October 20, 2020

Live in Truth 

3 John

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Greeting

The elder to the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth.

Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul. For I rejoiced greatly when the brothers1 came and testified to your truth, as indeed you are walking in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.

Support and Opposition

Beloved, it is a faithful thing you do in all your efforts for these brothers, strangers as they are, who testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their journey in a manner worthy of God. For they have gone out for the sake of the name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles. Therefore we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth.

I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority. 10 So if I come, I will bring up what he is doing, talking wicked nonsense against us. And not content with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers, and also stops those who want to and puts them out of the church.

11 Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God. 12 Demetrius has received a good testimony from everyone, and from the truth itself. We also add our testimony, and you know that our testimony is true.

Final Greetings

13 I had much to write to you, but I would rather not write with pen and ink. 14 I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face.

15 Peace be to you. The friends greet you. Greet the friends, each by name.

Footnotes

[1] 1:3 Or brothers and sisters. In New Testament usage, depending on the context, the plural Greek word adelphoi (translated “brothers”) may refer either to brothers or to brothers and sisters; also verses 5, 10

Live in Truth 



Key Verse | 3 John 4

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. 

Bio | Lizzy Ware

Hi, I'm Lizzy Ware!

I love encouraging people to . . .

  • Know Jesus deeply
  • Be equipped through Equipped Disciple
  • Shop at Trader Joe's
  • Be a member of the local church
  • Write with their left hand (specifically, my red-headed toddler)
  • Use the Conflict Field Guide
  • Be in a Foundation Group or lead a Foundation group (it's a game changer, and we love leading ours) 
  • Drink coffee
  • Discern where to go after high school (Academic Advisor by trade)
  • Write the best college essays (Southpawadvising.com)
  • Go to Ireland
  • And encourage others to follow Jesus well

Central Truth

In a world where self-love, self-care, and selfish ambition are encouraged, John points us to find joy in seeing others walk in truth.  

Devotional | 3 John

Church is not a place, it's the people. If you've been around our Church for a while, there's a good chance you've heard this statement. We have to be reminded of this truth, because often times in our...

Church is not a place, it's the people. If you've been around our Church for a while, there's a good chance you've heard this statement. We have to be reminded of this truth, because often times in our flesh we love the building, ministries, and the stuff of church more than the body of Christ. However, if you think about your greatest emotions around church, positive or negative, it is often not because of the church building, but rather the people within the church.

In 3 John, John is writing about two contrasting hearts that are on display. One is viewing people in the church with joy in their growth and success, while the other is more wrapped around selfish ambition leading toward destruction. Gaius is encouraged in walking in the truth, which produces in John great joy. As Gaius welcomes his brothers and sends them on in their journey in a manner worthy of God, we see people working for the truth, and ultimately the gospel. 

Diotrephes worked within the church for his own selfish ambition. He put himself before others and talked wicked nonsense about his brothers in Christ. Then, when he saw others welcoming those brothers, he removed them from the church. Diotrephes did not want to see people grow in Christ, he rather wanted them to build his pride and ego. 

We are called to action in 3 John as believers and as a church: "Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God." (3 John 11) Thankfully, in Matthew 16:18 Jesus promised to Peter that the gates of Hades will not overcome His church. We don't have to worry about the Diotrephes-types of the world, evil will not overcome Christ's church. But we as followers of Jesus are called to imitate good, know God, and encourage others so that we may be fellow workers for the truth. What greater joy is there than to see your brothers and sisters walk in the truth? 

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Discussion Questions

1. How do you view discipleship? Do you find joy in other peoples' growth and success, or do you view them as a victory in your own ambition? 

2. How have you been encouraged and discipled in your walk with the Lord? 

3. How do you send people off in a manner that honors God? 

4. How does your community work together for the truth? Do you feel like you are fellow workers?

5 Comments available

Shawn Foster about 2 months ago

Hi Lizzy! I love that you listed how you love to encourage. I view discipleship as a critical side of the coin. Evangelism is other side, and falls flat without discipleship. It’s a privilege to be discipled here and a joy to pass it on. And yes, it’s easy to slide into wanting credit when God should get all the glory. My community encourages each of us to ask God to purify our motives and I think it pleases Him to do so. Thank you for leading by example! PTL & have a great day of worship.

Michael Scaman about 2 months ago

Both their physical and spiritual needs were a concern of John in verse 2, but John’s joy was centered on them walking in truth.

Walking in truth is working out what God already worked in, truth seen in living. And in some the fruit is evident and some the fruit is lacking.

The book of Proverbs says the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and later says a proverb in the mouth of a fool has no legs, its just sort hanging there. Without the awed reverence of the Lord worked in a in a new nature what comes out from the old nature.

Greg Jones about 2 months ago

For they have gone out for the sake of the name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles. Therefore we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth.3John1:7-8

If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take them into your house or welcome them. Anyone who welcomes them shares in their wicked work.2John1:10-11

Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority…And not content with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers, and also stops those who want to and puts them out of the church.3John1:9-10

The Elder and Diotrephes probably have a different view on engaging with Gentiles. When it comes to winning a dispute we can see they probably shared a strategic teaching, possibly from a common pastor.

Sue Bohlin about 2 months ago

Thanks, Lizzy.

I was struck by John’s exhortation, “Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good.” While I’m pretty sure the “THEN” was in reference to Diotrephes, and the “ALWAYS” is about being discerning between good and evil so we imitate the right thing, what struck me about the “NOW” is how appropriate this counsel is concerning social media. For example, the exponential increase in girls identifying as transgender because of hanging out on Tumblr. That’s imitating evil as they reject God’s design for them, not realizing that’s what they’re doing. And imitating evil in choosing harsh and judgmental words in social media posts because people aren’t face to face with the ones they are posting at or responding to.

God help us all follow John’s excellent command.

Hugh Stephenson about 2 months ago

GM Lizzy. Well done.

I love the old joke about the Tate family at church;

“There is Dick Tate, who wants to run everything, Ro Tate, who tries to turn everything around and Adgy Tate, who stirs up trouble wherever possible. When one suggests anything new, Hesi Tate and Vegi Tate pour scorn on any new ideas. Imi Tate copies everyone else, Devas Tate loves to upset things, and Poten Tate, of course, wants to be the absolute leader. However, Facili Tate, Cogi Tate, and Medi Tate always save the day and get everyone pulling together.” (https://www.tellout.com/body/mystical7B.htm).

In spiritual conversations I often hear a lot about how many Tate family members there are in the church. Happily, I have not seen any around Watermark.

The contrasts in Galatians 5:16-23 help me catch myself when I am relapsing in to my inner Tate.

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