THE THIRD EPISTLE OF JOHN
Greetings to you once again, and welcome back
to Daily Bread. Our study today of this third
letter written by the apostle John is addressed to Gaius. You may remember
Gaius from the books of Acts, Romans and 1 Corinthians, as one of Paulís
traveling companions. His faith was enough to inspire John to write this
epistle to him, encouraging him to continue in his support for the brethren
(missionaries) who come to his church, and to commend him on his love for
his fellow Christians.
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From John (the
elder), to the well beloved Gaius, whom I love in the TRUTH. Beloved, it is
my earnest desire that you are in good health, just as the health of your
soul prospers. I was so happy when the brethren came and told me how the
TRUTH is in you and you walk in the faith. I have no greater joy than to
hear that my children live in
in your hospitality for the brethren, and for strangers. Theyíve told of
your love before the church, whom if you help them on their journey in a
godly way, youíll do well, because for Jesusí nameís sake, they continued
on, asking no accommodations (material things) of the Gentiles. Itís good
then, that we welcome them (the brethren and strangers), that we might be
co-workers for the TRUTH.
I wrote to the
church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have the control over them, refused my
letter. So, if I come, Iíll remember what heís done, babbling against us
with malicious words (backbiting), and not content
with us, neither does he himself welcome the brethren, and forbids those who
would, and puts them out of the church.
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follow that which is evil, but follow that which is good. He that practices
good is of God, but he that does evil, has not seen God.
Demetrius has a
good reputation among all men, and is loyal to the TRUTH, and we also
testify for him, and you know that we tell the TRUTH.
I had many things
to write, but I will not with ink and pen write to you, but I hope that I
will see you soon and speak face to face. Peace be to you. Our friends greet
you. Greet the friends by name.
As you read
through Johnís letter, his message remains consistent with the other two
letters that were authored by him; love, TRUTH, goodness, faith, fellowship
and loyalty; continue to practice these things and you are of God.
Gaius, a friend of
Johnís who has formed a Christian community (church), is complimented by
John on testimony heís heard from fellow brethren, of Gaiusí charity within
the church, and urges him to keep up the good work. He goes on to say, we
should make our fellow Christians feel at home, and provide them with what
they need so that they require nothing of the people theyíre bringing the
John also says
that he wrote to the church in the area where Gaius is, but Diotrephes (who
you can presume is a prominent member of the church there) was afraid that
John would be respected more than Diotrephesí authority, so because of his
pride, he didnít present Johnís epistle to the church. He doesnít welcome
other visiting Christians and those who do, are kicked out of the church.
John reminds Gaius of
Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore. Also, Paul wrote in
Be not overcome of evil, but overcome (conquer) evil with good.
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On the other hand,
John points out, Demetrius is a good example to follow, gaining the respect
of his fellow Christians who have brought word back to him, that he has good
character and is loyal to the TRUTH.
So, even within
the church, we must be careful of those whose pride will cause them to
distort the message of Jesus that weíre all trying to spread. In all three
of Johnís letters, heís teaching us to be discerning as Christians, and with
the guidance of the Holy Spirit, which is TRUTH, we can faithfully spread
the Gospel and fellowship as Godís people, with Godís people.
completing this study of The Third Epistle of John! Our New Testament Bible
study continues next time with The General Epistle of Jude, which you wonít
want to miss, then after that weíll study the End Times, right here at your