We begin with a great description of the Lord Jesus Christ - "He who comes from above is above all ... He who comes from heaven is above all" (John 3:31).
Compare Jesus with the great characters of the Old Testament - Noah, Abraham, Moses, Isaiah - and the New Testament - Peter, Paul, John, James. You will come to this conclusion: Jesus is above all.
The others speak of the Lord, our God and Saviour. Jesus is our Saviour, our Lord and our God. Jesus is above all. Concerning Jesus alone does the Scripture say: "at the Name of Jesus every knee shall bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Philippians 2:10-11).
When the Bible speaks of Jesus' absolute superiority over all, it emphasizes His triumph over all the powers of evil. When we truly believe that Jesus has won the victory over all that stands between ourselves and God, we are truly able to say: "On the victory side, on the victory side, no foe can daunt me, no fear can haunt me, on the victory side. On the victory side, on the victory side, with Christ within, the fight we'll win, on the victory side." Through Christ, the victory is ours.
As we think of these words of John the Baptist: "He who comes from above all is above all ... He who comes from heaven is above all" (John 3:31), we should also recall his words from John 1:29 - "Behold (look)! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world." If the victory of the Lord is to be ours in an ever-deepening experience, this is what we must do - look away from ourselves and our defeat to Jesus Christ our Saviour and His victory. Jesus won the victory for us when He died upon the Cross for us. If, however, we are to enjoy His victory as an ongoing experience, we must seek to cultivate a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
this relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ is to be a relationship of faith, prayer and love. In this relationship, we learn, more and more, to say of Jesus: "He who comes from above is above all ... He who comes from heaven is above all" (John 3:31).
(a) A relationship of faith
"It is not by measure that He gives the Spirit" (John 3:34).
The Holy Spirit is given to those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. Through faith, we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 3:14). Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus shares His risen life with us. The Word of God describes the believer in this way: "The Spirit of God dwells in you" (Romans 8:9).
Jesus is the Lord who came from above, from heaven. The Holy Spirit brings Jesus into our hearts. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we know the presence of the Lord Jesus with us here and now. Through the presence of the Holy Spirit in our hearts, we have the assurance that we dwell with the Lord Jesus forevermore.
The Christian life begins with faith - believing in the Lord Jesus Christ. By faith, we receive Christ into our hearts and lives. The Christian life must also continue in faith. we have received Christ in faith. Now, we are to walk with Him in faith (Colossians 2:6). We began with faith. We are to continue with faith (Galatians 3:2-3).
(b) A relationship of prayer
"He whom God has sent utters the words of God" (John 3:34).
Jesus Himself is "the Word of God" (John 1:1; John 1:14). To get to know Jesus ourselves, we must give careful attention to the words which He has spoken. A relationship of prayer is not only a matter of our speaking to God. Before we speak to God, we must learn to listen to Him. God speaks to us through His Word. We reply to Him when we speak to Him in prayer. We come to faith in Christ when we hear and believe t he Gospel (Romans 10:17; 1 Peter 1:23-25). we grow in faith, as we build our lives on Christ, as we learn of Him from God's Word. Growing in faith, we learn to listen to God and we learn to speak to God.
(c) A relationship of love
"He must increase, but I must decrease" (John 3:30).
We began with a description of the Lord Jesus Christ: "He who comes from above is above all ... He who comes from heaven is above all" (John 3:31). we moved on to a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ - a relationship of faith, prayer and love. It is a relationship of faith in the Lord Jesus. It is a relationship of listening to the Lord Jesus and speaking to Him. It is a relationship of love for Jesus. Surely, as we look at these three things together - faith, prayer and love, we must say, with Paul, "The greatest of these is love" (1 Corinthians 13:13).
Out of love for Jesus grows the deep-seated desire to become like Him, giving all the glory to Him, acknowledging Him to be "above all." Jesus increasing, ourselves decreasing - this is the Christlike pattern which God wishes to reproduce in our lives. God is at work within us through the power of the Holy Spirit. God speaks to us through His written Word - the Bible - so that we may become more like His living Word - the Lord Jesus Christ. Through His Word and His Spirit, God is at work in us so that Jesus may be "above all" in our lives.
"I must decrease, but Christ in me must increase." Make this your spiritual "ambition". Let the self-centredness of the past be replaced by a new Christ-centredness in the future.