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Reasons to Believe: Jesus, The Bridegroom

Reasons to Believe: Jesus, The Bridegroom!

John 3:22-36

October 10, 2021


Competition in ministry

A. Parallel ministry - The disciples of Jesus and John the Baptist were   

      both baptizing, but in different locations.  In this early part of the

      ministry, “the water points to the need of spiritual cleansing, brought

      about by the blood and Spirit of Christ, the Lamb of God.”

      1.  Jesus and His disciples in Judea. Jesus didn't baptize (Jn 4:2)

      2.  John B. further north.  (John not in prison yet, Matt 4:11-12)

B. The debate between John’s disciples and a Jew over purification.

      1.  Purification - ceremonial washing to make oneself pure.

      2.  In our text…”probably not about the familiar ceremonial purifica

           tions, but as to whether the baptism of Jesus or of John had the

           greater purifying power.

C. Competitive jealousy in ministry!

      1.  More people were coming to Jesus than John. (John 4:1)

      2.  Notice the wording and emotion:

           a.  “He who was with you” - “in the spirit of jealousy and anger

                they purposefully avoided even mentioning the name, Jesus”

           b.  Hyperbole “all are going to Him”.

           c.  They were “concerned to protect the popularity and prestige”.

Humility in Ministry! (v.27

A.  What did Jesus say about John? 

      Luk_7:28  For I say to you, Among those who are born of woman

      there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist. The greatest

      man, thousands flocked to him in the desert…

      Humility - “meekness, lowliness, absence of self”, a heart attitude!

B.  A teachable moment!

      1.  “All ministry and blessing come from God”. 

           Said another way; “God’s sovereignty stands hidden behind all

           human claims, for a human being does not have anything but

           what he has received.”

           a.  Four of the greatest men in the Bible faced comparison and

                competition.  Moses (Nu 11:26-30), John the Baptist, Jesus

                (Luke 9:46-50), Paul (Phil 1:15-18).

           b.  “For John the Baptist to have wished he were someone else,

                called to serve in a way many would judge more prominent,

                would simply be covetousness by another name.” 1 Cor 3:5-8

      2.  Fulfill the responsibility that you were given! (v.28)

           a.  John’s role was the “forerunner” to announce The Christ.

                (Jn 1:6-8,15, 23) 

           b.  Every Believer has a responsibility!  (1 Cor. 12)


    3.  Understanding my place in ministry! (v.29)

         a.  The Jewish wedding customs: Betrothal period up to a year.

              “The Bride, then, must be brought to the Bridegroom. That is

              exactly what John has been doing. He is constantly pointing to

              the Lamb of God, hoping that many will follow the latter... So

              it is with John. Just as the friend of the bridegroom, who stands

              at his side, listening, rejoices when the bridegroom voices his

              joy upon receiving the bride.”

         b.  Significant imagery for the Israelites as Jehovah had a

              “marriage covenant” with the nation. (Is. 54:5, Hosea 2:19)

         c.  Jesus is the bridegroom! John is the “best man” and recognizes

              his place and rejoices!  In N.T. the bride=Church. (2 Cor 11:2)

    4.  Jesus must increase and I must decrease! (v.30)

         a.  Must “it has to be”, it is divine necessity!

         b.  In context, increase is taken to mean “become more important”

              while decrease is “become less important”. Intersection for John

         c.  Test of our character!  Who is more important? Christ or you?

Reasons to Believe: The Witness of Scripture (v.31-36)

A. Jesus came from heaven! (v.31)

      1.  Heaven - Since Jesus came from heaven He represents God.  To

           reject His testimony is to reject God.  (Jewish leaders disputed).

      2.  Philippians 2:6-7, John 1:14 - “Word became flesh”.

      3.  Jesus is “above” all, including John the Baptist!

B.  Jesus gives an “eyewitness” account! (v.32-33)

      1.  A firsthand account! Jesus tells us what He has seen and heard

           from God, the Father.  Jn 8:38 I speak what I have seen with My

           Father, and you do what you have seen with your father.”

      2.  You or I cannot do this! “Only the Son of Man can speak with

           supreme authority of heavenly things, for He alone testifies to

           what He has seen and heard in the heavenly sphere.” God is true!

       3.  Know Jesus...know God!  Reject Jesus...reject God! 1 John 5:10

C.  “The Father has authorized His Son” (v.34-35)

       1.  Authorized - “to grant authority or power, give permission” (FD)

       2.  Why?  As God’s personal representative:

            i.    Sent by and loved by God!  (God, Son, Spirit = Trinity)

            ii.   Jesus speaks God word to you.

            iii.  Full measure (unlimited relationship with the Spirit)

            iv.  Given ALL things! (Luke 10:22)

D.  Recognition that there is NO neutral position with God! (v.36)

      1.  Believing (trust, confidence) in Jesus results in eternal life.

      2.  Refusal to believe results in the wrath (anger) of God and it

           abides (He lives continually in an economy which is alienated

           from God, and which, in itself, must be habitually the subject of

           God’s displeasure and indignation.) on him.



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