Saturday, November 28, 2015

John 3:35

Dr. Ronnie Wolfe

The Father Loveth The Son

 Evidently we need to know this, because the Holy Spirit inspired it to be written in our Bibles. If God loved His Son, then why did God allow Jesus to experience so much temptation, pain, sorrow, etc.? That is a question that only God can answer, but it is one that we can know in part, since we know that without his suffering we could never have eternal life. God shows His love to His son in giving him some things.

And Hath Given All Things Into His Hand

God gave "all things" into the hand of Jesus so that Jesus could execute God's perfect will in earth. That is both a challenging and a blessed thought.

He gave to Jesus wisdom:   Matt. 6:2 . . . and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands?

He gave to Jesus those who would believe:  John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

 He gave to Jesus all authority:  Matt. 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

He gave to Jesus the disposing of the lot:  Prov. 16:33 The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD.

When Jesus was about to die to carry out God's perfect will, then, he cried in Matt. 26:39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt

 Jesus executes God's will perfectly on earth as it is in Heaven. That is done, because the Father loves the Son:  John 5:20 For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

John 3:31-34

Dr. Ronnie Wolfe

These verses give us a good description of Jesus Christ and his origin (if you can call eternity an origin). Verse 31 tells us that he "cometh from above." That means he was not born the normal human way but was sent here from God's spiritual realm (Heaven) where he dwelt as the eternal Son of God until the fullness of time (Gal. 4:4) when God sent his Son to earth to redeem His people.

As though necessary, the Holy Spirit mentions that he "cometh from heaven." This is a precious redundancy, which declares something of the worth of Jesus Christ, which deserves our eternal praise.

Verse 32 tells us that Jesus testifies of that which he had seen from heaven. These are eternal truths are the basis of "the faith," which the Bible encourages us to believe and follow; but no one receives these eternal things, that is, on their own, which is explained in the next verse.

Verse 33 mentions those who HAVE received his testimony. It is not customary that man receive these eternal truths, but they are given to men by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, which we learn from many other scriptures. Those who receive his testimony have "set to his seal" (or attested to the fact) that God is true. Salvation comes from God, salvation is beneficial in allowing us to receive Jesus' testimony, and salvation, then, is a seal of the truth of God. Jesus is that truth (John 14:6).

Verse 34 tells us that Jesus speaks the "words of God," because Jesus completely understands and can properly teach and disseminate the truth of God, for Jesus is the only man who has the mind of God without measure, thus the phrase "the Spirit without measure unto him."

People of the earth can and do receive this eternal and truthful testimony of Jesus, since it is from God, and the dissemination of it is from God. God has opened the hearts of many, as he did in Lydia long ago, to receive these truths, trust in Jesus, and receive eternal life.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

John 3:30

Dr. Ronnie Wolfe

This text is only one small verse, but it is so powerful and applicable to us as well as to John the Baptist, who uttered it.

John loved the Lord and served Him. He obeyed his call to baptize, though that was a new thing to the Jewish community, especially the way John was doing it. His ministry was powerful and successful, but he knew it would be brief and passing; because he knew that Jesus would soon take over the prominent scene in the history of redemption. Therefore, he said, "He must increase."

Jesus was born a helpless baby, a human being, a kinsman redeemer. He grew daily in favor with God and man:  Luke 2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.  He grew to be a man at twelve years old and discussed technical theology with the superiors in the temple, knowing he must be about His Father's business (Luke 2:49).

He grew to maturity in the flesh and remained in His spirit the same God that He was before the foundation of the world, the Great I Am, the image of the invisible God, the creator of heaven and earth (Col.1:15-16).

But John said, "I must decrease." To know that Jesus is the Great Shepherd is not a hard thing, but to know that man must decrease in order for Jesus to increase is quite another thing. Man is basically a selfish being, and he in general does not want to be ordered by others; but, if Jesus is to act as Lord in our lives, we must first humble ourselves before Him and summit ourselves to him as John did.

John was soon arrested and killed, but Jesus began to increase in popularity and at the same time in persecution and eventually died the death of the cross (Phil. 2:8), being humbled and obedient to His work of Redeemer. He increased by being victorious over the cross, over death, over hell, and over our sins. Then He sat down at the right hand of His Father, being worthy of that position (Mark 16:19; Acts 7:55-56; Rom. 8:34; Col. 3:1; Heb. 1:3; 10:12; 1 Peter 3:22;).

We also must decrease and be humbled in order that we may be exalted in His service: Matthew 23:12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. 

Friday, November 6, 2015

John 3:28-29

Dr. Ronnie Wolfe

Some people misidentified John the Baptist to be the Messiah or at least to claim to be the Messiah, but here John flatly denies that he is or that he claims to be the Messiah. His mission is a forerunner: sent before him.

John's explanation goes deeper in verse 29, when he says He that hath the bride is the bridegroom. It is Jesus who is the bridegroom. It is Jesus who is the Messiah. It is Jesus who is doing the work of redemption. It is Jesus who is the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world, not John.

The idea of claiming that he himself is the Messiah, the Christ, is obnoxious to John. He would never do such a thing, for it is God who sent John to baptize, but Jesus was sent to seek and to save that which was lost (Matt. 18:11).

John is only a friend of the bridegroom, not the bridegroom. Therefore, John rejoices in the voice of the bridegroom, Jesus, rather than in his own words; and John's joy is fulfilled in the hearing and preaching of Jesus rather than the hearing and preaching his own words.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

John 3:24-27

Dr. Ronnie Wolfe

Soon after both John and Jesus (through his disciples) were both baptizing people, John the Baptist was imprisoned; soon afterward he was killed.

While John was still working, some people brought up questions concerning John's disciples and purifying. This purifying would be Moses' commandment concerning this rite, or it could have even been the command of the Jews in their commandments of men added to Moses' law to go through certain rituals for purifying. This baptism of John may bring into jeopardy the rites of Moses or the traditions that men had added to them. So, these men were actually dismissing John's baptism as unnecessary and even destructive to the Jewish theology of the day.  These men came to John emphasizing the work of Jesus in other places and how that Jesus was drawing "all men" to himself and that the ministry of John was deteriorating.

John knew, however, that his ministry must decrease and the Lord's ministry must increase (John 3:30). John is not to build the church, but Jesus is to build his church. John's disciples must be Jesus' disciples in the end, and the churches were to go to the uttermost part of the earth.

Now John answers these critics in a very important and powerful way. He says in verse 27, ". . . A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven." What a powerful defense of the Gospel! God must grant repentance (Acts 11:18), and salvation is by grace (the work of God). Later John would say in John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

What a mighty work that God does in our hearts as he draws us unto himself, gives grace to believe, and seals us with his Holy Spirit! Jonah confessed in the fish's belly, "Salvation is of the Lord" (Jonah 2:9).

Therefore, the Gospel message goes to all people in the world to repent, confess sins, and trust completely in--and only in--Jesus Christ as Savior.