Summary: 7 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-VII—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.”
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)
6. Your ORIGIN is Best(:31)
Our concern at FBCC is that you leave the ‘land’ of YOUR’ for the ‘land of the LORD!’
7—A competitive spirit is detrimental to Christian ministry when...
Your TESTIMONY is Best(:32-34)
:32—“And what He has seen & heard, that He testifies; & no one receives His testimony.”
John the Baptist makes an observation which the apostle John set forth in 1:10-11—That Jesus(Christ/Messiah) has “seen & heard” directly as a result of being in heaven(3:13) & has “testified” of it. Jesus’ testimony “express[es] the clear & perfect knowledge Christ has of all truths & doctrines[which He has received in the perfect council of the Godhead]; he having all the treasures of wisdom & knowledge in him.”—John Gill Thus Jesus perfectly & faithfully declares the whole council of God.
Ironically, the result of Jesus’ personal testimony is that it is largely ignored in the world & even among those(Israel) whom He Himself forged as His witness(es)(3:13; Num. 14:11-21; Deut. 9:1-7; Eccl. 12:13-14; Ezek. 16:6-24; Acts 7:51-53). We know that not but a few of the disciples of John even bore fully with Jesus’ “testimony. ” Likewise even those of Jesus’ own followers did not all “receive” it(Jn. 1:10-11; Jn. 6:55-66). “How stupid & foolish are the greatest part of mankind, what enemies to themselves!”.....“The unbelief of sinners is the grief of saints.”—Matthew Henry
Jn. 1:10-11—“He was in the world, & the world was made through Him, & the world did not know Him. He came to His own, & His own did not receive Him.”
Jn. 6:55-66—“For My[Jesus] flesh is food indeed, & My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh & drinks My blood abides in Me, & I in him. As the living Father sent Me, & I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. This is the bread which came down from heaven--not as your fathers ate the manna, & are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever.” These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum. Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, “This is a hard saying; who can understand it?” When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, “Does this offend you? What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before? It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, & they are life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, & who would betray Him. And He said, “Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.” From that time many of His disciples went back & walked with Him no more.”