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Sermon #1141

He Must Increase

A Sermon on John 3:30


John 3:30 ESV KJV
He must increase, but I must decrease.” (ESV)

Sermon Description

What does it mean to be baptized in the Spirit? In this sermon on John 3:30, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preaches from the part of this gospel where John the Baptist says, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” He speaks of what it means to be baptized by the Holy Ghost, which is mentioned throughout the book of John. Dr. Lloyd-Jones preaches that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is one that awakens a believer into joy and evangelism and out of despair and loneliness. Many have prayed to be baptized by the Spirit, but God has only chosen to give it to some. Dr. Lloyd-Jones argues that John the Baptist was not baptized by the Spirit since he was the least in the kingdom. He also explains that John the Baptist sometimes spoke the words of God, while Jesus Christ always spoke the words of God. This contrast is important when recognizing that prophets and people are not infallible, yet Jesus Christ was and is truly without error. The difference between water baptism and baptism by the Spirit, Dr. Lloyd-Jones preaches, is that water baptism is obedience and confirmation of conversion, and baptism by the Holy Ghost is in order to bring more lost souls home to Christ.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon focuses on John 3:30 which states "He must increase, but I must decrease."
  2. John the Baptist's disciples were jealous that Jesus was baptizing more people than John. But John says they are wrong to think this way.
  3. John says Jesus is greater because he comes from above while John is just a man. Jesus speaks God's words fully while John only speaks God's words at times.
  4. The Father loves Jesus and has given him the Spirit without limit. The Father has given Jesus all things.
  5. The sermon is given on Whit Sunday which celebrates the Holy Spirit coming upon the disciples.
  6. The sermon considers the difference between John's baptism and Jesus' baptism of the Holy Spirit.
  7. John's baptism was just preparatory while Jesus' baptism is the real baptism. Jesus' baptism is with the Holy Spirit and fire.
  8. The difference between the baptisms is like the difference between a child and an adult. John's disciples were like children while those baptized in the Spirit are like adults.
  9. Adults have greater understanding than children. The Old Testament saints were like children compared to those with the Spirit. The disciples were like children before Pentecost but became like adults after.
  10. Those with the Spirit have greater certainty and assurance in their faith. John doubted in prison but those with the Spirit have a faith that cannot be shaken.
  11. The Spirit gives complete satisfaction in Christ. Without the Spirit, faith can seem like a burden but with the Spirit one finds rest in Christ.
  12. The Spirit brings joy and gladness. Early Christians ate with gladness and joy. The Spirit gives joy unspeakable and full of glory.
  13. The Spirit makes one fruitful. Out of believers will flow rivers of living water that refreshes others. The early Christians witnessed powerfully through their transformed lives.
  14. We must let Christ increase and self decrease. We must give up pride in self and desire only Christ and what he gives through his Spirit.

The Book of John

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.