YOU, ME AND WE, WEEK 5
We are continuing in our series, You. Me. & We. The Truth about Marriage, Friendship and Life Together. This month of love series has been powerful, I hope it has build something new in your relationships.
Week 1, REDISCOVERING MARRIAGE, AMERICA 2016
6 Reasons Why Marriage Matters…we talked about the need for Honoring Marriage in our hearts and world.
Week 2, Acts of Love 1 Corinthians 13:1-13
Love is not a feeling, its an Act of your Will
Week 3, The Core of Great Relationships, Matthew 22
We looked SEEKING GOD TOGETHER is the core to all relationships
Week 4, RELATIONAL EXTENSION, from Philemon…
Week 5, WALKING AND WARNING, from 3 John 1-12
I love this book of the Bible, John has a wonderful message to Gaius his very good friend. This message makes some great statements about relationships of every kind…friendships, marriages, etc.
Now the third epistle is easy to outline. You just outline it by the four people: The Apostle John, who wrote the letter in love, Gaius, the one who loved people and cared for them, Diotrephes the one who loved himself, and Demetrius, who had a great report. He was a truth man.
- The Apostle John – Godly man with a passion for the Church and Truth
Recommendation: Listen to Him
1 This letter is from John, the elder. I am writing to Gaius, my dear friend, whom I love in the truth.
- The Apostle John oversaw the church at Ephesus and had oversight over the daughter churches that had been founded out of his church.
- John was the last living Apostle , he is in the last decade of the first century and he has a problem with one of his churches, so John writes a very personal letter to Gaius.
- John’s issues revolve around truth and love in the Church and in relationships.
We see the emphasis here on the truth, some form of the word true appears seven times in 3rd John. Everything in the church is always built on the truth…always. John loves in truth. He affirms the importance of bearing witness to truth, of walking in truth, of being fellow workers with the truth, of receiving a good testimony from the truth.
This is about how to live and love in the truth. The principles here that apply to the church, also apply to our relationships. We have to love each other in truth and seek to be honest…
• We need truth in all of relationships, without truth, nothing will move forward… Remember the sitcoms we all grew up with…all of there relationships were broken up because of some lie…
– John Ritter would say some little lie to Suzanne Summers or Joyce DeWitt…it would be the rest of the show…and we would yell at the screen…it was
– What about when Ritchie Cunningham told Fonzie a lie. Woo. Henry Winkler. EEEyyy. Fonzie would have Richie step into his office!!
– Then there is Jim on The office, fooling and lying to Dwight continually…
Normally by the end of the show or the movie, the lies are all worked out and everyone is happy…and we say, Why didn’t they just tell the truth from the beginning???!!!
That is what is happening in the church that John is writing to and it is happening in the relationships that we all live through. We have to become people who live in the truth and in love. Gaius is a great example…
- The Beloved Gaius – Servant Leader living according to the truth with a passion for helping others.
Recommendation: Act Like Him
2 Dear friend, I hope all is well with you and that you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit. 3 Some of the traveling teachers recently returned and made me very happy by telling me about your faithfulness and that you are living according to the truth. 4 I could have no greater joy than to hear that my children are following the truth.
5 Dear friend, you are being faithful to God when you care for the traveling teachers who pass through, even though they are strangers to you. 6 They have told the church here of your loving friendship. Please continue providing for such teachers in a manner that pleases God. 7 For they are traveling for the Lord, and they accept nothing from people who are not believers. 8 So we ourselves should support them so that we can be their partners as they teach the truth.
- The letter is from John to Gaius, a member of a local church somewhere in Asia Minor, modern Turkey. John is writing from Ephesus which was the mother church for that region.
Gaius was some leader in the church, some important man in the church. And visiting evangelists and visiting preachers had stayed with him and he was highly respected and beloved, no doubt, by all who knew him. And that’s why he is addressed this way,
“Gaius, my dear friend, whom I love in the truth” and the beloved, agapetos from agapao, the noblest kind of love.
- Love in the truth We can go anywhere in the world and find strangers that I’ve never met but if they love the truth, there is a bond, there is a magnetism that draws us together with a divine force. Love and truth are inseparable. And love is built upon truth. Truth always governs the exercise of love. That’s why truth is spoken of in verse 1, 3, 4, 8, 12. They were both in the truth.
- Love that is Unique. Now we are to love all people in the world in an evangelistic way, we are to love them in the sense that we care about their souls the way God loves the world. But that’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking here about a love that is unique to those who are in Christ and in the truth. A special love, a unique bond, a family love among Christians. Everybody loved him.
This simply identifies Gaius character.
- The Beloved Gaius. loved by the community. faithful and living according to the truth, giving John great joy and is a person of loving friendship
- John asks Gaius for a Favor
- Please Provide & Support the traveling Teachers.
- the Evil Diotrephes – Self-focused leader fighting off those who teach the truth
Recommendation: Flee From him
In the opening eight verses, we saw Gaius, the man who great love. I want you to look in verses 9 through 11 at Diotrephes, the man who refused to love others and welcome them. As graciously loving as Gaius was, so ungracious and unloving was Diotrephes. They are poles apart, they are absolute opposites.
Gaius is seen knowing truth, walking in truth, loving this church, entertaining strangers who are faithful ministers of the gospel.
Diotrephes is seen loving himself, refusing to allow anyone to come in who might somehow receive the accolades, the love, the affection, the response of the congregation which he wants for himself. The conflict is not doctrinal, it’s not theological, it’s not a spiritual issue, it is a personal issue of loving oneself.
9 I wrote to the church about this, but Diotrephes, who loves to be the leader, refuses to have anything to do with us. 10 When I come, I will report some of the things he is doing and the evil accusations he is making against us. Not only does he refuse to welcome the traveling teachers, he also tells others not to help them. And when they do help, he puts them out of the church.
11 Dear friend, don’t let this bad example influence you. Follow only what is good. Remember that those who do good prove that they are God’s children, and those who do evil prove that they do not know God.
John gives these warnings to Gaius (and Us!)…Principles for our Lives and Relationships:
• Diotrephes: loved to have the power, the preeminence, the prestige, the prominence, the chief seat, etc.
- We will have ‘bad’ influences around Us
Examples: He has to lead, wants nothing to do with church, making false accusations against leaders, doesn’t love outsiders or let others care for them.
He was busy Replacing Christ in the Church He is rejecting the Church Leaders
“Don’t let this bad example influence you”
Diotrephes was a very proud man. He was so proud that in seeking his place of preeminence (used twice in Bible, Colossians 1:18 and there it talks about the preeminence of Christ), he was actually busy supplanting Christ, busy replacing Christ in the church. How did he do it? By rejecting those who were serving Christ.
- “Follow only what is good proves “that they are God’s children”
“Those who do evil prove that they do not know God”
- The Truthful Demetrius – CHANGED LIFE AND WELL SPOKEN OF, LIVES BY THE TRUTH
RECOMMENDATION: Believe Like Him
12 Everyone speaks highly of Demetrius, as does the truth itself. We ourselves can say the same for him, and you know we speak the truth.
Demetrius is most likely the same man in Acts 19:23-41. A silversmith in Ephesus by the same name sparked a riot over Paul’s teaching, because the gospel was financially damaging to him and his fellow idol makers. This Demetrius of the Acts, would have become a Christian, the first thing that ‘the truth’ required of him would be to shut up shop, to give up the lucrative occupation by which he had his wealth, and to cast in his lot with the men that were warring against idols. We, in our degree, will have, in some form or other, the same self-surrender to exercise.
- Demetrius is most likely the same man in Acts 19:23-41
- Gave Up his Old Life and Living
- Received a good testimony from Everyone
- He was committed to Living the Truth