“A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven. You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before him.’ The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. He must increase, but I must decrease.”
John 3:27-30 (ESV)
The third chapter of the Gospel of John contains some of the most theologically significant verses in the whole of the Bible…
In John 3:3, Jesus says to Nicodemus, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” To which Nicodemus responds in verse 4, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”
We are told in John 3:14-15 about Christ being lifted up like the bronze serpent from Numbers 21:8-9, with Jesus telling Nicodemus, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.”
John 3:16 stands out as one of the most significant verses in the gospels. For some Christians, it was the first (maybe only) verse that they ever memorized. Some people put it on signs and hold it up at sporting events when the cameras pan over to their seats. Even most non-Christians know the verse, if only because of its pervasive use in movies and television.
But there is another verse in John chapter 3 that stands out as significant and important to the Christian for a proper understanding of our relationship to Christ as His church.
“He must increase, but I must decrease.”– John 3:30