Summary: 6 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-VI—John 3:22-36
Christians & the Church indeed have ‘the market’ on truth. We are in competition with false doctrine. But the Church invites grave difficulties upon herself when they become competitors among themselves...i.e., When their competition becomes detrimental to God’s desire.
While empowered & triumphant in Christ, individual Christians within the church, & even the local Church, can become a breeding ground for a Competitive spirit, driven by turning privilege in Christ into entitlement & deserving. Such a Competitive spirit is unhealthy & Detrimental to the Christian faith.
A biblically doctrinal(truth) understanding is vital to your growth as a Christian! We must stand firm for the truth, & we must also be certain to avoid standing firm for that which is contrived of man!
*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.
Jesus said, in Mark 3:24, 25—“If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.”
*Example:—VBS can be an outreach OR a competition between churches.
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 already seen that,
A competitive spirit is detrimental to Christian ministry when...
1. Your LAND/AREA is Best(:22-23)
2. Your IMMERSION/Baptism is Best(:23-24)
3. Your PURITY is Best(:25-26)
4. Your PLAN is Best(:27-28)
5. Your FULFILLMENT is Best(:29-30)
Our concern at FBCC is that you leave the ‘land’ of YOUR’ for the ‘land of the LORD!’
6—A competitive spirit is detrimental to Christian ministry when...
Your ORIGIN is Best(:31)
:31—“He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly & speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all.”
John gives further credence to his previous statements(:27-30) by making Jesus’ divinity & thereby Jesus’ ministry obvious by comparison.
In speaking of that One(Christ/Messiah/Jesus) “who comes from above” John twice declares to be “above all.”
John speaks of himself in regard to being earthly & as a result, “speaking of the earth.”
In other words, John is rightly limiting himself to the imperfections of humanity, while this Christ/Messiah of which he speaks imperfectly, actually “comes from heaven” &, by virtue of that, is “above all.”
“Comes”2X(See :22, 23, 26)—ercomai—Verb—1) To come—1a) of persons—1a1) To come from one place to another, & used both of persons arriving & of those returning, 1a2) To appear, make one's appearance, come before the public; 2) metaph.—2a) To come into being, arise, come forth, show itself, find place or influence, 2b) Be established, become known, to come(fall) into or unto; 3) To go, to follow one. Ercomai denotes motion or progress generally, & of any sort, hence to “come” & arrive at, as well as “to go.” Strong—middle voice of a primary verb(used only in the present & imperfect tenses, the others being supplied by a kindred [middle voice]eleuyomai; or [active]elyw; which do not otherwise occur); To come or go(in a great variety of applications, literally & figuratively).—
“From Above”2X[See :3, 7]—anwyen—Adverb—1) From above, from a higher place—1a) Of things which come from heaven or God; 2) From the first, from the beginning, from the very first; 3) Anew, over again. Strong—From above; by analogy--From the first; by implication--Anew. Used 13X.
From—anw—Adverb—1) Up, upwards, above, on high; 2) Of the quarters of the heaven, northward; 3) Of countries, inland, up from the coast; 4) Of time, formerlyStrong—Upward or on the top.
“Is”3X—esti—Verb—1) third person singular of “to be.” Strong—third person singular present indicative of eimi; He(she or it) is; also(with neuter plural)--They are.