For today we have a short, yet information packed, letter from John.Right out of the gate, John reminds us that we need to be lifting our fellow followers of Christ up in prayer:
3John 1:2 Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.John also encourages Gaius for the most glorious reason any of us can be encouraged for….walking in the Truth:
3John 1:3 For I rejoiced greatly when the brothers came and testified to your truth, as indeed you are walking in the truth.
Then John refers to Gaius as his child, I’m not completely sure, but it seems that he is calling him his child because John led him to Christ. John is not under any illusion that he is responsible, because a person only comes to the Son if the Father draw him, but John was likely the “hands and feet” the Lord used to save Gaius:
Romans 10:13-15 For "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." 14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!"
John 6:44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.
3John 1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.
Short of our relationship with Jesus Christ, there is no greater joy than introducing someone to Christ and see them walking in the Truth, and John is expressing is enthusiasm for this fact as it relates to Gaius.
John is also commending them for their continued zeal to serve the brethren and strangers, but beyond that, they are serving Christ without asking a single thing from non-believers as to not distract or take away from the Gospel of Jesus Christ, much like Paul:
3John 1:5-8 Beloved, it is a faithful thing you do in all your efforts for these brothers, strangers as they are, 6 who testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their journey in a manner worthy of God. 7 For they have gone out for the sake of the name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles. 8 Therefore we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth.
How GLORIOUS IS THAT!! When we support those in the mission field we are considered FELLOW WORKERS FOR THE TRUTH!! Praise God!!
1Corinthians 9:10-12 Does he not speak entirely for our sake? It was written for our sake, because the plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of sharing in the crop. 11 If we have sown spiritual things among you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? 12 If others share this rightful claim on you, do not we even more? Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ.
Then John calls out the person that is causing division and preaching another Gospel….and yes, he calls him out by name in the letter, and he plans on doing it much more boldly when he is able to be present. Not only did this person refuse to receive John’s letter to the church, but he also refuses to receive the brethren and kicks those in the church out if they receive the brethren. This sounds much like the Americanized church today, “refuse to receive the full Word of God and reject those that try to bring the True Gospel.”:
3John 1:9-10 I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority. 10 So if I come, I will bring up what he is doing, talking wicked nonsense against us. And not content with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers, and also stops those who want to and puts them out of the church.
Proverbs 10:8-10 The wise of heart will receive commandments, but a babbling fool will come to ruin. 9 Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out. 10 Whoever winks the eye causes trouble, but a babbling fool will come to ruin.
John quickly warns not to return this evil for evil:
3John 1:11 Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God.
Psalams 34:1-19 Of David, when he changed his behavior before Abimelech, so that he drove him out, and he went away. I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. 2 My soul makes its boast in the LORD; let the humble hear and be glad. 3 Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together! 4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. 5 Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed. 6 This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him and saved him out of all his troubles. 7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. 8 Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! 9 Oh, fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack! 10 The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing. 11 Come, O children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD. 12 What man is there who desires life and loves many days, that he may see good? 13 Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit. 14 Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. 15 The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry. 16 The face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth. 17 When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. 18 The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. 19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.