Christ Must Increase
By Bobby Blakey on October 18, 2015
Christ Must Increase
By Bobby Blakey on October 18, 2015
This is a rush transcript.
[00:00:00] I want you to imagine with me this morning that growing up there was someone that you had a crush on. You remember those days when maybe the members of the opposite gender went from the enemy to, hey, maybe they were all right after all. And you started to like somebody. I don't know if you can remember this. I don't know if you were ever at a sleepover. And all of a sudden everybody would kept asking you over and over. Who do you like? Tell us. Right. Or you would play that game. I think it was called MASH. Does anybody where you had to pick like three people, maybe you could see yourself marrying someday, you know, and so you either. But, you know, there is someone maybe you don't want to share it with anybody, but there is someone you think that's kind of special. And you your hands get sweaty when that person's around and your heart beats a little faster. And as time goes on and the story is fully told, that person ends up kind of hanging around with other people and not used so much.
[00:01:01] And let's just say that maybe even some day they start going out with your best friend or maybe your cousin or somebody like that. And all of a sudden, they are really into your best friend or your cousin, and all of a sudden they get engaged. And now your cousin comes to you and says about the person that you used to like.
[00:01:23] Hey, will you be the best man at my wedding? Can you imagine kind of an awkward situation you might find yourself in? That's what we want to look at this morning, actually, is a profound spiritual point that we're making. We want to look at the best man of Jesus Christ, John the Baptist. Turn with me to John Chapter three.
[00:01:45] And let's get into the word and let's see a guy who was willing not to be the bridegroom, but to be the best man. You know, when John the Baptist came on the scene, all of Jerusalem was coming out to see him. To hear him preach. To be baptized. By him, I mean, the Jewish people. They just wanted to know more about John the Baptist.
[00:02:06] And now as Jesus comes on the scene, we see that there was an opportunity for perhaps a rivalry or a competition between them. At least that's what John's disciples thought of it as. But I want you to see the example of humility that is before us in the best man of Jesus Christ, John the Baptist. Read with me our text for today. John, Chapter three versus 22 will go all the way to the end of the chapter, verse 36. Please follow along with me as I read this.
[00:02:35] After this, Jesus and his disciples went into the Judean countryside and he remained there with them and was baptizing. John also was baptizing at Ainun near Salem, because water was plentiful there and people were coming in. Being baptized for John had not yet been put in prison.
[00:02:57] Now a discussion arose between some of John's disciples and the Jew over purification. And they came to John and said to him, Rabbi, he who was with you across the Jordan to whom you bore witness, look, he is baptizing and all are going to him. And John answered, A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven.
[00:03:21] You yourselves bear me witness that I said I'm not the Christ, but I have been sent before him. The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bride groom who stands in years him rejoices greatly at the bride groom's voice. Therefore, this joy of mine is now complete.
[00:03:40] He must increase, but I must decrease.
[00:03:46] And you comes from above is above all, he was King 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 and whoever receives his testimony sets his seal to this. That God is true for Ye 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 now.
[00:04:22] Whoever does not obey the sun shall not see life. But the wrath of God remains on him.
[00:04:31] And so here the apostle John, who's writing this gospel, he tells us of an account that's not given to us and the other gospels of Matthew Mark Luke, how at some point in time, John and his disciples were baptizing and not too far away, Jesus and his disciples were baptizing. And you get a sense here of a little bit of envy, a little bit of rivalry coming out in the hearts of some of John the Baptist disciples. Hey, we used to be the hot thing. Everybody was coming over to hear you preach and to be baptized with us. And look, now they're all going after Jesus. Now, if you look at verse 24, you get a little note here in parentheses for John had not yet been put in prison. And what John the Apostle is doing when he writes that is he's trying to say, hey, I'm telling you something that happened before what the other gospels tell you about John John the Baptist. So John has decided that this story, this example of the way John the Baptist responds to what could be some kind of baptism competition, who can dunk the most people here, the way he responds that there's a lesson to be learned and that the apostle John wants us to see. And he wants us to see even look down at chapter four, verse one. Here's another little note that it says in the next chapter. Now, when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making in baptizing more disciples than John. OK. So people were going Jesus was becoming more popular than John the Baptist. And then here's another little parentheses. Although Jesus himself did not baptize only his disciples. So John is trying to set the stage here that there was a time when John the Baptist popularity started to decrease and the popularity of Jesus started to increase. And we can learn something from the way that John the Baptist responds to that. OK, John the Baptist always had his relative Jesus that he knew from birth who he knew was way cooler than he was and was eventually going to get the girl, the bride, the church, the people were going to follow Christ and not him. So this was something that John the Baptist understood. In fact, you could write down a little cross reference here of Luke one forty one and it says it again and Luke 144, that when even when John the Baptist is inside of his mother's womb before he's even born, his mother being Elizabeth, who is related to Mary, the mother of Jesus. And when their two moms got together, Mary, the mother of Jesus, and Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist from before he was even born, it says that John the Baptist started kicking and leaping in his mother's womb because he was so excited that Jesus was there in Mary's womb before that, before they were born. These guys were brothers. And John the Baptist was getting excited about Jesus. This is biblical. All right. I'm not making this up. Read it. Luke one 41 and 44. And no, I mean, you can not. No one says anything better about a man in the Bible than what is said about John the Baptist. If there's someone you want to be when you grow up, it's John the Baptist. He's held out as an example. In fact, the apostle John not only includes this whole section about the humility of John the Baptist, but if you write down another reference in John, Chapter 10, verse 42, he says that when a lot of people started believing in Jesus in a certain geographical region, he says the reason a lot of those people believed in Jesus is because that's the area where John the Baptist used to witness about Jesus and God used John the Baptist Witness to cause a lot of these people to believe in Jesus. So even chapters later, John wants to point out Chapter 10. He's still pointing out that a lot of people went to Jesus because John the Baptist told them to go to Jesus. In fact, if you were here when we looked back at John Chapter one, we even think that the apostle John is one of those disciples of John the Baptist that he told to follow Jesus instead of him.
[00:08:42] So what are we trying to do or are we trying to attract our own followers or are we trying to point people to follow Jesus Christ?
[00:08:50] Do we want the attention to be on us or are we happy standing outside of the spotlight and watching people worship and glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, a humility here, a thinking lowly of yourself and thinking highly of Jesus that John the Baptist has. That's being held out to us as a huge example. In fact, churches turn to Matthew 11 with me real quick, because I got to show you what Jesus and the bride groom, the one who's going to get all of the glory. Look what he said about his best man, John the Baptist. Just jump to Matthew eleven, verse eleven, and he starts it with his trademark. Truly, I say to you. Let me tell you something you may not believe, but you need to. Matthew 11, verse eleven. I just want everybody to see this verse right here. It says, truly, I say to you. Among those born of women, there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. There has been nobody greater born of a woman, no greater man than John the Baptist. And that's a huge secret because it gets us into the mind of Christ. And it shows us what Jesus thinks is greatness. Jesus thinks humility equals greatness.
[00:10:06] That's what Jesus thinks.
[00:10:08] Jesus realizes that he should get all the glory.
[00:10:11] And when someone humbles themself and gives him the glory, Jesus calls that greatness among men a little bit different than how we talk about greatness here today. Right where we all want to make America great again. Humility, I believe, back in the founding fathers of our nation. I think there was some value of the virtue of humility. I don't really see a lot of value of humility these days in America.
[00:10:41] Now, the more followers you can get, the more people listening to you you can get, the more popular you can become. That's the idea in American politics, in American churches, even in American celebrity. It's all about getting people to listen to you and to follow you.
[00:11:00] We need to look inside of our own souls this morning and ask ourselves, do I want the attention? Do I want people to look at me or am I content to point people to Christ like John the Baptist? Go back to chapter one of John. And let's just review what we already learned. We touched on this point briefly that our witness that we have, our testimony is not of ourselves.
[00:11:22] And remember how John introduced himself and John chapter one, verse 20. He confessed and did not deny but confessed. I am not the Christ. I'm not the guy. I'm not the one. That was John the Baptist. Claim to fame if you're looking for the guy. It's not me. So there's a humility here. And now when you go back over to Chapter three and this humility is tested because now just not people aren't asking John who he is. They're all going out to see Jesus now. I mean, maybe there's a little hyperbole here in verse 26 when when they say all are going to him. But clearly, the popularity was shifting between Christ and John the Baptist. And look at the humility here. We see in verse 27 of John the Baptist Response. A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven. I mean, that's where we all need to be in our minds. Everything that I have, if it's anything good. It was given to me by God, including the ability to get out of bed this morning, including the fact that I woke up breathing today, including the fact that I even woke up at all. How many things are you and I taking for granted? And at some point, if we are not careful to give the glory to God and acknowledge him and be thankful, at some point you will start thinking that you had to do with your own health, that you have to do with your own accomplishments at work, that your family is really your doing. That's what you'll start to think about yourself. Every single one of us, we are by nature sinners, as we learned last Sunday.
[00:13:05] And pride is something that we all understand that I will be tempted in my life on whatever level it may be, to think that somehow I have made myself healthy by the way that I eat and by my diet.
[00:13:21] A lot of people thinking that around here in Orange County these days. Well, where did the food even come from? All right.
[00:13:27] I mean, who gives us even the roof over our heads, the clothes on our bodies, the food that we eat every day? The ability to even eat food. You know, when somebody says in a conversation, this happens to me sometimes. Well, somebody says, well, I'm just glad I even am alive today. And when you can tell, they really mean it.
[00:13:46] You know how you always respect that whenever you hear because you realize naturally that's not the way we think that this is.
[00:13:54] This is the idea of of humility. Verse 27. I didn't have any one thing. I can't even receive one thing unless it is given from heaven. John says it out. Hey, who am I to have people listening to me? I don't have anything unless God gives it to me. In fact, you yourselves bear me witness. Hey, guys, why are you saying this? Don't you remember my motto that I said I am not the Christ. I'm not the guy. I'm not the one. And then he brings up this analogy of being the best man. The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom. That's me.
[00:14:28] I'm just the guy watching this wedding happen and watching people fall in love with Jesus, watching Jesus saves souls. That's all I am. I'm just the guy standing by the side cheering it on. And in fact, he says at the end of verse twenty nine. Therefore, this joy of mine is now complete. This is actually what I thrive on. This is actually what gives me satisfaction is when people go right past me and they go to Jesus Christ and they start to worship him. That's my whole mission. This is actually my greatest source of joy.
[00:14:59] John says is watching people worship Jesus Christ.
[00:15:04] And he says, what is a great lie? John, 330. Hopefully you've heard this before, that he must increase. Christ must increase.
[00:15:11] But I must decrease.
[00:15:14] When I think he's really getting into there is eventually everybody's going to give their their need to the ground and their tongue to confess that Jesus is Lord. And I'm just going to die and disappear from the sea. That's really he's coming from heaven and he's going back up into heaven. And he will be worshiped by all I'm coming from the earth. And I'm going to die and return to the earth. And I'll be pretty much forgotten.
[00:15:36] And maybe a few people like the apostle John or Jesus will mention my name. But most people, they'll look past me and they'll see Christ. And that's actually the way it's supposed to be, guys. In fact, it brings me joy to see that this is happening. Who here can say that? Who here can say that at the end of the day? Well, you don't want your life to be about you. And if people forget you and you fade off into the background and disappear even from people's. Active as long as they're focused on God and worshiping Christ. That's joy to you. See, this challenges who we are. And as we make life about ourselves and our pride, can we really say that we live for the glory of Christ in Christ alone?
[00:16:16] Trumaine first, Peter, Chapter five. And you'll see here a statement about what God thinks about humility. That's really something I want. I hope God will put all on all of our hearts here this morning and that we'll all go read. There's this really great Christian bestselling book that just came out, How to Be Humble Like Me.
[00:16:37] Have guys heard about this new book that came out? I'm making it up. But what if the title was Humility Gone and how I attained it? Right. Who who could write that book?
[00:16:46] What do you do when you write a book about humility? Do you put your picture on the on the cover of that book? Is it on the back cover? See, there's really no man who can teach us about humility. It has to come from God. It has to come from the scriptures. And here's some teaching. Look at first, John, chapter five, verse five.
[00:17:03] Likewise, you who are younger be subject to the elders. Let's talk it about here in the church. And then it's saying, clothe yourselves. All of use as a command for everybody. Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another.
[00:17:19] And then here's something that's repeated in James, chapter four, verse six. And it comes from Proverbs Chapter three, that God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.
[00:17:31] I mean, here's a clue, here's a little glimpse into the view of God that maybe there's some people here this morning who are wondering why God hasn't answered that prayer or why God hasn't bless them in this certain way or why they feel distant from God. Well, maybe you just got the answer right here, because God as opposed to the proud. But he gives grace to the humble and literally there's a command here that you see that all of us in the church need to clothe ourselves. We need to actively put on humility in the idea. Here is like a slave who was going to do some kind of dirty work and they would put on an apron. That's kind of the word picture here. Like I'm going to do something that's kind of nasty business that's going to get all over the place. And I'm a lowly servant. And so I put on my apron and I tie it on and I get down into work. That's what it looks like here, to clothe yourself with humility.
[00:18:25] Some of you guys know when I was in college, I got a job and the job that I got and I was desperate to get whatever job they would give me and my work study program, and they decided that I would be the guy who worked in the dish room of the cafeteria.
[00:18:37] And so people would put their trays with all their nasty leftover food coming in through the conveyor belt. And I would put on the apron and I would go in there and the nasty stuff would get all over me. That's the idea here. But there's nothing that's beneath me. I'm putting on the apron of humility and I'm ready to do whatever it is my Lord wants me to do, no matter how messy it gets, how little credit, if I'm behind the wall and no one can see what I'm even doing. I put that on. That's how it's supposed to work here at a church. So it's supposed to work in our relationship with God. In fact, look at verse six. It says, humble yourselves. Therefore, this is something we're supposed to do to ourselves. We put this on this humility, humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God. So that the proper time he may exalt you. So you think lowly of yourself. You think highly of God. You let him worry about putting you where he wants you to to be. You just humble yourself and and notice before we even get to another sentence, verse seven, casting all your anxieties on him because he cares for you.
[00:19:45] So we're all supposed to humble ourselves. And here's one thing we're supposed to do. When we feel anxious, when we feel worried, when we are afraid as we're supposed to take those cares and we cast our cares up to the one who cares for us.
[00:19:58] And I bet we've got some anxious and worried souls here among us this morning. And they just need to confront everyone who gets anxious and worried in your pride.
[00:20:08] That's what it's connecting to here.
[00:20:10] You think, well, when you're anxious, you're actually worried about what's going to happen. That's not pride. No, it is pride, because when you're anxious, you're relying on yourself and you're realizing that your self is not sufficient to the task at hand, that you can't overcome your own problem, you won't be able to get it done. And that's why you're anxious. That's why you're worried because you're not in control. And it was pride to ever think you were in that position in the first place. And so when pride doesn't work is when worry shows up in our lives, when anxiety starts to take hold and we need to humble ourselves and pray to God and admit to him, I'm going to do nothing apart from you. I can't even get up in the morning without you giving me life and breath. And every good thing comes from you. And so you humble yourself.
[00:20:57] You cast your cares up to the Lord and anxiety and worry go away because you're not trying to do it on your own strength anymore. But you're trusting in God. And again, a man from anybody, the any other proud people in here. And it shows up in worry and anxiety.
[00:21:12] Those are just forms of pride in our hearts because they reveal about us that we're still thinking we can do it at the end of the day. Most deceptive thought that easily creeps in is that today is in a hard day. Today's an easy day and you can do today on your own. So you've never met a day that you're ready to do without God giving you everything you need. And so we got to put on humility. We got to get the apron on and be ready to serve in whatever way we're called to.
[00:21:44] And I think that the reason that John the Apostle is the one who tells us about the humility of John the Baptist and gives us this great example that Christ must increase and we must decrease is because I think the apostle John started out a pretty proud guy himself. If I go to Matthew, chapter 20, verse 20, and let's look at a story that happened between Jesus and the disciples, and this is John now. John, I don't know how he would feel about this story later because it doesn't put him in the most flattering light. It kind of makes him look like a proud mama's boy, kind of like a spoiled child, if you know the story here. Now, the heading here in the ESV on this is on page eight hundred and twenty five. The heading here is a mother's request and then the mother of the sons of Zebedee. So that was James and John, two of the inner most closest disciples to Christ. They were the the Sons of Thunder. They were sometimes called the Sons of Zebedee.
[00:22:46] They came up to him. The mother came up to Jesus with her sons. So all three of them are in on this together. I don't know how it worked if mom threw out the idea or if the boys even went to mom and said, hey, this will look really bad if we say it so. Well, you say it for us. Mom, I'm not quite sure how the scheme came together here. And he said there.
[00:23:06] What do you want? Like, he knows this isn't going to be good. And she said, damn say that these two sons of mine are to sit one at your right. And and one to your left in your kingdom. No, no.
[00:23:18] Just a small little request for Jesus that her two boys would have the best seats in all of heaven right now. I mean, wisen that. Will all the mothers in the room want. Don't you want your kids sitting right next to Jesus? Doesn't I even just kind of show the fundamental pride in our society that our kids are somehow better than all the other kids out there? Like when it's your mom's birthday and you say she's the best mom in the world? Probably. Chances are she's actually not the best mom in the whole world. You know what I'm saying? Like, there's been a lot of moms like how? Who is even in a place to compare your mom to all the other moms that have ever existed? I mean, it's just kind of a ridiculous statement that we make.
[00:24:00] There's just this kind of pride. Like, of course, my sons will sit right next to you, Jesus, and you see that as they come before him. And Jesus answered, hey, you don't know what you're asking and you don't know what you're signing up for. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink, referring to the wrath of God that he would experience on the cross? And they said to him boldly, proudly, we are able. That's the definition of pride right there. I am able. We are able not God is able, but we are able. And he said to them, Oh, yeah. OK, well, you will drink my cup. And remember, James was was killed very quickly into the Book of Acts. You will drink my cup. But to sit at my right hand that my left is not mine to grant. It is for those whom it has been prepared by my father.
[00:24:47] And when the ten hurt it, they were indignant at the two brothers. All right. And rightfully so. You can imagine you would be angry, too, if one of your siblings all of a sudden started acting like they were the best and they would get to sit shotgun every time. And you were gonna be relegated to the back seat. It's not because the other 10 were humble. No, they were just as proud. And they were like, how come I don't get to sit next to Jesus?
[00:25:10] Right. It's just an Jesus is like guys team meeting called them to to him and said, hey, you know that the rulers of the Gentiles get people who don't know God. That's the reference there. They lowered it over them.
[00:25:25] They're great ones. Exercise authority over them. Hey, you know how it works in the world where the boss wants to be the boss and he wants everybody to know that he has authority and that everyone should look to him? Well, it shall not be so among you, Jesus says to his disciples.
[00:25:41] You want to be great? Well, whoever would be great among you must be your servant. And whoever would be first among you must be your slave. Even as the son of Man Jesus, referring to himself now came not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many. And he just redefined greatness for you guys right now, because I can tell you're not getting it. Greatness means you come to serve. Greatness means you consider yourself a slave.
[00:26:13] In fact, just the one who has all authority, the one who should get all the glory myself referring to himself as the son of man. Hey, even I came to serve and to give my life away for others.
[00:26:26] To pay for their debt of sin. When I didn't have one.
[00:26:30] When everyone let's put it down like this, here's what we all need to do. You need to boost your slave esteem. Let's get that down for point number one. You need to boost your slave esteem. Now, notice not your self-esteem. No, you don't need to think more about yourself. That's not what we're going for. You need to consider yourself a servant. That's what you need to think about yourself more.
[00:26:51] You need to have more. What is lacking among Christians these days of this here to serve. Mentality? Not that I want to be in a position at the church where other people will appreciate me and notice me. But there is literally no peace position at this church that is beneath me. Because I've got my apron on and I'm ready to do the messy jobs and I'm here to serve. If we could have churches full of people who were here to serve at church and not to be served a church, we might just start to see revival in our land once again. If we really had this kind of humility.
[00:27:26] See who shows up at church.
[00:27:29] Ready to be the slave of everyone else. Ready to be the dew loss. That's a great New Testament word in the Greek language. If you've never heard that word before, you should write that down. Deal. You, L.O., US. It's a great word you see throughout the New Testament. And it describes the personal relationship that we have with Jesus, our master, our lord, that we are his due loss, his slave. And this was for the person who was ready to do and had to do whatever the master said. That's how you need to think about yourself, that I'm here to serve. That when you have a job to do and you do it and somebody even tries to give you recognition and they try to say, hey, you did a good job, you hey, who am I? But an unworthy servant. That's Luke 1710 right there. Who am I? In fact, maybe your answer would even be when you do a job and somebody tries to draw attention to you. Your answer might be my pleasure.
[00:28:22] You ever met one of those people before you ever go to Chick fil A? Basically is what I'm saying right now. Right. You get your nuggets there and they bring it out to you and you say thank you. And they say my pleasure. If you've gone to Chick fil A before, you know that they have been scripted. Right.
[00:28:39] And some of the people pull it off like some of the best customer service I've ever had, as at Chick fil A. So I'm not disparaging chick flick, but what I'm about to say, but also some of the fake is customer service I've ever had has been a Chick fil A. Anybody want to say men to that right now? Like, you don't mean my pleasure.
[00:28:58] It would be better if you just don't say it at all. It just feels forced. This feels fake. This is you don't want to get you're not here to help me. I just asked you to help me and I put you out. Have you ever gotten that impression from somebody? And then when they give you the thing that clearly it pained them to get you like a napkin or something really costly to them, you know? My pleasure. Just doesn't it just it when it's fake, it really rubs you the wrong way.
[00:29:27] And I'm afraid we've got a lot of fake. My pleasure going on at church these days. I'm afraid we've got a lot of.
[00:29:34] Yeah, I'm here to serve and. Yeah. Where's the recognition for me here at the church? Because I'm doing a lot that other people aren't noticing around here. And when am I going to get some appreciation? Sure. It's my joy to serve just as long as I get acknowledged at the end of the day.
[00:29:50] There's a lot of that going around.
[00:29:53] And Jesus, he just says, hey, let me let me read think this with you guys. What is greatness? Greatness is being a slave of our master. And all of us, if we're honest, we know what it's like to have sibling rivalry.
[00:30:08] We know what it's like to have envy and jealousy. We know what it's like when we're doing something and somebody else is doing the same thing that we're doing, whether it's something to do with our family or our work or maybe here at church, like there's somebody who's now maybe a competitor is a word we might use or somebody who's doing the same thing I'm doing. And naturally, everybody kind of sizes the two people up and they start to rank them. That's kind of naturally how we work.
[00:30:36] And it's hard sometimes when somebody, you know, is getting the credit to just be able to look at your friend, at your brother, at your sister and just be glad for their success and just cheer and root them on. Like, who? Can you watch somebody else get the glory and legitimately be excited for them without feeling like, why am I not getting this attention right now?
[00:30:59] So we know this with with the kids as they grow up, I got to talk to one of our kids here at the church.
[00:31:04] A fourth grader, and he's been having some some problems with his little sister, two years younger. And I said, what's the problem with your little sister, Nancy? He said to me, she's annoying. That's what he said. And I said, really? Why is she annoying? Well, today we went around table pizza and we were playing some video games and this was a direct quote. And she won all of the tickets. And you just feel the pain on the end of that statement, like she's got this big ole long thing, a ticket, she's folding them up, you know? And I don't have any tickets. He was very upset about this, and then he says one thing she likes to do is Barack.
[00:31:58] She likes to say that I have a lot of tickets and I'm like, let me ask you a question, young man.
[00:32:06] Do you ever brag?
[00:32:08] Oh, yeah. When I have the tickets, I like to let other people know that I have the ticket. Well, I wonder where she learned it from, say.
[00:32:19] And you could just this was it was so natural, it was so honest. It was it was just how it is. Why is my sister winning tickets right now? Can somebody stop the injustice?
[00:32:31] You know, that's just how it was, say, and for some reason in his sinful nature, this fourth grade boy, he could not say, way to go, sis. Way to win those tickets. I'm proud of you. Little says he could not find joy in somebody else's blessing and success. He could only find bitterness that the attention and tickets weren't coming to him.
[00:32:58] Are you here to be a slave, your slave is at the bottom, a slave is not comparing themselves to anyone else in a competitive way, trying to outrank anybody. No slave understands where they belong. And that's how we're supposed to esteem ourselves lowly as slaves of Christ.
[00:33:18] Go to Philippians Chapter two and you'll see that John the Baptist isn't even our greatest example of humility, although clearly being held up as an example to us in the Scripture.
[00:33:29] No, the greatest example of humility is actually the one who should get all of the glory, who should get all of the praise, who we should find joy in seeing him being worshiped. It's Jesus Christ is actually the Lord of Heaven and earth. The one who has all the authority is the one who's the greatest example of humility. If that doesn't teach us the value of this virtue, then I don't know what will. Here's the verse that I shared with this poor, ticket deprived fourth grader was Philippians.
[00:33:59] Chapter two, verse three. It says, Do nothing, nothing, it says, from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility, count others more significant than yourself. So you're going not going to be competitive with the other people in your house if you're the slave of the house and are going to be competitive with the other people in your workplace. If you're the slave of the workplace, you're not going to feel competitive with the other people here, a church if you come here to serve and not to be served. And so it says nothing is allowed from your own selfish ambition. No, everything in humility. Let's consider others higher than ourselves on the pecking order here and let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. And here's how you should learn this mindset. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus. Here's how you get humility. Who though he was in the form of God.
[00:34:58] He did not count equality with God, a thing to be grasped even though it was rightfully his. We don't rightfully get the glory.
[00:35:06] He did. But still, he emptied himself by taking the form of a. What does it say there?
[00:35:12] Everybody servant.
[00:35:16] The lord of all takes the form of a servant being born in the likeness of men and being found in human form. He humbled himself.
[00:35:24] He lowered himself by becoming obedient to the point of death. Even death on a cross.
[00:35:34] I mean, that's the lowest place he could possibly get.
[00:35:37] To be lifted up, to be have your hands and your legs and your feet and nailed into this wood. And to die a criminal's death, to be executed in such a way that was really meant to torture you as it killed you. That's where we're supposed to be willing to go, we're supposed to be denying ourselves, taking our cross and following Christ. And where did Christ lead us? Well, he led us straight to the grave. Straight to death. Straight to suffering. Straight to persecution. And here we are wondering if we should give credit when those are the things that are promised to us. They have this mind in yourself, which was also in Christ Jesus the Lord of all, who humbled himself to be at the point of death.
[00:36:17] And here's how God thinks of humility. Here's how God rewards humility. Therefore, God has highly exalted him.
[00:36:25] And he's bestowed on him the name that is above every name that at the name of Jesus.
[00:36:31] Well, every knee should bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth. And every tongue is going to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
[00:36:40] He's the boss to the glory of God, the father.
[00:36:45] And when it says Lord there, see, that's the opposite of dew lost to lost means slave. Well, Lord, is this Greek word that's very common. Curious, Kay. You are I o U.S. if you want to write it down and in English curious and saying that hey, because he became the form of a slave because he humbled himself.
[00:37:04] Here's what God does with people who humbles humble themselves. As God looks at that, he sees it as great and he always exalts humility. He always does, and he does it here with his son. In fact, his son humbled himself to the lowest place. So God will exalt him to the highest place. He will be the name that is above every name. And there will come a moment, literally in the history of the world when every single created being will bough and confess. Jesus is the boss.
[00:37:31] That's all what they're gonna say. And everything will be considered right. Everyone's slave esteem will be at maximum capacity, and we will esteem our Lord and worship him as he finally deserves to be worshiped. That's where it works. That's where it's all headed. And we've got to get in mind now this eternal heavenly perspective that heaven views highly what is lowly looked at here on earth.
[00:38:01] And that leads us right back into what John says about Jesus. Go back to John Chapter three and there's kind of this section of teaching, this paragraph starting in verse 31 after John makes the famous statement, he must increase, but I must decrease. Well, there's this chunk of text here from versus 31 to 36. And there's some debate whether John the Baptist said this or whether this was the Apostle John's commentary. I would probably read it as a can. I don't know why we put the end of the quotes there on verse 30. I would probably read this as more of what John the Baptist had to say. But he wants us to know something about Jesus. That's very clear in verse 31.
[00:38:45] He says he who comes from above is above all, like whatever the pecking order is. Let me tell you who's at the top. Let me tell you the top name. Who gets top billing and gets all of the credit? He's the one who's, above all, because he came from heaven down, were just all coming from down and going back to down were earthly. He's heavenly. He came down to us. He's above us. That's what John wants to make very clear. Point number two, let's put it down like this. Always view Jesus as above you like whenever you're thinking about Jesus, it's giving us a spatial analogy here. It's giving us like literally and kind of a physical way. We should see Jesus as above. Like when we just think about Jesus in our minds, the very disposition of our physical body should look up as if Jesus comes from above where we come from.
[00:39:43] So that's what we're always trying to do here at CompassHB Bible Church. It's our third distinctive. We want to maintain a high view of God. That's so important.
[00:39:52] We believe that what you think about God is the most important thing about you will even clarified to say that how you view Jesus is the most it will determine your entire life. The biggest, most important thought that you think is your thought of Jesus. And you must see him as from above.
[00:40:11] Now, if you were here on Wednesday night when we were getting into how Jesus saves. And we actually saw somebody respond and ask Jesus to save them. We read John chapter three, verse three. Look back at that verse with me.
[00:40:24] And Jesus gave us just an amazing, clear statement here. He says, Truly, truly, I say to you. And unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. One of the things we learned about what it means to be born again is another way you could translate that Greek word. Another thing is that it was born again, born from above.
[00:40:46] And that's the same exact word we now see in John three 31. That Jesus is from above. So you can't save yourself. You can't make yourself born again. God has to save you. Jesus has to save you. Which means you view Jesus as higher than yourself. You see him as the one who came from above so regularly throughout the day, throughout the week.
[00:41:12] You're going to need to reorient yourself and you're going to need to make sure that you're looking up and seeing Jesus above you. That it's not like your concerns and the concerns of Jesus competing for your thoughts and attentions and time throughout the day. But no, the relationship always stays in the right balance that he's up here as Lord and you're down here at Slave and it never starts to get out of whack.
[00:41:36] Because naturally, in our pride, we will want to think that we have to do some things for ourself or we can do some things by ourself and we will bring Jesus down to our level if we're not careful. And so John says, hey, guys, let's just make this very clear that Jesus is, above all, whatever your name amounts to in life.
[00:41:55] Whatever reputation you will end up having. And when people hear your name, how they will view you will no matter what your name means.
[00:42:03] Jesus, his name is above yours. That's what the Bible wants to make very clear.
[00:42:09] And that when someone views it in the right relationship, when someone thinks a little of themself and a lot of Jesus Christ man, that is the person that God esteems.
[00:42:19] That is the person that God actually views very highly. Go back to Isaiah. And let's hear from from God, from his heavenly perspective and how God values humility. Guru Isaiah, Chapter fifty seven. Everybody grab your Bible and let's try to find these passages together. Isaiah fifty seven. Verse fifteen. It's on page six hundred and seventeen. If you got one of our Bibles and you, it just gives us a glimpse into the glory of God.
[00:42:48] When Isaiah and Isaiah Chapter six, when he saw the glory of God, God was so high and lifted up that the train of his robe, like God was the king and in heaven on the throne, and the little part of his robe filled the temple. This massive structure in the inner city of Jerusalem. Well, they'll just the back of God's robe filled the temple and Isaiah.
[00:43:12] He gives us this high view of God that's repeated throughout this book. And here's what God says in Isaiah. Chapter fifty seven, verse fifteen four.
[00:43:22] Thus says the one who is high and lifted up. See, it's always just reorienting yourself that you have to see God as above you. That's what the Scriptures always doing. He's high and lifted up. Who inhabits eternity? Whose name is holy. I get a glimpse here into the transcendence of God. Outside of time. Eternal. Outside of sin. Holy. Other than us. Here's what God says. I dwell in the high and holy place.
[00:43:52] And here's who's gonna dwell there with me. I dwell in the high and holy place. And also with him, who is of a contrite and lowly spirit. That's who God's is steaming. That's who God's looking for. Someone who's lonely. And here's what God will do to revive the spirit of the lowly, to revive the heart of the contract.
[00:44:15] Like here's God in glorious splendor, high and lifted up outside of time, outside of sin. And he's looking down, scanning the hearts of the men, women and children here at this church this morning.
[00:44:28] And he's looking for someone who considers themself a slave and thinks lowly.
[00:44:33] And he wants to give you life here this morning. That's what it says.
[00:44:37] He wants to revive the soul of the humble.
[00:44:42] Maybe we're coming in here so weary and so tired because we are trying to do so much in our own strength and by ourselves and God's thinking right now and heaven, if you would just get off your high horse and humble yourself. I'll give you the life that you need.
[00:44:59] I'll revive your soul.
[00:45:01] I'll give you that freshness in your spirit. And I'll renew that vitality in your relationship with me. If you'll just stop trying to do it of yourself and humble yourself here this morning, say and look up and see me and then you'll be in the right proportion.
[00:45:17] Go to the last chapter of Isaiah. Isaiah 66 versus one and two where we get this same kind of reorientating picture of our relationship with God. It says here in Isaiah, Chapter 66.
[00:45:31] This is the last chapter of this magnificent a work of literature that Isaiah writes, thus says the Lord. And it's so great that we get these quotes as if the Lord is speaking straight to us. We know the whole word is God's word. But here's God being quoted. Heaven is my throne and the earth is my footstool.
[00:45:53] Just to put you in proper proportion. What is the house that you would build for me? What is the place of my rest? You think that the temples are big deal? No. All these things my hand has made. And so all these things came to be declares the Lord. So he's putting himself high above us. But this is the one to whom I will look or to whom I will esteem. This is the kind of man or woman I will value highly.
[00:46:20] He who is you knew was coming humble and contrite and spirit, willing to own up to their sin, broken over their sin. And who trembles at my word? Literally fears. Not doing what God has told them to do because he is the boss and we are the slave.
[00:46:42] And if the boss says that we should do something, well, certainly then.
[00:46:47] It must be done.
[00:46:49] And so we tremble at his word. That's what God is looking for.
[00:46:54] I mean, right now, you know, there's a lot of ways you can evaluate how a church is doing. You know, people look at how many people are come in or how many people are baptized. These are the criteria. People who do church try to use to evaluate church. Well, let's try to think about.
[00:47:10] Think about church from God's perspective. How many slaves do we have here this morning?
[00:47:16] How many people came here today seeking nothing for themselves and ready to give God the glory when God looks in the hearts of us here this morning? How many humble people is he seeing? Because that's how God looks set. That's how he values it. Well, I'm down here, and the reason I'm down here is because God is so high up here, I'm not just trying to denigrate us and put us down. No, I'm trying to exalt his name, see when his name is rightfully exalted. Then we have a more accurate view of ourselves.
[00:47:50] And if I'm a slave and he's my master, then then something comes out very clear at the end of our passage, turned back that John Chapter three in this line just kind of jumps out at you as we've finished up, even reading our texts. I don't know if it just kind of slaps you across the face, but go back to our text because he makes his point that he's the Lord above all. And guys, listen, I'm just saying whatever I've learned from God to say, but I was born of the Earth and I'm going back to the earth. He came down from heaven. Whatever he says is straight from God. We want people listening to him more than me. That's kind of the point John's making in this paragraph. And then he ends with this, John, three thirty six. And it kind of there's a we've heard this somewhere before. It says whoever believes in the sun has eternal life.
[00:48:38] Well, that sounds like the most famous verse ever. Right. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him will not what perish but have what eternal life. Well, we know that verse. But look, here's kind of a new slant on it.
[00:48:55] Whoever believes in the sun has eternal life. But whoever does not obey the sun.
[00:49:01] Shall not see the life, but the wrath of God remains on him.
[00:49:07] Well, I kind of got intense all of a sudden. They're.
[00:49:13] Like. Yeah. We all affirm that if you believe it's by faith alone, that we are saved. And so as soon as you believe you are given the gift of eternal life.
[00:49:23] But what is clear here in this verse is that the faith alone that saves us is never alone.
[00:49:30] That if you really put your trust in the Lord, it will lead to obedience of the Lord in your life.
[00:49:38] In fact, this word here that's translated does not obey is a very interesting Greek word that you could kind of translate to disbelieve or to disobey. I mean, it's kind of though those ideas are just tied together in this one Greek word, like to not believing God is to not obey his commands.
[00:49:58] Like, here's what really reveals your faith or your belief is how're you doing at obeying the Lord? It's one thing to confess that he is Lord. But if you really believe it, well, you'll do what the Lord tells you to do because you're just a little slave. And of course, you're here to serve him.
[00:50:16] And so all of a sudden, that phrase we're used to kind of the John 316 language and the fact that the one who does not obey the sun still has the wrath of God on him right now because he is actively disobeying the Lord.
[00:50:32] Kind of hits you really quick there at the end of the passage.
[00:50:36] Like, I think we all understand the basic analogy of a boss guy, that if somebody has a boss and you don't do what your boss tells you to do, what is ultimately going to happen to you?
[00:50:50] You guys tell me this morning you don't obey your boss. What's gonna happen?
[00:50:55] Everybody knew the answer to that.
[00:50:57] At the workplace. So how come when we come over here to church on Sunday morning, obedience is somehow now accepted here among us, disobedience is now somehow OK because our boss, he's not going to be like every other boss we've ever had. Now he's going to somehow tolerate disobedience.
[00:51:16] Where are you getting that idea from, because it ain't from the scripture. OK.
[00:51:21] No, no, let's just make it very clear he is the Lord. He has authority over your life. And if you choose not to do what he says while his wrath remains on you, sir.
[00:51:31] It's not optional. It's not a suggestion.
[00:51:34] It's not if you want to come to work today. No. He made the world. He gave you life. And you must obey him.
[00:51:43] There's no other way.
[00:51:46] If I go to Luke, chapter six, verse 46, I had the privilege of hanging out with our singles last night, we had an event, a fellowship, we had a bonfire down at the end of Beach Boulevard. And it was a beautiful sunset. It was a wonderful time. And we got to look at how and how Jesus is the Lord of the beach.
[00:52:04] And we talked about how, if even the waves of the sea and even the wind, if even the elements of the physical world that we live in obey Jesus, then shouldn't you and I be obeying Jesus? And we looked at this verse. Here's just a question from Jesus to you, from your curious to you, his do loss.
[00:52:25] This is the master talking to you, one of his slaves here this morning. And he says, Why do you call me Lord? Lord. Curious. Curious. Boss, boss. And not do what I tell you.
[00:52:43] So you and I, we have grown up. Where we, the people and the government is for the people. And by the people and of the people, would you look at the president as someone who is above you?
[00:52:55] Especially with our president right now.
[00:52:58] Does he have authority over you or did you get to decide who was president because you voted? I was asking somebody about their boss at work the other day. How are things going with their boss? Did they view their boss as authority over them? And they said, I left that job. Now I'm self-employed. That's what they said to me. I got so good to be done with my boss. See, we live in a culture where literally you could walk down the streets of our nation and you could think to yourself that there is no one who has authority over you because you are free to exercise your own rights and be yourself. And we just need to reorient ourselves that there is one who has all authority over us.
[00:53:39] And when he tells us to do something, there is a legitimate expectation that it will be done. And it is shocking. There are consequences when someone, a slave would dare to disobey the master. We need to bring obedience back. If we're gonna say that Jesus is our Lord, then the only logical response is to do what he tells us to do. I leave you with that thought. What are you going to do in your life? Is there an area where you think it is somehow acceptable?
[00:54:09] You know, the commands of scripture, something that the Lord has commanded his slave to do. But instead of saying how I.
[00:54:16] To his jump, you've got some excuse why you don't do it. There's no excuse. If you're a slave and he's the boss. So he must increase. He must. It's going to happen whether you want to or not. And we must decrease. We must. Because Jesus is eternal.
[00:54:33] And he's going to live forever. And he's going to reign forever. And everyone's going to worship him. And you and I are going to die. And it's only a matter of time.
[00:54:42] And everyone that follows us in this life are precious little children who follow us around anyone that we might disciple in life, that we might mentor in our vocation, people we might lead to Christ or take through partners or have in our small group here at this church. Anyone who follows us there will come a day when they must not follow us anymore.
[00:55:04] So we're gonna get old and our bodies gonna stop working and maybe we're gonna be confined physically and not able to do the things we were able to do, and we're gonna realize why that was all the gift that was given to me only for a liberal time.
[00:55:17] And now that gift is being taken away. And we're going to watch our kids and our disciples hopefully keep living for Jesus Christ as we fade to just a name on a slab somewhere mostly forgotten by the world. And will you be able to say on that day that your joy is made full? Because he must increase. And we must decrease how we come to you. And we ask that you would humble us. God, we confess our pride. We confess the foolishness of thinking that we should get some credit that we deserve something. Got the foolishness of thinking that we get to decide what we do with our lives, that we have authority even over ourselves scattered. Pray that you will just give us a lowly impression of ourselves here this morning. And we thank you for the example of your son who would humble himself to the point of death. We thank you for this example of John the Baptist who found joy in being Jesus his best man. And if everybody was going to follow Jesus and forget him, well, he was fine with that. God make us that way. I pray. God, please make us a humble church. That the name of Jesus might be exalted among us. And that he might be seen as the high and lofty one guy. We do need revival. We do need you to give us life. We do need you to esteem us here at this church and to use us and that the gospel would ring out from us. But God help us to just see ourselves in the right perspective that we're the slave. And Jesus is the Lord. And whatever he tells us to do. God let it really be our pleasure. We pray this in Jesus name. Amen.
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