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In the Truth

text: 3 John

Introduction: John and his Letter

  • Biography:
  • John (meaning: the grace or mercy of the Lord) was born to Zebedee.
  • John and his brother James were fishermen who were two of the first young men Jesus called to be his disciples.
  • Early on, the pair of them earned the nickname "Sons of Thunder" — thunderers, or tempest; (Mark 3:17). This name was fitting
  • maybe because of their zeal and power in preaching the Gospel,
  • but maybe also because it was they who in Luke (Luke 9:53,54) after they saw Jesus rejected by the village of the Samaritans asked Jesus if they (James and John) should called down fire from heaven upon the city like Elijah!
  • James and John asked once to be on Christ's right and left hands in the coming kingdom which drew great ire from the other disciples.
  • Peter, James and John had been partners together as fishermen who FORSOOK ALL AND FOLLOWED JESUS making up an apparent "inner-circle". When Jesus healed Jairus' daughter, only these 3 were allowed to accompany Jesus into the house. These 3 alone were with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration.

John was that well-beloved disciple of Jesus who reclined at supper with his head on Jesus' chest. (and we will read in a moment John giving that same title "well-bloved" to Gauis.) In John 21, after Jesus described the manner of Peter's death, Peter pointed at John and asked Jesus what would become of John?

John 21:22 — Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.

John faithfully and courageously followed Jesus in his judgments at the hands of the Romans and Jews including to the foot of the cross. It was here Jesus commended Mary into the care of John, but also John into the care of Mary. Until here death, Mary remained in John's house which for a good while was in Ephesus where John wrote: his Gospel and his 3 epistles. It was from here the Emperor domition tried to both humiliate and kill John by boiling him alive in hot oil. But to Domitian's frustration, John survived! Sometime after this, John ends up on sea-horse shaped Island of Patmos where he was given the Revelation of Jesus Christ. John is believed to be the only of the 12 apostles who died of old age. John spent his last years as the last of the apostles.

  • "truth" (alethaia) is one of John's favorite words. [John: 20x; 1 John: 8x; 4x; III John: 5x ]


1. LOVING: Loving in the Truth, v. 1

3 Jo 1:1 — The elder unto the wellbeloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth.

  • Prosper: “to have a good journey. "If you are good, i am good"
  • Down on the church and down on God's people. -- PREACHER MADE A PASS -- COUNSEL to the brothers: "Love the brethren and don't love the sisteren TOO much :) BUT is that our full witness?
  • I've been reading the biography, Christine Gibson "I love her"
  • Christ IN YOU rings true. It goes deep. I LOVE GOD'S PEOPLE.

2. WALKING: Walking in the Truth, v.3,4

3 Jo 1:3 — For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth.

3 John 1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

  • The Elder ... old fogey ... ??? What weats out with age. "The Truth Wears Well" --- it does not wear out
  • Upon the evangelists report, John learned Gauis had been testing the evangelists that they preached and walked in love and in the truth
  • Living according to the truth

3. HELPING: Fellow Helpers to the Truth, v.8

3 John 1:8 We therefore ought to receive such, that we might be fellowhelpers to the truth.

moving a 300 lb. vinyl tent bag, "Dad, are you helping or hurting?"

PRACTICING HOSPITALITY koinania, fellowship in the truth SUPPORT

  • In 2 John, John warned the elect lady about receiving false teachers and thereby becoming a partner in their evil deeds. Diotrophes seems to pervert this to his advantage and causes all outside help to be shut down -- In 3 John, John finds it urgent to encourage them to receive fellowhelpers of truth

  • Diotrophes was SPOILING good things [LOVING THE PRE-EMINENCE]. He was contrasted by both Gaius and Demetrius who is a bit of an "unsung" hero the early church.

  • GOSSIP: His malicious gossip against the evangelists was like water bubbling up - empty and useless talk - groundless but damaging still - thus SPOILING good.

  • John's ministrial test --- taking not from the gentile or unbelievers -- the ark cartied on shoulders of the priests HELP so that the gospel success be depenedant on the BELIEVERS rather than the UNBELIEVERS.

  • Gaius: he used his resources in a godly way,

4. MIRRORING: Reported of by the Truth, 12

3 John 1:12 ¶ 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.

  • Would we accept pauks blessing without injury? What if our physical health directly mirrorred our spiritual health?
  • Perhaps Demetrius is one whose ministry was hindered by Diotrophes.
  • He was given a good report 1) "by all men including the apostle" and 2) the TRUTH itself.
  • The TRUTH could be set like a mirror and you would see DEMETRIUS. And you could set DEMETRIUS like a mirror and you would see the TRUTH.
  • What health is to the body, holiness is to the soul
  • In John 14, Thomas who was troubled at the revelation Christ was going to leave them. (EXAMPLE: We had a baptism a few days ago. Where are you going? I'll follow you!). Thomas worried 1) we don't know your destination, HOW COULD WE EVEN KNOW THE WAY?:

John 14:6 — Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

  • The character, love and faith of Jesus
  • Practicing the Confession of our Faith