Summary: Introduction to 3 John

3rd John - Hospitality

INTRODUCTION: 3rd John, like 2nd John, was probably written as a note to a friend attached to the circulatory Letter of 1st John. Where 2nd John warned against receiving false teachers, 3rd John warns against refusing to show proper hospitality and respect to true servants of God.

I. The Author of the Book -

A. Anonymous:

B. The “Elder”: {See notes on 1st & 2nd John}

II. The Recipient of the Book

A. Gaius; 4 different men named Gaius in NT.

1. Gaius of Macedonia (Acts 19:29);

2. Gaius of Derbe (Acts 20:4);

3. Gaius of Corinth (1 Cor 1:14; Rom 16:23);

4. Gaius John’s convert (3 John 1);

B. The Letter reveals the following information about Gaius:

1. He was won to Christ by John (v. 4);

2. He was probably of failing health (v. 2);

3. He was faithful to the truth (v. 3);

4. He was hospitable to the saints and strangers (vv. 5-6);

III. The Date & Place of Writing

A. Date: Probably in the year 90 AD.

B. Place: The place of the writing was probably Ephesus.

IV. The Purpose of the Book

A. To assure Gaius of his love and prayers (vv. 1-2);

B. To commend Gaius for walking in the truth (vv. 3-4);

C. To commend Gaius for his hospitality (vv. 5-8);

D. To rebuke Diotrephes for his arrogance (vv. 9-10);

E. To commend Demetrius to the Church as a faithful brother (vv. 11-12);

F. To inform Gaius of his plan to visit (vv. 13-14).

V. The Keys to the Book

A. The key thought = The duty and delight of Christian hospitality!

B. The key phrase = “the truth”

C. The key verses = vv. 5-6

D. Key Words =

1. Truth - 6 times

VI. The Outline to the Book

A. Gaius the diligent - vv. 1-8

1. He was well-beloved (vv. 1-2, 5)

2. He was spiritually healthy (v. 2)

3. He walked in the truth (vv. 3-4)

4. He served faithfully (vv. 5-8)

B. Diotrephes the dictator - vv. 9-11

1. He was filled with egotism (v. 9)

2. He promoted evil gossip (v. 10)

3. He was anti-missionary (v. 10)

4. He was a bad example, not to be followed (v. 11)

C. Demetrius the dependable - vv. 12-14

1. He was probably the bearer of the Letter;

2. He was evidently unknown to the Church & Gaius;

3. He had a good report (v. 12)

4. He was preparing the way for John’s coming (vv. 13-14)

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