Summary: Could the spirit of some people be holding back the church?
The Spirit Of Diotrephes
(3 John 1:9 NIV) I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will have nothing to do with us.
(3 John 1:10 NIV) So if I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, gossiping maliciously about us. Not satisfied with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church.
I. Loves To Be First, Spirit Of Self-Exaltation
a. loves attention
b. isn’t satisfied unless they receive it
c. pouts with others do
d. loves to be in control
e. wants to be the leader
(Rom 12:3 NIV) For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment
II. Will Have Nothing To Do With Us, Spirit of Favoritism
a. different skin color
b. different income level
c. different educational level
(James 2:1 NIV) My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism.
(James 2:2 NIV) Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in.
(James 2:3 NIV) If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, "Here’s a good seat for you," but say to the poor man, "You stand there" or "Sit on the floor by my feet,"
(James 2:4 NIV) have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?
(James 2:5 NIV) Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?
(James 2:6 NIV) But you have insulted the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court?
(James 2:7 NIV) Are they not the ones who are slandering the noble name of him to whom you belong?
(James 2:8 NIV) If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, "Love your neighbor as yourself," you are doing right.
(James 2:9 NIV) But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.
(Eph 4:29 NIV) Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
(Eph 4:30 NIV) And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
(Eph 4:31 NIV) Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
(Eph 4:32 NIV) Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
IV. Just Plain Unfriendly
How should we deal with the Spirit of Diotrephes?
#1 don’t imitate what is evil
#2 expose the actions
#3 let the church leadership deal with it