Before email and text messages, most written correspondence was done through letters. Unlike modern forms of communication, letters didn’t come with a thread of what had already been said by the other person. Reading another person’s letter only gives us a portion of the full story. Third John, the shortest book in the Bible, is more like a postcard written by John to a man named Gaius. While we can’t know everything that was going on in Gaius’s church, this little letter offers the modern church several important lessons.
The elder to the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth.
Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul. For I rejoiced greatly when the brothers came and testified to your truth, as indeed you are walking in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.3 John (ESV)
John: Writing the letter
Gaius: Receiving the letter
Diotrephes: Mentioned in the letter
Demetrius: Delivering the letter?
Principles (know it):
We can have confidence in the reliability of the Bible
One-on-one discipleship ignited the global church movement and is still the best model today
“Messy” church is nothing new and is a critical part of the discipling process
The Church must be discerning, but not isolationist
Our leaders must be bold, yet gentle
Hospitality should be a defining characteristic of the church.
Practices (do them):
Pray about our church leadership elections and attend next Sunday’s Annual Members Meeting at 10:00 a.m.
Support our missionaries through Invested and the Advent Conspiracy.
Sunday: 1 John 1
Monday: 1 John 2
Tuesday: 1 John 3
Wednesday: 1 John 4
Thursday: 1 John 5
Friday: 2 John
Saturday: 3 John