He Who Comes From Above Is Above All
John 3:31-36 MKJV He who comes from above is above all; he who is from the earth is earthly and speaks from the earth. He who comes from Heaven is above all, (32) and what He has seen and heard, that He testifies, and no one receives His testimony. (33) He who has received His testimony has set his seal to this, that God is true. (34) For He whom God has sent speaks the Words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure. (35) The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hand. (36) He who believes on the Son has everlasting life, and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides upon him.
The testimony of Jesus is the testimony of Heaven and when someone believes it they are thereby testifying that God is true. We have to believe in the God that is revealed in Christ.
One of the greatest of all questions is – do you really believe what God says? Do you really believe who God is? Do you trust God? Do you grasp the goodness of God and really believe that He is working all things together for your good? Do you really trust God, not just a god of your imagination but the God that is revealed in Christ?
Yesterday I was writing an article on faith and I ended up defining it thus: True saving faith involves entering into a trusting dialogue with the Creator God as revealed in the person, life and ministry of Jesus Christ so that the character and power and promises of God enter our daily lives and transform them in specific loving, good and hopeful ways including but not limited to, our eternal salvation.
By this I mean that we need to trust Jesus for our salvation and also for our daily bread, for spiritual growth, and also for help in time of trouble. The people who Jesus commended for their faith often believed for something tangible and practical such as a healed son (the centurion) or a delivered daughter (the Syrophoenician woman). We have to grab hold of the testimony of Jesus and really believe it in both its temporal and eternal meanings.
John says that this kind of faith, the faith that really receives and believes the heavenly testimony of Jesus, is quite rare: “and what He has seen and heard, that He testifies, and no one receives His testimony.” Out of the whole Jewish nation of around 3 million plus (perhaps as many as eight million if the Diaspora is included) only 120 were gathered in the Upper Room at Pentecost and perhaps 20,000 were involved at the height of the Jerusalem revival. That is still much less than one percent of the nation.
Jesus did not speak His own “human” words, rather He spoke “the words of God” given by the Holy Spirit. “For He whom God has sent speaks the Words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure.”
This phrase “for God does not give the Spirit by measure” is quite important. Pagans see the Spirit as a sort of spiritual fluid they can have “more of” or “less of” whereas Scripture tells us that He is a Divine Person who we relate to. Thus any word from the Holy Spirit is a word from God.
Those who see Jesus, as simply a prophet must have great difficulty with the next verse: “The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hand.” No prophet is ever portrayed in the same terms or class as the beloved Son of God who has all Creation committed to His trust ad care. If all things are given into the hands of Jesus then that certainly includes the Church and all believers (Colossians 1:15-20) and so the primary agency taking care of your life is not yourself, your family or even the government or the angels – but Jesus Christ is your Saviour.
Since God has committed all things to Christ then for those things, their relationship with Christ is the most important thing possible. What we believe about Jesus is critical in the deepest most profound sense imaginable. Our attitude to Jesus – who is responsible for us, determines the attitude of God and His Universe to us. “He who believes on the Son has everlasting life, and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides upon him.”
Everything comes back to faith, to what we believe. If what we believe is right we live, if what we believe is wrong we die. If I believe I can fly and so jump off the Empire State Building my wrong belief will have drastic consequences. If I believe that I should drive on the left hand side of the road in the USA because that is the side we drive on in Australia, then my wrong belief may have lethal consequences. Even if I am just ignorant or mistaken in my wrong belief about which side of the road to drive on, it doesn’t matter, my wrong belief could still be deadly.
Everything depends on what we believe. If we believe the truth we live and if we believe lies we die – and even ignorant, mistaken or well-intentioned spiritual beliefs that are incorrect can be deadly.
The thing we must get right is to trust the God that is revealed in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ and believing rightly about Him and His goodness, love and power. If we believe on the Son – we have life and life abundantly. Thus our right belief leads to a right state of being and to right action and to good consequences. But if we not believe the Son, then we do not see life and the wrath of God abides on us. We cannot afford to be ignorant or mistaken about God and about eternal things because the stakes are so incredibly high.