Our True Relation to Christ

Ellet J. Waggoner

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

These were the words of John the Baptist concerning the relation of Christ to himself; and they show the true relation of every man to Christ. Every follower of Christ must say from the heart, “He must increase, but I must decrease.”

To what extent must this increase and decrease take place?—The answer is plain: Inasmuch as the statement is absolute, with no limitation, it is evident that the increasing and decreasing must go on as long as it is possible, that is, so long as there is anything of us left, which can be diminished.

It follows, then, that we must decrease until there is nothing left of us, and He must increase until He fills all things. This obliteration of self, the merging of ourselves in Him, is indeed the only way in which our existence can be continued. If we seek our own greatness, we shall at last be as though we had not been; but if we consent to occupy our true position, as nothing, that He may be all in all, we shall live for ever, and be as though we had always been. We do not lose our personality, but Christ becomes our personality, manifesting Himself in us for just what God has designed that we should be. To sink out of sight in Christ is greater than to exalt ourselves to heaven without Him.

The Present Truth 17, 29 (July 18, 1901), p. 464.