Christ Must Increase
Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 26 February 2017
30 He must increase, but I must decrease.
2 Corinthians 4:11-18
11 For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. 12 So then death worketh in us, but life in you. 13 We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; 14 Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. 15 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. 16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; 18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
John the Baptizer’s ultimate principle of life and ministry is recorded in this verse. To him, growth in Christ meant giving up everything about himself for Christ’s glory. So he said, “He must increase, but I must decrease.”
John acknowledged that the advancement of Christ’s glory is essential, because it was God’s plan that Christ, the Messiah, should supersede the ministry of John. John was only a herald of Christ. His duty was to prepare the hearts of the people for the coming of Christ. The man of the hour was not John but Christ. That is why John said, “He must increase.” He was committed to that divine plan. He had no intention to hinder the progress of Christ’s ministry. His only desire was that Christ would be magnified.
Growing in Christ is only possible when one allows Christ to have pre-eminence in his life. There must be increasing influence and direction from Christ in one’s life that he may grow in Christ. Such an overwhelming supremacy of Christ means increasingly submitting to His glory and will.
John also knew that if he would not diminish for Christ’s sake, it is impossible to be instrumental in Christ’s advancement. His contraction was the natural outcome of his commitment to Christ’s increase. His heart was burning with the passion for the glory of Christ that he gladly melted away from the scene like a candle as Christ came to the scene. He achieved it by introducing Christ to the world. When people moved away from him and gathered around Christ, his duty and desires were perfectly fulfilled. He felt no regret that his popularity was diminishing. He accepted his contraction very gladly because his most cherished desire, the advancement of Christ’s glory, was being steadily accomplished. Therefore if we sincerely desire to grow in Christ, let us be mindful that we must be willing to place all that pertains to our self-gain under the pre-eminence of Christ.
“But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord” (2 Cor. 10:17).
May my life be hid that Thy glory may be seen.