The Ministry of Messiah, 2:1-12:50
1. Jesus offers abundant new life, 2:1-3:36
v] Jesus and John the BaptistSynopsis
Our author now gives us some more details on the ministry of the Baptist before drawing together the truth evident in Jesus discussion with Nicodemus, v31-36. So, John commences with a narrative, v22-26, then a monologue by the Baptist, v27-30, and then follows up with a commentary / exposition, v31-36.
Whereas the Baptist washes with water, Jesus washes with the Spirit, and that washing brings with it "eternal life".Issues
i] Context: For Jesus offers abundant new life, 2:1-3:36; See 2:1-12..
ii] Structure: Jesus and John the Baptist:
Discourse - the testimony of the Baptist, v22-30:
"he must increase, but I must decrease."
Commentary - the supremacy of Christ, 31-36:
"he who comes from above is above all."
"he testifies to what he has seen and heard."
"whoever receives his testimony":
receives the Spirit.
"has eternal life."
whoever does not receive his testimony;
"the wrath of God remains on him."
Before moving to the testimony of the Baptist, John provides the setting, v22-26. Here we learn that Jesus' early ministry was concurrent with that of the Baptist. It was at this time that the Baptist's disciples got into a dispute with "the Jews" ("a Jew"??) over kaqarismou, "purification". This may be an oblique reference to water baptism, because the Baptist's disciples then ask him about the person on the other side of Jordan who "is baptizing, and all are going to him."
The Baptist's testimony serves to contrast the Baptist with Jesus, the one who washes with the Spirit (cf. v5. "Born of water and Spirit" is best understood as "born from the washing of the Spirit", cf., Brown), v27-30. As Jesus explained to Nicodemus, a person cannot gain eternal life unless they are born of the Spirit. Jesus is the one who washes with the Spirit, unlike the Baptist who only washes with water. The Baptist but points to the new creation; Jesus is the realization of the new creation. The Baptist can only "decrease"; Jesus "increase". So, Jesus, the one who comes from above, testifies to the new order of things. Those who receive his testimony receive the Spirit and so find eternal life. Those who do not receive his testimony are left to face the wrath of God alone.
John concludes with a commentary on the supremacy of Christ, v31-36: John, in this commentary on the Baptist's monologue, sets out to establish "the supremacy of Christ as the One who descends from heaven and bears witness to what he has seen" (Dodd), a witness bearing the authority of the Father, a witness, which when believed, enacts a washing of the Spirit producing eternal life. Some commentators have tried to excise this discourse and place it at the end of the Nicodemus discourse (Moffatt actually moves v22-31 to after the miracle in Cana in Galilee). There are similarities between the two discourses, but such a stitching is not seamless. Dodd argues that this discourse is best viewed as a "recapitulation", "an explanatory appendix", of the leading ideas in the Nicodemus discourse (a Johannine technique). The commentary does seem to function this way, and that being the case, it serves well as the conclusion of the first sign / event episode.
iv] Form and intent:
"New Testament scholars generally assume it as self-evident that the controversies in the Fourth Gospel reflect the tensions that prevailed between the Johannine community and the synagogue", Beasley-Murray. It is also argued that John is writing within an environment of theological controversy, eg., Gnosticism. Thus, "the fundamental issue that determined the form of the Fourth Gospel is a theological one, namely the unity of Christ's action in the flesh and the Spirit", Beasley-Murray. Yet, one wonders whether we read too much into the nature of the Fourth Gospel. Dodd argues in Interpretation that each episode in the Fourth Gospel "presents the gospel in its wholeness", of Christ the one who brings life to those who believe. What we have in the Fourth Gospel is most likely a thematic assembling of the gospel teaching of John the apostle. It is for this reason that when we come to the task of preaching on a passage from the gospel of John we often end up with an evangelistic address.
v] Exposition: A simple exposition of this passage may be found in the linked pew-level Sermon Notes.
Text - 3:22
Jesus and the Baptist, v22-36: i] The testimony of the Baptist, v22-30. a) Setting, v22-26: Moving from the Nicodemus discourse on new life in Christ, John compares Jesus with the Baptist. Our author will return again to the subject of new life when he summarizes it in v31-36. Both Jesus and the Baptist were in the countryside baptizing, although Jesus' disciples were performing the rite, rather than Jesus himself. There was something different between the two rites and this was picked up by an observant Jew who questioned the Baptist's disciples on the matter. The Baptist's disciples then went to the Baptist himself and questioned him how this might relate to the increasing success of Jesus' ministry.
meta touto "after this" - after these things. Transitional; indicating temporal sequence.
eiV + acc. "into [the Judean countryside]" - [jesus and the disciples of him came] into [the judean land]. Local, indicating the direction of the action. As if leaving Jerusalem and moving out into the countryside, so NIV, although possibly "into the country of Judea", Phillips, Goodspeed, ie., "the Judean territory", McHugh.
dietriben (diatribw) imperf. "he spent some time" - [and there] he was staying. The imperfect, being durative, may express "quite a long stay", Lindars, although an imperfect is often used for background information within a narrative.
meta + gen. "with [them]" - Expressing association / accompaniment; "in company with them."
ebaptizen (baptizw) imperf. "baptized" - [and] he was immersing. The imperfect is possibly iterative expressing repeated action, so Brown, or durative, but see "he was staying" above; "where he spent some time baptizing", McHugh. Interestingly, "he was baptizing", although we are told in v2 that only Jesus' disciples baptized, not Jesus. Is the sense here that the disciples baptized in Jesus' name? Is Jesus' "immersing" in the sense of an immersing with the Spirit rather than water? The whole point of this episode is to compare the Baptist who immerses/washes in water with Jesus who immerses/washes in the Spirit, so the impression here is that Jesus is doing something that is different to the Baptist. Carson argues that the context implies water baptism, while Haenchen points out that the Spirit in John is only imparted by the risen Christ (is that so?).
kai "also" - [but/and john] and = also. Adjunctive, "also".
h\n ... baptizwn (baptizw) pres. part. "was baptizing" - The participle and the verb to-be forms a periphrastic imperfect construction, possibly emphasizing aspect such that "John gave himself to baptizing more continuously than Jesus", Morris.
en + dat. "at [Aenon near Salim]" - in [aenon near salim]. Local, expressing space within; "in the locality of ...." The sites are disputed, but the point is clear, "Jesus was baptizing in Judean territory, John was also baptizing not far away, though in Samaritan territory", McHugh. Albright has identified a town called Salim with a village nearby called Ainun, both in the valley of Shechem in an area where the Wadi Farah rises providing an abundance of spring water. Yet, why would the Baptist be ministering in Samaria?
oJti "because" - because [much water was there]. Introducing a causal clause explaining why John was baptizing in this locality, namely, because of the abundance of water.
pareginonto (paraginomai) imperf. "they came" - [and] people were coming [and were being baptized]. As for "were being baptized, the imperfect, being durative, possibly indicates that the Baptist's ministry was successful; "A continuous stream of people flocked out to him", Barclay. None-the-less, the imperfect is often just used to give background information within a narrative and that may be its intent here.
Usually treated as a parenthetical statement by John probably underlining the termination of the Baptist's ministry, which although successful, must move aside for the one greater.
gar "-" - for. Here transitional; introducing an editorial comment explaining that at this time the Baptist had not yet been arrested and was still baptizing adherents.
oupw adv. "this was before" - [john] not yet. Temporal.
h\n beblhmenoV (ballw) perf. part. "was put" - had been thrown [into prison]. A periphrastic pluperfect construction, possibly emphasizing aspect, "the duration of John's incarceration", McHugh.
oun "-" - for. Here transitional and so left untranslated.
zhthsiV (iV ewV) "an argument" - [there became then] a discussion, debate. Nominative subject of the verb "to become." A strong sense is indicated, "a dispute", Moffatt.
ek "between some of [John's disciples]" - from [the disciples of john]. Possibly equivalent to a partitive genitive; "a discussion among some of John's disciples", as NIV, although McHugh / Barrett suggest that the preposition is identifying the source of the argument.
meta + gen. "with" - Expressing association / accompaniment; "with".
Ioudaiou (oV) gen. "a Jew" - Variant "Jews", but the more difficult reading "Jew", singular, is preferred.
peri + gen. "over the matter of" - concerning, about. Expressing reference / respect.
kaqarismou (oV) "ceremonial washing" - purification. The sense is unclear. Is the debate over the religious value of the Baptist's water baptism, or over ritual purification as such? The NIV "ceremonial washing" ("s" NAB) allows both options. Lindars thinks that it "could indeed include baptism and was probably intended by John to do so." One suspects that the issue is over what the Baptist is doing as compared with what Jesus is doing, given that what Jesus is doing seems to be overtaking what the Baptist is doing in the popularity stakes (so the point of the question to the Baptist in v26). A definitive conclusion is not possible.
hlqon (ercomai) aor. "they came" - [and] they came. The subject is unclear, but presumably the Baptist's disciples.
proV + acc. "to [John]" - toward [john]. Local, expressing movement toward.
autw/ dat. pro. "[said] to him" - Dative of indirect object.
w|/ dat. pro "the one [you testified] about" - [rabbi, he who was with you beyond the jordan] to whom. The relative pronoun introduces a relative clause standing as the subject of the verb "to baptize." We might have expected the preposition peri with marturew"concerning whom you bore witness", cf. 5:31, but here John uses the dative of respect, a construction more common to Luke.
memarturhkaV (marturew) perf. "testified" - [you] have given testimony. The perfect expressing "abiding witness", McHugh, Barrett; "to whom you have been bearing witness."
ou|toV baptizei "he is baptizing" - [look] this one baptizes. Possibly "he himself baptizes", but see above.
panteV "everyone [is going to him]" - [and] all [are coming to him]. Obviously an exaggeration, possibly with "overtones of accusation", Haenchen, "resentment", Carson, but more likely "utterly neutral", McHugh.
b) The Baptist's monologue, v27-30. The Baptist goes on to remind his disciples of what he has already told them: "I am not the Christ", rather, "I am sent ahead of him." The Baptist simply describes himself as the best-man for a bridegroom, having the responsibility to prepare for his coming wedding. The Baptist knows that Jesus' ministry will power ahead and his will fade; serving this end completes his life.
lambanein (lambanw) pres. inf. "[a man can] receive" - [john answered and said, a man is not able] to receive. The infinitive is complementary, completing the sense of the verb "is [not] able".
oude e}n "-" - not one thing, anything. What is given in this context is possibly "popularity", TH, cf., v30, but better status, cf., v28. "No one can take a single thing as his possession", McHugh.
ean mh + subj. "only" - if not = except, unless. The construction introduces an exceptive clause which establishes a contrast by designating an exception, although we would have expected ei mh; "a person cannot receive even one thing except it is given from heaven." On the other hand, we could treat the verse as a negated conditional clause, 3rd class, where the condition is assumed a possibility, lit. "unless, as may be the case, it has been given from heaven, then a man is not able to receive one thing." The NIV has shaped a positive statement to aid understanding. "There is nothing a person can receive except what has been granted them from heaven", Cassirer.
h\/ dedomenon (didomai) perf. part. "what is given" - it has been given. The subjunctive verb to-be + the perfect participle forms a periphrastic perfect construction, possibly emphasizing durative aspect. "It is not a matter of human endowment or pretension, but of a gift from heaven, ie., God", Haenchen.
autw/ dat. pro. "him / them" - to him. Dative of indirect object.
ek + gen. "from" - out of, from. Expressing source / origin.
tou ouranou "heaven" - heaven. Demonstrating Semitic deference toward the divine, so "a person can only receive what God gives them", Barclay.
autoi uJmeiV "you yourselves" - they you. Emphatic construction. Here autoi, "they", serves to strengthen uJmeiV, "you", so "you yourselves." Probably referring to the Baptist's disciples.
martureite (marturew) pres. "can testify" - bear witness, testimony. "You yourselves heard me say", TH; "you can bear me out", JB.
moi dat. "-" - to me. Again we may have expected peri after "witness" = "bear witness concerning me", but here again a dative is used to express reference / respect, "you yourselves bear witness with respect to / concerning me."
oJti "that [I said]" - that [i said that i am not the christ]. Introducing a dependent statement of indirect speech expressing what can be testified. The second variant oJti (bracketed) again introduces a dependent statement, here direct speech, expressing what the Baptist had said, namely "I am not the Christ / Messiah". The third oJti is also direct speech expressing more of what the Baptist had said, namely "I have been sent on ahead of him".
alla "-" - but. Strong adversative standing in counterpoint construction; "not ...... but ...... "I am not the messiah, but that I said, I do not take precedence over the messiah."
apestalmenoV (apostellw) perf. pas. part. "am sent" - [i am] having been sent. Intensive perfect participle, usually treated as a divine passive, ie., "I have been sent by God." Given that the participle is followed by eimi, the present verb to-be, we may have a periphrastic perfect construction, but then again, the participle may have an adverbial intent, possibly concessive, "although I have been sent by God, I am ....."
emprosqen "ahead of" - before, in front of [that one (the one just mentioned)]. Possibly temporal, but more likely local, "I am [only] an envoy sent on ahead of him", McHugh.
Generally accepted as a genuine saying of the Baptist (should we be surprised?). The language is somewhat apocalyptic with the image of a bridegroom commonly used to describe the messiah's coming to Israel, here of the King's coming Son. The Baptist expresses his privilege, and thus joy, in serving the Son.
oJ ecwn (ecw) "belongs" - the one having [the bride is the bridegroom]. The participle serves as a substantive, subject of the verb to-be, "the one having the bride is he / the bridegroom", best expressed "it is the bridegroom who has the bride as his own", Cassirer.
oJ esthkwV (iJsthmi) perf. part. "[the friend] who attends [the bridegroom]" - [but/and the friend of the bridegroom] the one having stood [and hearing / obeying him]. "Friend" (the bridegroom's agent in arranging the marriage) = "the best man", NAB. The participle, as with "hearing" is best treated as adjectival, attributive, limiting "friend", as NIV, although possibly serving as a substantive, in apposition to "friend", "the one having stood and hearing him." Interestingly, "the friend who stands" = "who is there to support him and carry out his orders", Barclay, takes a perfect tense, while "the friend who hears" = "who listens to his every word", takes the present tense. We possibly have a hendiadys; "who stands by listening to the bridegroom", Cassirer.
outou gen. "him" - Genitive of direct object following the verb "to obey".
cara/ (a aV) dat. "[and is full of] joy" - [rejoices] with joy. The dative is adverbial, modal, expressing manner. The construction is Semitic where the Gk. dative has been used for the Hebrew absolute infinitive; "he is happy when he hears the bridegroom speak", TH.
dia "when [he hears the bridegroom's voice]" - because of, on account of [the voice of the bridegroom]. Causal, "that is why the joy that I am now experiencing fulfills all my desires", McHugh.
oun "-" - therefore. Inferential, drawing a logical conclusion; "therefore".
hJ emh adj. "[that joy is] mine" - [this the joy] the of mine. This articular possessive adjective functions as an attributive adjective limiting "the joy"; "this joy which is mine is now complete."
peplhrwtai (plhrow) perf. pas. "it is now complete" - has been made full. Emphatic by position. "Fulfilled", so "complete".
auxanein (auxanw) pres. inf. "greater" - [that one is necessary] to be greater, increase. The infinitive forms a substantival phrase subject of the verb "it is necessary", with the subject of the infinitive being the accusative ekeinon "this one" (accusative infinitive construction); "this one to increase is necessary." For Novakovic's classification of complementary see Substantive Infinitives - Subject. "He must grow greater and greater", Phillips.
de "-" - but/and. Transitional, introducing a counterpoint, "but I must grow less and less."
elattousqai (elattow) pres. inf. "[I must become] less" - [me is necessary] to be less. The infinitive, as above. with the verb "it is necessary" assumed, "I (acc.) to decrease [is necessary]". "I must wane", Berkeley (as in "wax and wane").
ii] Commentary, v31-36: a) Proposition - The supremacy of Christ, v31. "He who comes from above is above all." It is never easy to identify where our author ends a dialogue / discourse and moves to commentary. It is generally accepted that v31-36 is commentary rather than a continuation of the Baptists dialogue.
oJ ... ercomenoV (ercomai) pres. part. "the one who comes [from above]" - the one coming [from above (heaven / god)]. The participle serves as a substantive. The present tense is both durative and timeless, he comes past, present and future. "The coming one" is messianic and even apocalyptic such that John is referring to "Jesus as the Son of man, the supreme ruler of the human race", Barrett.
epanw + gen. "[is] above [all]" - [is] over, above [all]. Expressing advantage. Possibly in the sense "is greater than all."
oJ w]n "the one who is" - the one being. The participle serves as a substantive, nominative subject of the verb to-be. It is usually assumed that the Baptist is in mind, although as already noted, John, both in content and style, moves back to the discourse that follows the Nicodemus narrative and dialogue. So, Nicodemus and those like him may be in mind. "From the earth" means "from the natural order of things", of being human, "a creature (but not a sinner)", McHugh.
ek + gen. "from [the earth]" - out of, from [the earth]. Expressing source / origin.
ek + gen. "belongs to [the earth]" - of [the earth is]. Here serving as a partitive genitive. "He is like everyone else", Junkins. A bit tautological, although Barrett suggests "he that is earthly in origin is earthly by nature."
ek +gen. "[speaks as one] from [the earth]" - from/of [the earth speaks]. Expressing source / origin. "And speaks from an earth-standpoint", Berkeley. Surely we should regard the Baptist's words as prophetic and therefore divine revelation. Possibly a comparison is being made between Jesus and the Baptist. "Inevitably, he speaks as one from the earth; he called people to repentance and to baptism in water, but he could not reveal heaven's counsels, nor could he offer regeneration from above, the long-promised renewal", Carson, so Barrett, Morris. Schnackenburg argues that John has moved back to the Nicodemus discourse and so Nicodemus, and those like him (ie., those not washed with/by the Spirit), is in John's mind. So also Ridderbos.
tou ouranou "[the one who comes from] heaven" - [the one coming from] heaven. Virtually a repeat of the opening clause of the sentence except that "from heaven" replaces "from above". The "is above all", again repeats the opening clause of the verse, but it may not be original. If "is above all" is an addition, then "the one who comes from heaven" will introduce the next verse: "the one who comes from heaven testifies to that which he has seen and heard." This seems likely.
b) Consequences, v32-36: The Baptist washes with water, but Jesus washes with the Spirit, and it is the Spirit who gives life. Jesus comes from God with a divine message, although sadly, few accept it. But, those who do believe / accept the divine message end up tasting the faithfulness of God, and this because the one who brings the message brings the life-giving Spirit of God. This then is how it is: when it comes to God's gift of new life, the Father has given the Son full authority. Whoever believes in the Son will receive the gift of life in all its fullness. Yet, be warned, whoever does not believe does not possess life, but stands condemned.
eJwraken (oJraw) perf. "seen" - [that which] he has seen [and hear, this he testifies]. The perfect is possibly intensive, expressing a past action with ongoing consequences, "the abiding memory of the vision", McHugh, but hkousen, "heard" is aorist (a specific message??), so it is likely that the perfect here is aoristic where the result of the action is not in mind. "He [the one who comes from heaven] is testifying to what he has seen and heard", Moffatt.
oudeiV lambanei (lambanw) pres. "no one accepts" - [and the testimony of him] no one receives. A reminder that these words are part of John's discourse, not the monologue from the Baptist. From the Baptist's perspective Jesus was increasingly popular. The "no one" is an exaggeration, but does reflect the perspective of the prologue, cf. 1:11f.
autou gen. pro. "his" - [the testimony] of him. The genitive is adjectival, possessive, identifying the possession of a derivative characteristic, as NIV, but possibly verbal, subjective, "the testimony he gives."
thn marturian (a) "testimony" - witness, testimony. The word means to make a personal declaration consisting of important information, eg., something a person might give in testimony before a court of law. The Baptist asked his disciples to witness / testify to each other as to his witness / testimony concerning the messiah. John now tells us of a more important witness / testimony, namely that of the messiah himself. John's prologue defines the witness / testimony which, in simple terms, is the gospel, a divine message from God.
oJ labwn (lambanw) aor. part. "the man who has accepted [it]" - the one having received [his testimony]. The participle serves as a substantive, nominative subject of the verb "to seal." It is possible that verse refers to the Baptist, but it is more likely a general propositional statement. "To receive messiah's testimony (the gospel??) is to believe what he says", Barrett; "believe him", Junkins. "Whoever accepts the message of Christ", Haenchen.
esfragisen (sfragizw) aor. "has certified" - sealed, certified. "Has set a seal" serves as a metaphor for "guarantee", or "confirm", with the sense "confirm / affirm" fitting the context. Probably not "everyone who does believe him has shown that God is truthful", but better "to accept this witness is to affirm that God speaks the truth", REB.
oJti "that" - Introducing an object clause / dependent statement of indirect speech expressing what is certified.
alhqhV adj. "[God is] truthful" - [god is] true. Predicate adjective. This is a rather strange statement. If the testimony is the gospel, which is God's important message to humanity, then to believe the testimony entails affirming a particular truth about God. Surely not that God tells the truth as such (is truthful), but rather that he is faithful to the truth of the gospel - he is a covenant-keeping God, he does what he says, ie., "God is true to his word", McHugh. To affirm God's faithfulness is to access God's faithfulness.
gar "for" - because. Introducing a causal clause explaining why a person who accepts God's message is a person who affirms and therefore accesses God's covenant faithfulness, namely, because the one who conveys that message, namely Jesus, also conveys (in that divine message?) God's life-giving / renewing Spirit.
tou qeou (oV) gen. "[the words] of God" - [the one whom god sent, the word] of god [speaks]. The genitive may be treated adjectival, possessive / subjective, as NIV, or ablative, source / origin, "the words from God."
didwsin (didwmi) pres. "[for] God gives [the Spirit]" - [for not by means] he gives [the spirit]. The subject is in dispute. Textus Receptus adds oJ qeoV "God", but it may well be "Christ". Also, to pneuma is a variant, possibly an addition interpreting what is given, although what is actually given is the testimony of the one whom God has sent and his testimony is complete. Commentators divide, but if to pneuma is original then we are being told that Jesus gives the Spirit and this through his testimony/witness, so Brown, Westcott [the pres. tense is a clue], contra, Lindars, Barrett, Haenchen, Morris, Carson, Schnackenburg, Kostenberger, Ridderbos, Sanders, Beasley-Murray, Hoskyns, Marsh, .... who argue that the Spirit is given to Jesus to inspire his testimony. If Jesus gives the Spirit then the object of the gift is obviously those who believe in him, but if God gives the Spirit then, in this context, Jesus is the object of the gift.
ou .. ek metrou "without limit" - not from measure. The negated prepositional phrase is adverbial, "sparingly", BDAG,298.6c. There is no lack in the measure of the gift of the Spirit, no meagre share of the Spirit = he is given in completeness; "without measure."
agapa/ (agapaw) pres. "[the father] loves [the/his son]" - The present tense is durative expressing ongoing love = the abiding eternal compassionate relationship that exists in the Godhead.
dedwken (didwmi) perf. "has placed" - [and] has given. The perfect tense expresses a past act with ongoing consequences; "what has been put in the Son's power remains in the Son's power", TH.
panta "everything" - all things. Accusative direct object of the verb "to give." Including the bestowing of the life-giving Spirit conveyed in the divine Word (?? see above).
en + dat. "in [his hands]" - in [the hand of him]. Local, expressing space, metaphorical, so "under his control", Barrett.
"This discourse ends with an epigram which condenses the contrast set out in verses 17-21 into a single sentence", Lindars.
oJ pisteuwn (pisteuw) pres. part. "whoever believes" - the one believing. The participle serves as a substantive, nominative subject of the verb "to have."
eiV + acc. "in [the son]" - into [the son]. Expressing action directed toward or arrival at. It is interesting how belief in/to Jesus is expressed either with the preposition en, a static in / on, in union with, or eiV.
ecei (ecw) pres. "has" - The present tense identifies a present ongoing experience, so "possesses now."
zwhn aiwnion "eternal life" - Accusative direct object of the verb "to have." "Life", Barrett. Given the tense of "has", this is not a future eschatological "life", but the realized eschatology of life now = "life in all its fullness", "new life in Christ."
de "but" - but/and. Transitional, here introducing a counterpoint, "but."
oJ ... apeiqwn (apeiqew) pres. part. "whoever disobeys / rejects" - the one disobeying. The participle serves as a substantive, nominative subject of the negated verb "to see." "Disobeying" in the sense of "refusing to accept the testimony of the Son", McHugh, so, "disbelieving" - "the person who does not believe."
tw/ uiJw/ (oV) dat. "the Son" - Dative of direct object after the participle "disbelieving in."
ouk oyetai (oJraw) fut. "will not see [life]" - Obviously in the sense of "not possess"; "to refuse to believe in the Son is to deprive oneself of the experience of life", Barclay, for "no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above", 3:3, ie., "born of the washing of the Spirit", v5, which is activated by believing the testimony of the Son, v15.
alla "for" - but. Strong adversative in a counterpoint construction, "not ..... but ....", adding to the bad news, "but more".
hJ orgh (h) "wrath" - the wrath [of god]. Nominative subject of the verb "to remain." The response of a holy God in the face of determined sin is "the punishment of the finally impenitent", Morris.
menei (menw) pres. "[God's wrath] remains" - abides, continues. Again the present tense is used such that divine judgment, as with the gift of life, is a present reality (realized eschatology) rather than a future threat; "it has begun and will last", Brown.
ep (epi) + acc. "on [them]" - on, upon [him]. Spacial.