Presentation on theme: "SOME BACKGROUND MATERIAL The Author--“The Elder.” Believed to be the Apostle John. Internal evidence. Three epistles of John utilize much of the same."— Presentation transcript:
The Author--“The Elder.” Believed to be the Apostle John. Internal evidence. Three epistles of John utilize much of the same language & ideas. All bear similarity to concepts & language as the Gospel of John. The term “Elder” would have been fitting for the Apostle John at this point. Dionysius of Alexandria (3 rd century) credits John as the author.
These words come from the mind of God. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Tim 3:16). “Prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Pet 1:21).
Recipient--“The Beloved Gaius.” Gaius was a common Roman name (Acts 19:29; 20:4; Rom 16:23; 1 Cor 1:14; 3 Jn 1). We do not know if the Gaius of 3 John is one mentioned by Luke or Paul. He was apparently a close friend of John’s.
Place & Date of Writing. 3 John would have been written in Ephesus. The epistle was likely written about AD 90-95. Purpose of the Epistle. To confirm that Gaius did right in supporting the teachers who came his way. To express John’s condemnation of Diotrephes. To encourage Gaius to imitate what is good, commending Demetrius as a good example.
Gaius--A man whom John would have prosper (vv 1-8). John loved Gaius, because he was a man who… Had a good reputation (v 3). A good reputation is invaluable. “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches” (Prov 22:1). An elder “must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil” (1 Tim 3:7). Shakespeare: “The purest treasure mortal times affords is a spotless reputation;... Mine honor is my life; both grow in one. Take honor from me, and my life is done” (Richard II).
Gaius--A man whom John would have prosper (vv 1-8). John loved Gaius, because he was a man who… Had a good reputation (v 3). He walked in truth. If we desire to be saved to the end, we must walk in truth. “Your lovingkindness is before my eyes, And I have walked in Your truth” (Ps 26:3). To the Elect Lady, John wrote, “I rejoiced greatly that I have found some of your children walking in truth, as we received commandment from the Father” (2 Jn 4). Let us remain steadfast to truth.
Gaius--A man whom John would have prosper (vv 1-8). John loved Gaius, because he was a man who… Had a good reputation (v 3). He walked in truth. He was hospitable toward all (vv 5-6). Early Christians often opened their homes to traveling missionaries. We need to help meet the needs of those around us.
Diotrephes--A man who would be preeminent (vv 9-11). Diotrephes’ character. He was a self-promoter (v 9). We dare not strive to be seen by our brethren. “When you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward” (Matt 6:5). “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Matt 23:12).
Diotrephes--A man who would be preeminent (vv 9-11). Diotrephes’ character. He was a self-promoter (v 9). He was insubordinate (v 9). He was slanderous (v 10). We dare not gossip. “Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, Him I will destroy” (Ps 101:5). “Whoever hides hatred has lying lips, And whoever spreads slander is a fool” (Prov 10:18).
Diotrephes-A man who would be preeminent (vv 9-11). Diotrephes’ character. He was a self-promoter (v 9). He was insubordinate (v 9). He was slanderous (v 10). Diotrephes’ character serves as a warning (v 11).
Demetrius--a man who would be a pattern (vv 11-12). John encourages Gaius to do what is good, for “he who does good is of God” (v 11). Demetrius appears to have been a good example for Gaius, for… (v 12). He was well spoken of by everyone--this was a man with whom no one could find fault. He was also well spoken of by the truth itself--this was a man who was faithfully doing what God wanted him to do. John and the contemporaries also spoke well of him--“We also bear witness, and you know that our testimony is true.”
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