The Decline of the Ministry of John the Baptist:

Maintaining a Christ-centered Focus in the Midst of Setbacks

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I.                   Introduction.

II.                The preparation of John the Baptist for success.

A.   Publicized – Isa 40:3; Luke 1.

B.   Equipped – Luke 1.

III.             The realization of the decline.

A.   When – John 3:22; John 4:2.

B.   Where – John 3:23-24; John 4:1-3.

C.   How – John 3:25-26.

IV.            John’s response.

A.   What John did not do.

1.     He did not try to get the people back.

2.     He did not draw attention to himself.

3.     He did not get mad and quit.

B.   What John did do.

1.     John noted the source of his gifts – John 3:27-30.

2.     He focused on Jesus rather than Himself – Pro 75:6-7; Pro 16:9.

V.               John’s Christ-centered focus.

A.   Jesus came down from heaven – John 3:31; 1 Cor 2:9.

B.   Jesus had first-hand knowledge of the truth – John 3:32.

C.   Jesus and the Father were always in agreement – John 3:33.

D.   Jesus was indwelt by the Holy Spirit without measure – John 3:34.

E.    Jesus had been given all authority – John 3:35.

F.    Jesus’ range of authority included eternal life – John 3:36.

VI.            Application.

A.   Remember that natural abilities and spiritual abilities come from God.

B.   Remember that we are to point people to Christ, not ourselves.

C.   Remember the all surpassing greatness of Christ, Himself.