Summary: 2nd in the sermon series Letters from John. This sermon studies 3rd John. In it, John urges us that if we really believe what we really believe is really true, then we should walk in truth.

TEXT: 3rd John vs. 1-13

TITLE: Dear Gaius “Can you handle the truth?”

SERIES: Letters from John


OCCASION: Burnside Christian Church, November 14, 2010

PROP.: If we really believe in Jesus Christ, it should impact the way we live our lives…we should WALK in truth!

INTRODUCTION: This is the second sermon in a series called LETTERS FROM JOHN. We are studying 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John. And last week was important because we looked at some of the details surrounding these letters. Remember, we told you that John

Do you remember the three words I had you jot down last week? Jesus. Truth. Love.

These three words are themes that John is going to use over and over in his teaching and writings.

It’s been about 50 years since Christianity first launched! And so these are 2nd generation Christians that John is writing to. And so John’s fear is that this ‘new’ generation of Christians will be divided as old meets young -- so he preaches about Love. John is afraid that false teachers will creep into the churches and so he writes about truth. And John is afraid that confusion surrounding Jesus Christ will become more prevalent and so John writes about his first hand experiences with His savior Jesus!

So our text is found in 3rd John. And before I go any further, some of you are probably wondering: “if this is only the second sermon in this series, why is Mark preaching out of 3rd John all ready? Doesn‘t this preacher know order? Isn‘t there like 1...2...3? What‘s the deal?” Well, as I’ve done some studying on these letters, I’ve learned something.

The numbers of these letters were added later. They were numbered 1st, 2nd and 3rd John because of their size. 1st John is the longest of his letters so it’s number 1. And what I’ve come to realize is that by studying 2nd and 3rd John first, they kind of set the table for 1st John. So just so you know, we are going to go in what would appear as though it’s reverse order. We are going to do 3rd John, then 2nd John and finally 1st John.

Ok? Ok! So let’s read our text this morning. 3rd John vs. 1-14

1 The elder,

To my dear friend Gaius, whom I love in the truth.

(right out of the gate, we have two of the three key words. We have LOVE and TRUTH. Let’s keep going).

2 Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.

(let’s stop right there for a moment. John opens up this letter to his friend in much the same fashion we would if we were writing a letter to one of our friends. “Hi. How are you? I am fine.” But notice what John does. He PRAYS for his friend! He says, “I PRAY that you may enjoy good health.” And then he makes an interesting statement. “I hope that your soul health matches your physical health.”

We live in a society where physical health takes a priority. And that’s not wrong. Take good care of your body! But I wonder - do we take as much time looking after our Spiritual health as we do our physical health? A good reminder from John that we should be MORE concerned with our Spiritual health than our physical health. Why? Because we are all going to die! And as much as you take care of your body, it’s going to fade away. It’s going to disappear. So why not work on the one thing that will last forever? Your SPIRITUAL body. I found that interesting. Anyway. Verse 3)

3 It gave me great joy when some believers came and testified about your faithfulness to the truth, telling how you continue to walk in it. 4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. 5 Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers and sisters,[a] even though they are strangers to you. 6 They have told the church about your love. Please send them on their way in a manner that honors God. 7 It was for the sake of the Name that they went out, receiving no help from the pagans. 8 We ought therefore to show hospitality to such people so that we may work together for the truth.

(So what has happened is that John has learned of some information from some of the area preachers of these churches while he is living in Ephesus. And maybe some people at the church where Gaius was at, visited John and said, “John, I have to tell you about this faithful, generous man. He adds so much to our church body. His name is Gaius.” And John makes the connection that Gaius is walking in truth.

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