“We therefore ought to receive such, that we may become fellow workers for the truth.”
Verse 8 is set in contrast to verse 7. Non-Christians do not support Christian workers but it is incumbent upon Christians to support them.
We therefore ought to receive such,
The “therefore” implies not receiving financial support from non-Christians. The “we” is emphatic in the Greek, that is, “we Christians as over against non-Christians — “Since evangelists do not depend on non-Christians for support, we Christians must provide that support. We Christians are the only ones who will supply the means to make evangelism possible.”
The word “ought” implies moral obligation. It is a moral obligation to provide financial means to advance the gospel.
“Receive such” relates to giving financial support to Christian workers. The word “receive” conveys the idea to welcome, to receive as guests. “Such” points to John’s evangelists, hosted by Gaius, who did not receive support from unbelievers — “Underwrite the expenses for this evangelistic team who totally depend on Christians for their support.”
that we may become fellow workers for the truth
“That” indicates a result of support for itinerant evangelists. Those who provide financial support for them become co-workers for the truth with them.
The word “we” is emphatic in the Greek. Since Christian workers do not rely on non-Christians for support, Christians must support them. As Christians we must do what we do not expect non-Christians to do.
By receiving these itinerant evangelists, Gaius became a part of the movement called “fellow workers for the truth.” The word “become” means to become something that you were not previously. Gaius was not a fellow worker for the truth until he started financially supporting itinerant evangelists.
Christians work for the truth. If it were not for Gaius, the interest of the truth would not advance. If Gaius did not provide financially for John’s itinerant evangelists, the truth would not go forward as it does now that Gaius provides for them. Gaius, by his financial support, is a partner with John’s evangelistic team.
The word “for” in “for the truth” conveys the idea to promote the truth. Financial support for evangelists makes evangelism more operative in its dynamic.
PRINCIPLE: Those who financially support people in ministry share personally in their ministry.
APPLICATION: Giving financial support to Christian workers makes the giver a partner with the receiver.
1 Co 3: 9 “For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building.”
1 Co 9: 23 “Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.”
Co 4: 11 “…and Jesus who is called Justus. These are my only fellow workers for the kingdom of God who are of the circumcision; they have proved to be a comfort to me.”