Summary: What kind of church do you like? What kind do I like? Does it really matter? How about, what kind of church does God like? Here’s the story of a church that heard well done. It was not a church without problems. But it was a church that had the heartbeat

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The Church Which Heard God Say “Well Done”

Or, 5 “I’s” (One Capital I, Three Little I, One Big I)

3 John

Stewardship of Missions

Sunday, January 24, 2010

3 John 1:1-14 1 The elder unto the wellbeloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth. 2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. 3 For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth. 4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. 5 Beloved, thou doest faithfully whatsoever thou doest to the brethren, and to strangers; 6 Which have borne witness of thy charity before the church: whom if thou bring forward on their journey after a godly sort, thou shalt do well: 7 Because that for his name’s sake they went forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles. 8 We therefore ought to receive such, that we might be fellowhelpers to the truth. 9 I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. 10 Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church. 11 Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God. 12 Demetrius hath good report of all men, and of the truth itself: yea, and we also bear record; and ye know that our record is true. 13 I had many things to write, but I will not with ink and pen write unto thee: 14 But I trust I shall shortly see thee, and we shall speak face to face. Peace be to thee. Our friends salute thee. Greet the friends by name.


• This was a time of transition from Apostolic control to Autonomous rule.

• This was an unprecedented time of missions in the world. (See a map of the spread of Christianity)

• John is the last living apostle. He is an aged man.

• He writes a personal letter.

• Personal addressee, but church business! ZIBBC

• 2 John warned against taking in false teachers. 3 John warned against keeping out true teachers.

• The five men in 1 John (in order of the presentation)

I. The Incarnate One – Christ

• John does not use the name of Christ, or Jesus.

• He refers to the truth, and Jesus is the Truth (Jn. 14:6)

• But Jesus is the focus of the entire letter.

• The itinerate preaches went out for one reason … the Name (v. 7)

Mark 10:45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

II. The Irritable One – Diotrophes

A. His Actions

• Evidently, he destroyed a letter that John sent to the church (v. 9)

• He rejected the authority of the Apostle John (v. 9)

• He openly ridiculed the teaching of John – “prating” (v. 10)

• He used mean, “malicious" (showing intent) against John (v. 10)

• He refused to let missionaries come into the church (v. 11)

• He demanded that no-one else allow missionaries to come in (v. 11)

• He had the “pro-missions” members removed (v. 11)

• Was he the owner of the home in which the church met?

• Was he some sort of deacon?

• Was he a false teacher?

• Hospitality was common among Gentiles, should especially have been common among believers! (See Barclay and others on the flea-infested inns of that day).

B. His Attitude

• He loved “preeminence” (v. 9)

• He has a disdain for John (v. 9)

• He rejected the authority of the Apostle John (v. 9)

III. The Investing One – Gaius

A. His Character

the well-beloved Gaius (v. 1)]

• Jesus … favor … God AND man.

He was “in the truth” (v. 1)

He lived a victorious Christian life, for John says that his “soul prospereth” (v. 2)

Others testified to his walk with the Lord (v. 3).

 He walked (not talked) the truth (v. 3)

B. His Contribution

• He supported the cause of Christ by supporting itinerate missionaries (v. 5) Motivated by “faith” See James “be warmed …”

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