3 John What Is Your Reputation?

by | Oct 17, 2023 | 3 John, New Testament

I. Gaius: A Prosperous Christian

A. Beloved V. 1

1. Beloved- Called beloved four times, vs. 1, 2, 5, 11. Much loved by the church.
2. Wouldn’t it be great if you were called “beloved”, because you were so loved by every Christian that knew you?

B. Spiritually Healthy V. 2

1. Literally- “I pray that your life & health would be as prosperous as your soul”.
2. Gaius’ soul was the healthiest thing about his life, and was the standard of prosperity that John wished for him.
3. For many Christians, their bank accounts and possessions are more prosperous than their “inner heart life”.
4. How often we measure people by their physical attributes/health, or by their possessions, instead of by their spiritual health, and the prosperity of their soul.
5. Wuest- If the physical health of some saints equaled the health of their souls, they would be persons of the stature of an Atlas or a Hercules, while in the case of others they would be physical dwarfs, emaciated and weak. How often great spiritual vitality is found in saints of infirm health and broken bodies.
6. Wouldn’t it be great if people could say about you, “May your physical health and material prosperity be as prosperous as your soul”. What a compliment!

C. Walked In Truth Vs. 3, 4

1. V. 3-Came- constantly coming and constantly testifying
2. The traveling evangelists & teachers who toured the area constantly reported to John that Gaius was walking in truth
3. V. 4-Gaius was a spiritual child of John’s ministry. John had no greater joy than to know that Gaius walked in truth.
4. Question for Christian parents: How important is it for you that your children walk in truth? How much of an emphasis is that in your prayer/thought life?
5. The greatest blessing that Christian parents can pass on to their children is an example of godliness and holiness. Some parents need to be less concerned with careers and bank accounts for their kids, and much more concerned for the spiritual prosperity of the children.
6. According to John, the prosperity of the soul is the standard we should hope for.

D. Blessed Other Christians Vs. 5-8

1. Gaius served other Christians because he saw their efforts as furthering the cause of Christ. He was not motivated only by emotions or by niceness, but his main motivation was that he saw these people as “fellow workers for the truth”.
2. Some Christians serve others out of a sense of duty or obligation, but grudgingly.
3. Gaius served other Christians because of his conviction that it was right.
4. V. 4Faithfully- Motivated not by niceness, but as a matter of faith.
5. V. 4- You do faithfully whatever you do– “You do (poieō) faithfully whatever you continue to labor and make great effort in”. (ergazomai)
6. Gaius did this for friends and strangers alike. His home was a ministry tool.
7. V. 6- Gaius was well known in the church for offering such assistance.
8. V. 7- Gaius helped people that went forth “for His Name’s sake”; for Jesus’ sake
9. V. 8- Ought- to have a moral obligation.
10. V. 8- Receive- hupolambanō- hupo- under; lambano- to take.
Literally-to catch hold from underneath and lift up; to underwrite
11. When we assist Christian workers in any way, we become fellow workers for the truth. Supporting missionaries, church leaders, the arts, orphanages, etc.

II. Diotrephes: A Self Promoting Christian

A. Loved Preeminence V. 9

1. In the same church as Gaius, was another Christian named Diotrophes.

a. He had some position of authority there, but wanted more authority.
b. Preeminence- to be fond of being first. He was a self promoter.
c. There needs to be leadership in the church, but not self promotion.

2. They would change their pagan name at baptism to something that described their Christian faith. For some reason, Diotrophes never changed his name.
3. Diotrophes- “nourished by Zeus”.
4. Diotrophes would not receive the authority of John or anyone John would send.

B. An Accusing Christian V. 10a

1. V. 10- Call to mind his deeds- John would restate to the church these deeds
2. Prating- to bubble up and boil over with lies & empty charges.
As water boils up & throws off bubbles, which is useless, so were D’s words.
3. Malicious words- pernicious, evil, wicked words.
4. People that promote self do so by tearing down others.

C. Unloving And Excluding V. 10b

1. He closed the doors on those he didn’t like, and he excommunicated others.
2. He literally left people in the cold, & totally changed their lives via excommun.

D. Evil V. 11

1. Gaius is exhorted to not do anything to even look like Diotrophes. How sad.
2. Diotrophes habitually did evil, indicating he had not “seen/experienced” God.

III. Demetrius: A Well Spoken Of Christian

A. Good Testimony V. 12a

1. Demetrius was probably the bearer of this letter, and unknown to John.
2. Demetrius had a good testimony from many people, from the truth itself (as his life lined up with truth), and from John & his colleagues who knew Demetrius

IV. Farewell

1 Timothy 5:1 1Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father…
Exhort– To call to one’s side, to console, encourage, strengthen, comfort, correct.
John wanted to be there in person. Some communication needs to be in person.