SIMPLE PLEASURES: We don't know much about Gaius, the one to whom this letter is addressed, but it becomes obvious that he brings great joy to John. It doesn't appear Gaius became a major leader in the early church, or that he pastored churches like Timothy or Titus, rather it seems that he was just being genuinely nice, hospitable, and faithfully reflecting the truth of Jesus Christ. John here reflects the love of a father for a child, and the love of God the Father for you. Isn't it nice to know that you don't have to spearhead some massive accomplishment in the church in order to impress God? You can bring Him the greatest joy just to walk in the truth (v4).
THIS SOUNDS FAMILIAR: We refer to these books as John's letters, but some people question as to who John was. Was it the apostle John, who wrote the gospel and book of Revelation, or another John? 2nd & 3rd John are signed at the top by "The Elder (v1)," but that word can either mean 'old man,' or an ordained elder in the church, so it doesn't really help us identify the author. One of the biggest clues we have is the writing style and topics used. Notice how many times this short letter talks about 'truth' and 'love' - v3, 4, 6, 8, 12. Now use an online Bible tool like BibleGateway to count how many times truth and love are talked about in John's gospel. This is just one of the many clues that help us know for sure that the apostle John wrote these letters.
SELF PROMOTER: All through the history of the Church there have been those who built massive followings focused on themselves, and not Christ. John warns against one of these types in v9-10. Steer clear from people who guide the church by manipulating the people.
SCRIPTURE ALONE, BUT NOT SCRIPTURE BY ITSELF: One of the hallmarks of the Reformation is what's called the Five Solas, one of which is Sola Scriptura, meaning that as a church God's Word alone is our final authority (read more about the other four 'solas'). Scripture, and scripture alone contains all we need to know to live in relationship with God. But that doesn't mean a person can live a healthy Christian life without the fellowship of other Christians - that is, without being surrounded by the Church. John wrote these words which were inspired by God Himself, yet even still he longed for the fellowship of those in the church (v13-14). Make sure you follow John's lead and keep yourself immersed in a fellowship of believers: the church.
Communion Preparation For Sunday, 9/27/20
Heidelberg Catechism QA 82
Q. Should those be admitted to the Lord’s Supper who show by what they profess and how they live that they are unbelieving and ungodly?
A. No, that would dishonor God’s covenant and bring down God’s wrath upon the entire congregation. Therefore, according to the instruction of Christ and his apostles, the Christian church is duty-bound to exclude such people, by the official use of the keys of the kingdom, until they reform their lives.
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: God is the overflowing fountain of everything good (v11)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Ask God to help you not imitate what is evil, but what is good (v11)
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: