Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | May 12, 2019

“But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption” – “So this joy of mine has been made full. He must increase, but I must decrease.”

Today’s devotion comes from John 3:22-30.

“After these things Jesus and His disciples came into the land of Judea, and there He was spending time with them and baptizing.  John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there; and people were coming and were being baptized— for John had not yet been thrown into prison.

Therefore there arose a discussion on the part of John’s disciples with a Jew about purification.  And they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, He who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have testified, behold, He is baptizing and all are coming to Him.”  John answered and said, “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given him from heaven.  You yourselves are my witnesses that I said, ‘I am not the Christ,’ but, ‘I have been sent ahead of Him.’  He who has the bride is the bridegroom;  but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice.  So this joy of mine has been made full.  He must increase, but I must decrease.”  John 3:22-30.

———————

John and Jesus were baptizing in the same area.  But, apparently more, maybe many more, were coming to Jesus to be baptized.

It would be a natural human condition for John to be jealous, particularly because John’s reputation was known by his name:  John the Baptist.

But, John the Baptist recognized that Jesus would not have had the success in drawing people to be baptized if God had not given Him that gift.  “John answered and said, A man can receive nothing unless it has been given him from heaven.”  Verse 27.

There is a mini-lesson here for us to not be jealous of the gifts and success that God has given to others.  “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit.  And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord.  There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.”  1 Corinthians 12:4-7.

“And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;  until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.”  Ephesians 4:11-13.

John the Baptist did not demand to be the center of attention.  John did not pout.

Just the opposite, John the Baptist made Jesus the center of attention.  John rejoiced in Jesus and His success.  “…  So this joy of mine has been made full.  He must increase, but I must decrease.”  Verses 29-30.

Other doctrine makes their own alleged free-will to choose Christ, their own wisdom to choose Christ, and their own works the center of attention of salvation.

But, Reformed Doctrine makes God’s sovereign will, God’s wisdom, and God’s work the center of attention of salvation.  

Reformed Doctrine rejoices that God provides all that we need for salvation from beginning to end:  from the beginning of God’s “Unconditional Election” through God’s “Limited Atonement” through God’s “Irresistible Grace” to the end of God’s “Preservation of the Saints”, the “U”, “L”, “I”, and “P” of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation as more fully taught in the Canons of Dordt.

But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.”  1 Corinthians 1:30-31.


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