He Must Become Greater; I Must Become Less

 

In the realm of Christian faith, the words of John the Baptist, resonate profoundly, “He must become greater; I must become less.” John 3:30. As he said these words, John understood the was someone greater than him. These words summarize the essence of Christian humility and devotion. In this article, we delve deep into the significance of this verse and explore how it embodies the Christian journey of selflessness and spiritual growth.

John the Baptist, during his preaching, conveyed a powerful message to his disciples and the world. He acknowledged that there was someone greater than himself, Jesus Christ, the Messiah. John's role was to pave the way for the Messiah, pointing people towards Him. This act of humility and self-awareness is a cornerstone of the Christian faith. It serves as a reminder that, just like John, we too must diminish our own significance and elevate the presence and purpose of God in our lives.

In a Christian’s life, this verse is used numerous times. It emphasizes the importance of diminishing one’s value and ego and exalting God's presence and purpose. It talks about being humble before the Lord and giving him the praise and commendation He deserves in all aspects of your life. It calls us to be humble servants of God, recognizing that our purpose lies in aligning with His divine will and plan.

As a born-again Christian, this verse has an even deeper meaning. It means crucifying the flesh as we are told in Galatians 5:24. “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passion and desires.” Becoming less means that you have crucified the flesh, and put it to death. And now you are living by the Holy Spirit.

Jesus Himself emphasized the concept of self-denial for the sake of following Him. He tells his disciples that the only way to follow him is to “deny themselves, take up the cross, and follow him.” Matthew 16.24.  To follow Jesus, we need to let go of our self-centered desires, ambitions, and priorities. We must decrease. Our decisions need to be less about us, and more about God. We need to surrender our will and take up the will of God.

The apostle Paul further expounds on this spiritual transformation in Romans 8, where he expounds on living by the Spirit rather than by the flesh. The human flesh is susceptible to the ways of the world. The flesh is of the world, and the world is of the devil, and thus why it is easy for the flesh to be sexually immoral, proud, angry, greedy, lie, and other needs of the flesh as described in Colossians 3: 2-17. Those who live by the flesh live by the ways of the devil. The ways of the devil are sinful.

Decreasing means “putting to death the needs of the flesh,” and “setting your eyes on the things above”. Paul in Romans 8 states that those who live according to the flesh, have their mind set on the desires of the flesh, and the end result of this is death. Those who have crucified their flesh, live by the spirit and their result is life and peace.

Today, as Christians, we are called to confront and subdue our fleshly desires. We are summoned to crucify the flesh, allowing it to decrease, so that the Spirit of God within us may increase. May you be known as the man or woman of God who walks by the spirit, and not by sight.