gone to heaven and come back to tell us what it’s like. We will have no authority greater than this one. And if we cannot believe and trust this authority, why would we trust another? He speaks what He sees, what He knows, what He has heard, and yet no one receives His testimony, verse 32.
Many people are so instep with the thinking and the assumptions of the earth that they cannot accept this message. Oh, they will accept other messages. They will accept whatever is trending on Twitter, whatever has likes on Facebook. They will accept whatever they see put before them in the movie screen, but they will not accept this message, because as a whole, the world is not interested in the truth that Jesus came to bring. Are you interested in the truth that Jesus came to bring? I didn’t just say are you interested in Jesus, people have a lot of interest in Jesus. You may have a lot of interest in Jesus, you’re very curious about Him. You notice always this time of year you’ll go to the magazine racks at the checkout line and there’s going to be all sorts of issues about Jesus, and did the resurrection happen, and this sort of thing about His mother or His family. And they put them out every year around Easter. Why? Because they sell. Because people want to buy them. And perhaps they have good theology, perhaps they have bad, and maybe you learn something, maybe you don’t. People are always interested in Jesus.
Are you really interested to accept all that Jesus said and did and taught? We are only in chapter 3 and already Jesus has had some very hard things to say. He says in verse 3, “truly, truly I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Verse 5, “truly, truly I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” Verse 19, and this is the judgment, the light has come into the world, people love the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. Jesus has already said some very hard things.
We like to think, oh, the kingdom, I love the kingdom, we’re all going to be in the kingdom and the kingdom is growing and we love and we serve and do so social justice and we do our part, and we’re all in the kingdom. It’s great.
And anytime a beloved one dies, we talk about they’re in a better place, they’re looking down upon us and they’re cheering for our favorite sports team and they’re doing all these sort of sentimental things. Jesus says, rather starkly, “Unless you are born again, unless you are born of water and Spirit, you will not enter the kingdom.”
Now that’s not the Jesus that people like. We don’t want anyone getting in our business. We like the sentimentality of Christmas. We like the pageantry of Easter. But we don’t want Jesus interrupting our lives, telling us what to do, and we don’t like the idea that we need a savior. We need a helper, maybe, we need a friend, we need a comforter, we need someone to come alongside and help us when we’re having a bad stretch, but a savior, because we are sinners and we cannot save ourselves.
Calvin says we cannot offer to Him a greater insult than not to believe the Gospel, and says no one receives His testimony.
Now it goes on, in verse 33, to say “whoever receives His testimony,” so clearly the “no one” in verse 32 is not to be taken absolutely; it’s a comparative or a relative statement, as a whole the world does not receive Jesus. So it’s not a 0.0%, it’s saying in its totality, the world has rejected Christ and His message. But verse 33 tells us “whoever receives His testimony sets His seal.” You know what a seal was in the ancient world, it was that hot piece of wax that you would affix to an official document and the king or the magistrate would then put his signet ring in there and he would seal it, to mark it has having been in his possession or having his authority. A seal was to confirm, to validate. When you receive what Jesus says, you confirm, you validate this, that God is true. You declare God is true. So you’re affirming Jesus is of heavenly origin and the truth of God’s revelation in Christ.
One commentator puts it this way: Jesus so completely says and does all that God says and does and only what God says and does, that to believe Jesus is to believe God. In other words, the truthfulness of God is bound up in the truthfulness of the Son that He sent. That, that’s how closely, how intimately the two are one. John can say if you want to hear from God, pay attention to Jesus. Who doesn’t want to hear from God? You want to know what God wants you to do in your life? You want to hear something? You want to be given a word of encouragement? You want to hear from God, if God would just say something to me. This is how you hear from God: You pay attention to His Son. When you hear what He has said, and you receive what He has said, and you say “Jesus, I believe you,” you’re testifying that God Himself is true.
So Jesus must increase because of where He comes from, because of what He speaks, and then third, look at verse 35, because of what He has been given. What He has been given. Verse 35 begins by saying the Father loves the Son, God sent the One that He loved and He loves the One that He sent. There will be much more in John’s Gospel in the chapters ahead about the inner workings of the trinity. For now, just let it sink it, this simple, profound statement: The Father loves the Son. And you say, well, big deal, He loves all of us. Yes, but this is a unique, intra-trinitarian love. Remember, this is His only begotten Son. His Son from all eternity. His beloved Son. The One who bears the exact imprint of His nature. The One by whom the entire universe is upheld and sustained. This Son.
Friends, would you ignore the one that the Father loves? How will you stand before God on that day and explain to Him why you thought so little of His Son?
I’m sure teachers or coaches here could tell you some stories of parents who are, they so love their son or their daughter, they almost feel like they cannot do anything wrong. If they didn’t get an A, it’s your fault. If they’re not playing in the game, it’s your fault. And you have to deal with irate fathers. Well, we’re very imperfect fathers.
This is the perfect Father. And His Son did nothing wrong. His Son is the perfect Son. You do not have any perfect sons, I do not have any perfect sons. The Father has a perfect Son. His beloved Son, His only Son. He sent Him into the world and just like Jesus would tell in the parables, they treated the son just like they treated the hired hands, just like they treated the prophets before him, they persecuted him and they put him to death.
What will you say when you stand before God the Father and have to give an account for how you treated His Son? Well, you say “I was, I didn’t have anything against your Son. I kind of liked your Son. I sometimes went to church and sang songs about your Son.” The Father will say “did you truly follow my beloved Son?”
God is not looking for fans, he’s looking for disciples. It’s very easy to be a fan. Many of you are going to watching on your phones or on TV all the March Madness in the next we weeks and even casually interested people will fill out brackets. They’ll become basketball fans. It’s easy to be a fan of a sporting event for a few weeks.
Jesus is not looking for fans. “Hey, I like you. I’ve got the foam finger Jesus, yeahhh. I sing some songs. I’m on team Jesus.” He wants disciples.
The Father loves the Son. And when you love, you give. When you love, you give. Isn’t that true? Christmas, you give. Anniversaries, you give. Birthdays. If you love missions, you give to missions. You love the church, you give to the church. If you love God, you give back to God. You give of your time. You give of your children sometime. You give. If you love, you give.
And so the Father loves the Son, and look at what He has given to the Son. Verse 35, He has given all things into His hands, that’s a big gift. And more exacting, in verse 34, He gives the Spirit without measure. The Father gives to the Son the Spirit without measure, meaning there is no limit to the gift of the Spirit that He endowed the Son with in His earthly ministry. Perfect endowment of the Holy Spirit.
So you get a picture of this Christ, the heavenly one, the beloved Son, who speaks the words of God. Who has the fullness of the Spirit’s endowment. And you add to that everything that we’ve seen already in this chapter, that He is a teacher, a rabbi, a miracle worker, He is the one lifted high in the wilderness that all might look upon him and be saved. When you understand where He’s from and what He speaks and what He’s been given, of course we must decrease and He must increase.
And there’s one more point: We must also consider what is at stake. Look at verse 36. Some of you don’t like verse 36. Some of you have friends or family members who don’t like verse 36. Some of us can go our whole life even trying to be good Christians and act as if verse 36 and others like it don’t exist. Sometimes you’ll hear Christians talk and they’ll say “well, the God that I worship” and then they’ll go on to talk as if John 3:36 isn’t in the Bible, they’ve made up a God that they worship. “The God I worship wouldn’t be angry with sin. The God I worship wouldn’t punish people for sin. The God I worship is just giving everybody a great big hug.”
Well, look at verse 36. “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life but the wrath of God remains on him.” This is a fitting climax to the entire chapter. Remember chapter 3, it came after chapter 2, this whole business with Nicodemus, came on the heels of the end chapter 2. Turn back there, verse 23, chapter 2, “when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover feast, many believed in His name when they saw the signs that He was doing, but Jesus on His part did not entrust Himself to them because He knew all people.” That word in verse 23, “believed,” same Greek word translated in verse 24 “entrust.” So they “believed in Jesus,” believed in Jesus and Jesus did not believe in them. Why? Because He knew them. He could see inside them. He this was not real faith, this was not lasting faith, this was not saving faith. This was “hey, I want to be a part of the show. Hey, mom and dad want me to be here. Hey, he does miracles, that’s cool. Hey, everybody else is for Jesus, I’m for Jesus.” That was their “faith.” They believed Jesus and Jesus said “I don’t believe you. I’m not impressed.” Verse 25, “He needed no one to bear witness about man before He Himself knew what was in man.”
It was on the heels of, of that experience that we moved into chapter 3, because Nicodemus was that man, that man who said “I like Jesus, I’m pro Jesus, I’ve got a lot of true things that I can see about Jesus,” but he was not born again. And so we see this dividing line, and we see the point of the whole book brought back to us again and again, “Do you believe? Do you really believe?”
The Reformers often talked about saving faith having three parts: Knowledge, assent, and trust. There’s Latin words, because Latin words are always cool: Notia, assensus, fiducia. Saving faith has knowledge, you know true things. The devil knows true things. But you need to have that, it’s not less than knowledge. But it’s also assent, they said. Assent means “okay, not just do I know something, but I assent to it and I say yeah, I know that and it’s true. I know that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. Yep, I’ve heard that, I know it, and I don’t deny it. Sure, I assent to that. I can affirm that that’s a true statement.” But they said faith has another step, it’s not just knowledge and assent, it’s also fiduciary. Some of you work in the banking industry, you know this term, it has to do with trust. It’s not enough to say “well, I know something true about God and I see true things in the Bible, and sure, I’m willing to say that this is the Word of God and I believe true things about Jesus, I assent to it.” Do you have a trust? Have you entrusted yourself to this Christ? Have you received this Christ? Not just as a point in a mental checklist of doctrines, but as your Savior, as your Lord, as your trust, as your treasure.
Many of us are so familiar with believing in Jesus that we scarcely think about what it means if we do and if we don’t. You notice in John 3:36, Christ is the fork in the road for everyone in history. This is what the Bible teaches and this is the audacious claim that Jesus makes for Himself. It’s audacious. You cannot say this about anyone else. You wouldn’t say it about your pastor, “hey, whoever believes in me, you go to heaven. You don’t, you go hell.” You wouldn’t say that about your grandma, about your mom, about your favorite coach, your hero. You wouldn’t say it about anybody else. It’s absolutely audacious, unless you’re God, unless you’re the Son of God.
Christ is that fork in the road. You get to Christ… Which way you going? This way leads to life, eternal life. And you notice it says “whoever believes has eternal life.” Present possession. “Has eternal life.” Yes, it’s something you will enjoy later. When you believe in Christ, truly believe in Him, you have it now. You’re immortal. That’s why you cannot be un-justified, you cannot be un-regenerated. When you are truly saved, you are always saved. Now that’s different than somebody raising their hand or signing a card, or even joining a church, when it may not be genuine. But if it’s genuine, you have, you now, I’m looking at people that have eternal life. You will live forever.
But there’s another path, and this way does not lead to life. Now don’t get thrown off because it says “obey the Son.” It’s using “obey” and “belief” in parallel, because when you believe the Son, you obey Him, and if you don’t obey Him, you don’t really believe Him. So if you don’t obey the Son, you don’t believe in the Son, and if you don’t believe in the Son, it will result in wrath. And you notice that language: “Remains on Him.” Remains, because that’s the default position. You don’t want to say “God, give me what I deserve.” No, that’s what you deserve, that’s where you are, that’s where we all are apart from Christ. Wrath remains. We are born into this world sinners, corrupt, guilty. Wrath is our deserved state. It is only by grace that we have life.
So you need to hear every man, woman, and child in this room, needs to hear with crystal clarity that if you come to Christ, follow Christ, receive Christ, you will live forever. If you reject Christ, and you’ve heard of Him this morning, and you reject Him and you don’t follow Him, you don’t obey Him, you don’t believe in Him, you don’t take Him as your own, it will lead to death. And sometimes we say “well, hell is just the absence of God.” Oh, no, God is very much present, present in His right, just, anger and fury. Yes, away from His smiling presence, but God meting out His just judgment upon sinners.
There’s a famous passage in Ezekiel, chapter 33, which speaks of the watchman on the walls. It’s talking about the man who would have the duty to look out for the approaching enemy, and it said if he saw the enemy coming to God’s people, coming to Israel, and he said nothing, he didn’t blow the trumpet and then the enemy came and the people were slaughtered, he would have blood on his hands. He’d be guilty because he saw the danger and said nothing. But if he saw the enemy approaching and he blew the trumpet and he sounded the alarm and the people went about their business and said “we don’t believe it, we don’t trust it,” and they died, then the blood is on their hands.
I think about that often as I preach, that the pastor must be a watchman on the walls, and you must hear with crystal clarity from the men in this pulpit, warning you upon the authority of God’s Word, there is a judgment coming. You say “I don’t know, that’s, you know, sort of sidewalk preacher and sandwich board and repent or else.” Well, it’s the Bible. It’s John 3:36. You can say “I don’t like it, pastor.” Well, take it up with God and His Word. Don’t blame, don’t blame the watchman on the walls. You have been warned.
As I’ve said before, may it never be that anyone in any of our churches could get to heaven and say “my pastor never told me I needed a savior.” You need a savior. A savior for your sins, your inherited sins, your real sins, and you do not make it in because mom and dad took you to church. You do not make it in because you stayed away from big sins. You do not make it in because you gave a faith promise card. You must be born again.
Run from sin. Flee from sin. Turn to Christ. Run to Christ. Believe, live, now and forever.
Christ must increase. And it is the heartbeat of everyone in this room who truly knows Him and loves Him to say “yes, yes, yes.”
Do we all have moments and days where we want to be at the top of the seesaw? Absolutely. But it’s the heart of those who truly love Him to say in that moment of clarity, “oh, Christ, forgive me. I must decrease, I want to go down, I want to go down and when I am down, I will be happy that you might be lifted up.”
Let’s pray. Our Father in heaven, we thank You for Your Word. It is a good Word, it is sometimes a hard Word. So impress upon us by Your Spirit the infinite worth of Christ that we cannot turn away, that we may not commit that great sin of disbelieving the Gospel. Would you work, Father, by Your Spirit, now and throughout this day and over this week, for surely there are some here who are not truly born again and there are young people here who have not really felt this experience, made this their own. There are older people here who perhaps have been in church for many, many years and yet this is not really their faith, it’s been a habit and nothing more. So we pray that we might know Christ, turn to Christ, and in all things trust in this Christ and so live forever and be saved. In His name we pray. Amen.