Message: “3 John Review” from Joe Summers

Joe Summers - May 19, 2024

3 John Review

Sunday Service

3 John Review General Lesson Objective: -Understand the importance of living in truth and love within the Christian community, and the role of hospitality and support for fellow believers and missionaries, as illustrated in the Third Epistle of John. Personal Lesson Objective Encourage me to evaluate my own actions and attitudes towards others, striving to imitate good and avoid evil by showing hospitality, love, and support to fellow believers, thereby fostering a closer relationship with God. Scripture 3 John 1:11 (NKJV) - "Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God." Overall Themes Truth and Love: John emphasizes the importance of living in truth and demonstrating love through actions, particularly hospitality. Christian Leadership: The contrasting examples of Gaius, who is hospitable and walks in truth, and Diotrephes, who is proud and divisive, illustrate qualities of good and bad leadership within the church. Support for Missionaries: The epistle highlights the responsibility of believers to support those who are spreading the gospel. Personal Relationships: John’s personal tone and direct address to Gaius reflect the relational aspect of early Christian communities and leadership. 1. Introduction (Verses 1-4) Verses 1-4 (NKJV): 1. The Elder, To the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth: 2. Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. 3. For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth. 4. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. Commentary: Verse 1: John refers to himself as "The Elder," a title reflecting his advanced age, authority, and possibly his position within the early church. Gaius is addressed as "beloved," indicating a close and affectionate relationship, and John emphasizes that his love for Gaius is rooted in truth. The title Elder was also used in 2 John and also by Peter in 2 Peter Verse 2: John expresses a common greeting, wishing Gaius physical health and prosperity in all things, mirroring the prosperity of his soul. This reflects the holistic well-being that John desires for his friend. Verse 3: John's joy stems from reports from other believers about Gaius's adherence to the truth. This emphasizes the importance of living a life consistent with Christian teachings. Verse 4: John underscores his greatest joy: hearing that his spiritual children, like Gaius, are walking in the truth. This reveals John's pastoral heart and his deep concern for the spiritual well-being of his followers. 2. Praise for Gaius’s Hospitality (Verses 5-8) Verses 5-8 (NKJV): 5. Beloved, you do faithfully whatever you do for the brethren and for strangers, 6.who have borne witness of your love before the church. If you send them forward on their journey in a manner worthy of God, you will do well, 7. because they went forth for His name's sake, taking nothing from the Gentiles. 8. We therefore ought to receive such, that we may become fellow workers for the truth. Commentary: Verse 5: John commends Gaius for his faithful actions towards fellow believers and strangers, indicating that his hospitality extends beyond his immediate community. Verse 6: Gaius's love and hospitality are well known and have been reported to the church. John encourages Gaius to continue supporting these traveling missionaries in a manner that honors God. Verse 7: These missionaries are commended for their dedication, having set out for the sake of Jesus’ name, without seeking support from non-believers (Gentiles), which underscores their integrity and commitment. Verse 8: John encourages believers to support such missionaries, as doing so makes them co-workers in spreading the truth. This highlights the collaborative nature of Christian ministry. 3. Condemnation of Diotrephes (Verses 9-10) Verses 9-10 (NKJV): 9. I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence among them, does not receive us. 10. Therefore, if I come, I will call to mind his deeds which he does, prating against us with malicious words. And not content with that, he himself does not receive the brethren, and forbids those who wish to, putting them out of the church. Commentary: Verse 9: John references a previous letter, noting that Diotrephes, a leader within the church who loves to be first, rejected John’s authority and refused to welcome him and his associates. This reveals issues of pride and divisiveness within the church. Verse 10: John promises to address Diotrephes’s actions directly if he visits. Diotrephes is accused of spreading malicious gossip, refusing hospitality to the brethren, and even excommunicating those who want to help. This behavior contrasts sharply with the commendable actions of Gaius. 4. Commendation of Demetrius (Verse 11-12) Verses 11-12 (NKJV): 11. Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God. 12. Demetrius has a good testimony from all, and from the truth itself. And we also bear witness, and you know that our testimony is true. Commentary: Verse 11: John advises Gaius not to follow evil examples like Diotrephes, but to imitate good. Doing good is evidence of a relationship with God, while doing evil suggests a lack of genuine knowledge of God. Verse 12: Demetrius is recommended as someone with a good reputation among all and in alignment with the truth. John adds his own affirmation to Demetrius’s character, reinforcing his reliability and trustworthiness. 5. Conclusion and Final Greetings (Verses 13-15) Verses 13-15 (NKJV): 13. I had many things to write, but I do not wish to write to you with pen and ink; 14. but I hope to see you shortly, and we shall speak face to face. Peace to you. Our friends greet you. Greet the friends by name. Commentary: Verses 13-: John prefers to discuss additional matters in person rather than through a letter, indicating the importance of direct communication and the personal nature of his relationship with Gaius. Verse 14-15: John concludes with a blessing of peace, extending greetings from mutual friends and requesting that Gaius greet their friends individually, which shows the close-knit and personal connections within the early Christian community. **Biblical References:** - **Walking in Truth:** John 8:31-32, 2 John 1:4 - **Hospitality:** Romans 12:13, Hebrews 13:2 - **Imitating Good:** 1 Corinthians 11:1, 1 Peter 3:11-12 - **Peace:** John 14:27, Philippians 4:7 This epistle provides valuable insights into the dynamics of early Christian communities, the importance of hospitality, and the qualities of faithful leadership.

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