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123Joh Lesson 17

 


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3JOHN
LESSON #17
INTRODUCTION AND THE LIVING EXAMPLES
OF LOVE AND TRUTH

MEMORY VERSE: 3JOHN 1:2

INTRODUCTION:

THIS LITTLE BOOK WAS PROBABLY WRITTEN BY JOHN. SOME BELIEVE HE WROTE IT AFTER HE WROTETHE BOOK OF REVELATION BETWEEN THE YEARS OF 90-100 AD. THIS BOOK IS ADDRESSED TO GAIUS, ABELOVED BROTHER IN THE LORD.

THE MAIN MESSAGE IN 1JOHN WAS LOVE. BELIEVERS SHOULD LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

THE MAIN MESSAGE IN 2JOHN WAS TRUTH. IT CONSISTED OF A WARNING AGAINST FALSE TEACHERS.THE TRUTH IS WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING.

THE MAIN MESSAGE OR THEME IN 3JOHN IS WALKING AND WORKING (SERVING) IN TRUTH.

OUTLINE OF 3JOHN:

I. GAIUS, BELOVED BROTHER IN THE CHURCH (1-8)

II. DIOTREPHES, WHO LOVES TO HAVE PREEMINENCE (9-11)

III. DEMETRIUS HAS A GOOD REPORT OF ALL MEN AND OF TRUTH (12-14)

READ 3JOHN 1:1-8

FOUR TIMES IN THIS BOOK JOHN CALLS THIS MAN, GAIUS, “BELOVED”.

(1,2,5,11) PERHAPS GAIUS WAS LED TO CHRIST BY JOHN.

WHAT ARE THE CHARACTERISTICS OF GAIUS’ SPIRITUAL LIFE?

JOHN BEGINS BE TELLING US THAT THIS BROTHER IN THE LORD IS WALKING IN TRUTH. HE KNEWSOUND DOCTRINE BECAUSE HE BELIEVED THAT JESUS WAS COME AS GOD IN THE FLESH. JOHNAPPRECIATED THE FACT THAT THIS MAN KNEW TRUTH WAS IMPORTANT. GAIUS HAD DECIDED TO LIVE HISLIFE BY TRUTH. HE TESTED THE SPIRITS AS TO WHO WAS REALLY FROM GOD AND WHO WAS NOT. HISCHRISTIAN WALK MATCHED HIS BELIEF.

GAIUS NOT ONLY KNEW TRUTH AND STOOD FIRMLY FOR IT, BUT HIS ZEAL FOR CHRIST WAS WELLKNOWN. HE DID NOT HIDE HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRIST. (3)

GAIUS EVIDENTLY SHOWED HOSPITALITY IN HIS HOME TO TRAVELING PREACHERS. (3,5,6) AFTERTESTING THEM TO BE SURE THEY WERE TRUE CHRISTIANS, HE SUPPORTED THEM MATERIALLY WITH MONEYAND HOSPITALITY SO THESE PREACHERS WOULD NOT HAVE TO ASK UNBELIEVING GENTILES FOR SUPPORT.(7)

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO “WALK IN TRUTH”?

THE PHRASE MEANS YOU LIVE YOUR LIFE GUIDED BY THE TRUTH OF THE WORD OF GOD. THEREFORE,YOUR LIFESTYLE WILL DEMONSTRATE THE TRUTH OF WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN YOUR HEART.

JOHN WISHES HIM PROSPERITY AND GOOD HEALTH. (2)

WHILE THIS IS A COMMON GREETING OF THE TIME, GAIUS MAY HAVE HAD SOME PERSONAL NEED THATJOHN KNEW ABOUT.

HIS SPIRITUAL LIFE WAS GOING GREAT, BUT PERHAPS HIS PHYSICAL LIFE HAD PROBLEMS. MAYBEHE WAS PHYSICALLY ILL OR MAYBE FINANCIALLY IN NEED.

GOD WANTS US TO PROSPER IN THREE AREAS OF OUR LIVES:

1. SPIRITUALLY

HE WANTS US TO HAVE CORRECT DOCTRINE–GROWING IN THE GRACE AND KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST.

2. PHYSICALLY

HE WANTS US TO HAVE GOOD HEALTH SO THAT WE CAN DO HIS WORK.

3. MATERIALLY

HE WANTS US TO PROSPER MATERIALLY SO THAT WE HAVE SUFFICIENT MEANS TO BLESS OTHERS.

WHICH OF THE THREE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT? (4)

YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE BASED ON TRUTH IS THE MOST IMPORTANT. YET IT IS THE PART OF OURLIFE THAT WE OFTEN NEGLECT THE MOST. MANY CHRISTIANS ARE SPIRITUALLY SICK ANDMAL-NOURISHED BECAUSE THEY DO NOT FEED ON THE TRUTH IN THE WORD OF GOD.

SPIRITUAL HEALTH IS THE RESULT OF PROPER FEEDING ON THE WORD OF GOD, PUTTING INTOPRACTICE WHAT YOU LEARN, PRAYER AND TRUST IN GOD, REPENTANCE FOR SIN, AND DISCIPLINEDORDER.

PHYSICAL HEALTH IS THE RESULT OF PROPER NUTRITION, EXERCISE, REST, CLEANLINESS, ANDDISCIPLINED ORDER.

MATERIAL HEALTH IS THE RESULT OF WORK, GIVING TO GOD (TITHE) AND GIVING TO OTHERS,TRUSTING GOD AS YOUR SOURCE OF SUPPLY, WISDOM IN SPENDING MONEY, AND DISCIPLINED ORDER.

THE IMPORTANCE OF PROPER CHRISTIAN HOSPITALITY:

JOHN SAYS THAT CHRISTIAN HOSPITALITY SHOULD BE DONE “IN A MANNER WORTHY OFGOD”. (6)

IN OTHER WORDS YOU ARE TREATING PEOPLE AS THOUGH YOU ARE PERSONALLY ENTERTAINING JESUSCHRIST IN YOUR HOME.

JOHN GIVES THREE REASONS WHY PROPER HOSPITALITY SHOULD BE GIVEN TO TRAVELING MINISTERS:

1. THEY ARE ON A MISSION FOR CHRIST (7)

2. THEY NEED HELP AND SUPPORT (8)

3. TO PROMOTE UNITY IN THE BODY OF CHRIST BY BECOMING PARTNERS WITH THEM TO SPREAD THETRUTH. (8)

READ 3JOHN 1:9-11

DIOTREPHES WAS ANOTHER CHRISTIAN IN THE CHURCH. HE EVIDENTLY HAD A POSITION OFAUTHORITY.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE SPIRITUAL LIFE OF DIOTREPHES?

DIOTREPHES WAS A DICTATOR. HE HAD A LOT OF PRIDE. HE

WANTED TO BE THE MOST IMPORTANT IN THE CHURCH. HE

WANTED TO BE SURE EVERYONE NOTICED HIM. EVERYTHING

HE DID WAS BY CONSIDERATION OF HOW HE WOULD LOOK TO

OTHER PEOPLE. THEREFORE, HE DID NOT SHOW CHRISTIAN HOSPITALITY AND LOVE. (9)

OFTEN WHEN A PERSON IS LIKE THIS, HE LIKES TO TEAR DOWN AND DEGRADE THE TRUE MEN OFGOD. HE THINKS THAT HE CAN MAKE HIMSELF MORE IMPORTANT IF HE MAKES THE TRULY IMPORTANTPEOPLE UNIMPORTANT.

JOHN WAS A TRULY IMPORTANT MAN. HE HAD BEEN WITH JESUS. HE WAS THE ONLY DISCIPLE WHOWAS STILL LIVING AT THAT TIME. HE HAD WRITTEN MANY BOOKS USED IN THE CHURCH TO TEACHCHRISTIANS. YET, DIOTREPHES WOULD NOT SHOW HOSPITALITY TO JOHN OR TO ANY OF THE MEN JOHNSENT. IN FACT, HE MADE MALICIOUS STATEMENTS AGAINST JOHN AND THE OTHER APOSTLES.

DIOTREPHES EVEN EXCOMMUNICATED THOSE WHO SHOWED TRUE CHRISTIAN LOVE TO TRAVELINGMISSIONARIES AND TEACHERS.(10)

JOHN’S REMEDY FOR PEOPLE LIKE DIOTREPHES IN THE CHURCH:

JOHN SAYS THAT WHEN HE VISITS THIS CHURCH, HE WILL REMEMBER THE LIFESTYLE OF DIOTREPHESAND SPEAK AGAINST IT. (11) IN OTHER WORDS, HE WILL CALL HIM TO ACCOUNT BEFORE THECONGREGATION. JOHN WILL EXPOSE HIM AS A NON-BELIEVER. (11)

JESUS’ WORDS ON THE MATTER:

MAR 10:42-45

READ 3JOHN 1:12-14

A THIRD PERSON IN THIS BOOK IS DEMETRIUS. HE WAS A TRAVELING PREACHER. EVIDENTLY HE WASONE THAT DIOTREPHES WOULD NOT RECEIVE IN THE CHURCH.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE SPIRITUAL LIFE OF DEMETRIUS?

EVERYONE LOVES DEMETRIUS. HE IS A TRUE BELIEVER IN THE TRUTH OF GOD. HIS LIFESTYLEMATCHED HIS DOCTRINE. HE IS A HUMBLE PERSON WHO JUST GOES AROUND DOING GOD’S WILLWHETHER ANYONE NOTICES OR NOT.

HE WAS A CONVERTED PAGAN BELIEVER. HIS NAME MEANS “BELONGING TO DEMETER(CERES)” . CERES WAS THE GODDESS OF AGRICULTURE.

THE VERB TENSE INDICATES THAT DEMETRIUS WAS A GOOD PERSON OVER A LONG PERIOD OF TIME.HE WAS DEPENDABLE.

APPLICATION:

THIS BOOK HAS DESCRIBED THREE MEN WHO LIVED IN THE TIME OF THE EARLY CHURCH.

HOWEVER, WE HAVE THE SAME KINDS OF PEOPLE IN THE CHURCH TODAY. GOD WANTS US TO KNOWTRUTH SO THAT WE CAN WALK IN TRUTH AND THEN SERVE HIM IN TRUTH

WE NEED TO ASK OURSELVES 2 QUESTIONS:

1. AM I WALKING IN TRUTH HAVING TRUE DOCTRINE AND LIVING A TRUE LIFESTYLE OF SERVICE TOGOD?

2. WHICH OF THE 3 MEN DESCRIBED BEST FITS MY LIFE?

THE END.

GOD BLESS YOU.

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About Joyce

Joyce
I came to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ in 1963 giving my heart to Jesus in a Billy Graham crusade in Los Angeles, CA. I have been teaching the Word of God since 1964, Usually two to three adult classes a week.

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