John 3:22-36 Unity and Obedience

Envy is everywhere you look. It’s when you see someone in the workplace get the promotion that you wanted. It’s when you see someone win the lottery and you didn't. Its when you see the married couple that is so cute but your marriage is struggling. Its when you're in the slow lane and people are zipping by you. Its anytime you fail to rejoice with someone because you want what they have. Envy always causes dis-unity, and the disunity caused by envy is always sin.

This is the exact temptation that John the Baptist was confronted with in this text. A Jew has tried to pin John the Baptist against Jesus because all of John’s followers were leaving him and flocking to Christ. At one point John the Baptist was the most influential person in his region and now he is becoming a “nobody,” except Jesus' cousin. That said, John shows incredible humility as he continues to rejoice in Christ's rising influence and his declining influence. For John the Baptist, life wasn't about winning a popularity competition or trying to win "Pastor of the Year". For John, life was about making Jesus the Hero. John was more interested in being faithful than being famous.

Later in the text, there is an odd turn as John the gospel writer talks about the relationship between belief and obedience.

Scripture is clear that It is impossible for a person to consistently act in a way that is contradictory to the belief that they hold in their heart. Anyone who calls them-self a Christian but is able to continue deliberately sinning with no remorse or repentance may find that Jesus will tell them that He does not know them as His followers or as having been under His blood covering. True repentance comes to our life by the Holy Spirit convicting us of our sins and us then changing our daily life so that we no longer commit those sins. When we do sin there should be a heart-held grief that causes us to repent of the sin and try to change our life so that we can be free of the sin in the future. When we love God, our relationship with Him makes us want to please and obey Him. Therefore, we show our love for God by living our life in a way that is pleasing to Him, through our obedience to His instructions for our life.

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