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Read Introduction to 3 John

 

“Beloved, you do faithfully whatever you do for the brethren and for strangers…”
 
Now we begin the body of the epistle to 3rd John.  The book of 3rd John revolves around the portraits of three men: Gaius, Diotrephes (v. 9) and Demetrius (v. 12) — two good men and one not so good. 
Beloved,
 
For the third time in 5 verses John expresses his love to Gaius.  John loved Gaius for supporting his traveling missionaries so he punctuated this epistle with “beloved.” 
you do faithfully whatever you do for the brethren and for strangers
 
John commends Gaius for his financial service for others.  Probably this refers especially to support of food, housing and money for traveling teachers and missionaries.  Gaius even went further and supported “strangers” as well; he did not need to know them personally.  Anyone who came into town to minister found a place to stay at Gaius’ house.  Gaius invited the displeasure from a key leader in his church for doing this.
 
Ro 15: 23 “But now no longer having a place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come to you, 24 whenever I journey to Spain, I shall come to you. For I hope to see you on my journey, and to be helped on my way there by you, if first I may enjoy your company for a while.”
 
1 Co 16:15 “I urge you, brethren—you know the household of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves to the ministry of the saints16 that you also submit to such, and to everyone who works and labors with us. 17 I am glad about the coming of Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus, for what was lacking on your part they supplied. 18 For they refreshed my spirit and yours. Therefore acknowledge such men.”
 
2 Co 1: 15 “And in this confidence I intended to come to you before, that you might have a second benefit— 16 to pass by way of you to Macedonia, to come again from Macedonia to you, and be helped by you on my way to Judea.” 
 
Tit 3: 13 “Send Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey with haste, that they may lack nothing.”
 
Gaius supported Christian workers “faithfully.”  People could count on him because he was trustworthy and dependable.  When traveling missionaries came to town, John could count on him to provide for them even in the face of incurring the wrath of Diotrephes.
 
1 Tim 5: 9 “Do not let a widow under sixty years old be taken into the number, and not unless she has been the wife of one man, 10 well reported for good works: if she has brought up children, if she has lodged strangers, if she has washed the saints’ feet, if she has relieved the afflicted, if she has diligently followed every good work.”
 
PRINCIPLE: 
Financial support of those who serve Jesus Christ is essential to the advancement of the work of Christ. 
APPLICATION: 
A genuine sign that God has touched a person is when he starts giving to others.  This is true in his pocketbook as well as in his time.  He becomes a generous person.  He gives with a sense of delight.
Ministry cannot advance without the help of generous believers. 
Ro 12: 13 “…distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.”
The church cannot operate without generous Christians.  That generosity must go first to the household of faith.  Believers must always discriminate in favor of Christians. 
Ga 6: 10 “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.”
He 6: 10 “For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.”
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