Summary: 2 of 8. John the Baptist pointed out the detriments of competitive ministry. But when is competition detrimental to Christian ministry? A competitive spirit is detrimental to Christian ministry when...
DETRIMENTAL COMPETITION-II—John 3:22-36
A DETRIMENTAL SPIRIT
The shopkeeper was dismayed when a brand-new business much like his own opened up next door & erected a huge sign which read BEST DEALS.
He was horrified when another competitor opened up on his right, & announced its arrival with an even larger sign, reading LOWEST PRICES.
The shopkeeper was panicked, until he got an idea.
He put the biggest sign of all over his own shop...It read...‘MAIN ENTRANCE!’
A little ‘healthy’ competition is always welcome!
While Christians & the Church have ‘the market’ on truth, the Church can invite grave difficulties upon herself when they become competitors among themselves...When their competition becomes detrimental to God’s desire.
While empowered & triumphant in Christ, the Church & individual Christians within the church, can allow their privilege in Christ to turn into entitlement & deserving. This breeds a Competitive spirit which is Detrimental to the Christian faith.
Likewise, biblically doctrinal(truth) understanding is vital to your growth as a Christian!
*Verses :25 & 26 form the hinge/focus around which this passage flows.
John the Baptist pointed out the weakness/detriments/absurdities/incompatibilities of competitive ministry.
A competitive spirit can be detrimental to Christian ministry.
cf.—Php. 1:15-18—“Some indeed preach Christ even from envy & strife, & some also from good will: The former preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains; but the latter out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; & in this I rejoice, yes, & will rejoice.”
“The last thing...Jonah wanted...was for [the city of ]Nineveh to repent at his preaching; but” his... “message[from God]...produced repentance in spite of his ill intentions.”—MNTC
Local churches can operate & function as if they are in competition with other churches in the area. Any true church’s ‘competitive edge’ is supplied by Christ Jesus Himself! Together, we must be defenders of the faith(1Pet. 3:14-16; Jude :3-5).
We are always best served, & the Good News is best served, & the Kingdom of God is best served, by those who preach Christ from good will, rather than from envy & strife.
When is a competitive spirit detrimental to Christian ministry?
9 detriments of a competitive spirit to Christian ministry.
(And these all center around ‘me,’ ‘my,’ & ‘mine’!)
We have seen previously that,
A competitive spirit is detrimental to Christian ministry when...
1. Your LAND/AREA is Best(:22-23)
Today, we will also find that,
2—A competitive spirit is detrimental to Christian ministry when...
Your IMMERSION/Baptism is Best(:22b, 23b-24)
:22—“After these things Jesus & His disciples came into the land of Judea, & there He remained with them & baptized.”
:23b—“Now John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there. And they came & were baptized.”
:24—“For John had not yet been thrown into prison.
The events the apostle John describes here take place prior to John the baptist’s imprisonment(future) by Herod Antipas(Mk. 6:17-28; Lk. 3:19-20 & 9:9; Mat. 14:3-4). “...& this circumstance shows, that these things were done before that journey of Christ into Galilee, mentioned in Mt 4:12,13.”—John Gill
Mk. 6:17-28—“For Herod himself had sent & laid hold of John, & bound him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife; for he had married her. For John had said to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” Therefore Herodias held it against him & wanted to kill him, but she could not; for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just & holy man, & he protected him. And when he heard him, he did many things, & heard him gladly. Then an opportune day came when Herod on his birthday gave a feast for his nobles, the high officers, & the chief men of Galilee. And when Herodias’ daughter herself came in & danced, & pleased Herod & those who sat with him, the king said to the girl, “Ask me whatever you want, & I will give it to you.” He also swore to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, up to half of my kingdom.” So she went out & said to her mother, “What shall I ask?” And she said, “The head of John the Baptist!” Immediately she came in with haste to the king & asked, saying, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.” And the king was exceedingly sorry; yet, because of the oaths & because of those who sat with him, he did not want to refuse her. Immediately the king sent an executioner & commanded his head to be brought. And he went & beheaded him in prison, brought his head on a platter, & gave it to the girl; & the girl gave it to her mother.”