Monday, April 22, 2013
3rd John Part 2
1:4-6 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. Beloved, thou doest faithfully whatsoever thou doest to the brethren, and to strangers; Which have borne witness of thy charity before the church: whom if thou bring forward on their journey after a godly sort, thou shalt do well:
Gaius appears to be a convert of John’s, since he refers to him as one of his children. You will note that when the apostle wrote to the matron of 2nd John that he rejoiced to find her children walking in truth; though she may have been a disciple of his, her children clearly were not. Were this a real woman and not in reference to a church body she was a godly mother who raised her offspring in the Scriptures like Timothy had been raised by his mother and grandmother, 2nd Timothy 1:5.
John had written a letter to this house church which apparently had been rejected by Diotrephes (verse 9), so instead of addressing the whole body John wrote to his faithful disciple who had received foreign Christians and treated them with care. Gaius labored to practice charity to strangers and known Christians. These saints returned to the church where John presided as an elder and informed them of Gaius’ character and conduct. This was a reason for celebration according to John. Such godliness and self-control practiced in an individual or body of believers can stir other churches or lukewarm Christians to a godly zeal that will purge the leaven of sin and lethargy in them, oft-times provoking them by being reminded what a truly spiritual Christian looks like, 2nd Corinthians 9:2.
The phrase “after a godly sort” is rendered “in a manner worthy of God” in the NKJV and gives a little clarity from the archaic Elizabethan English. John commends that Gaius and everyone reading, ought to participate in the ministry of itinerant preachers who are grounded in proper Biblical doctrine, and that we would do well to send them on a manner worthy of God. As God would treat His children who serve Him, so ought we to do, to the best of our ability. Those who serve God for the right reasons, in the right spirit, are proving themselves to men as being genuine children of God. We read of this in the Old Testament when Malachi writes: “They shall be Mine,” says the Lord of hosts, “On the day that I make them My jewels. And I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.” Then you shall again discern between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him,” Malachi 3:17-18. An orthodox doctrinal view coupled with a spirit of obedience to the Lord reveals His children before both the church and the world.
To partake of such ministry for His name’s sake is to do well, according to the apostle John. Gaius was clearly laboring under this truth already, and opened his door to wandering preachers of the gospel, giving them food and shelter, and in such a cheerful manner that the saints brought back this glowing report to Gaius’ spiritual father. John was writing to commend the man, and console him as well, for reasons which we shall shortly look into, God willing.