Saturday, May 4, 2013
3rd John Part 3
1:7-8 Because that for his name's sake they went forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles. We therefore ought to receive such, that we might be fellowhelpers to the truth.
John continues discussing the evangelists whom Gaius lent help to giving the reason why they have chosen the life they chose. It was for His name’s sake. The NASB renders the phrase “for the sake of the Name.” The word “name” is the Greek “onoma” and means “in general the “name” by which a person or place is called…for all that a “name” implies, of authority, character, rank, majesty, power, excellence, etc, of everything that the “name” covers.”
These Christians went out in the authority and majesty of Christ proclaiming His gospel. It was for His name’s sake. The word “sake” can mean a motive or objective; this is further explained as the purpose of doing, obtaining, achieving, or maintaining something. These evangelists wanted to bring God glory by bringing God’s glory to the unsaved world. They were advancing the kingdom of God by proclaiming Christ the King. They were ambassadors of Christ who came to offer terms of peace to a rebel world that had offended their Sovereign and Creator through wanton sin. They sought first the kingdom of God and His glory, and as such, as Jesus promised, their Savior provided for them food and shelter and clothing, the necessary things that God knows we must have, Matthew 6:31-33.
The second reason John listed was that these same men took nothing from the Gentiles in terms of food, clothing and shelter. They had no business partnership that was sponsored by the secular arm of an unsaved business, monarch, or individual. Paul writes a stern warning against this mentality that many today ought to take careful heed to in our ministry and lives. “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?” 2nd Corinthians 6:14-15. This passage, taken primarily to mean marrying an unbeliever, I think runs more in the vein of partnering with unbelievers when it comes to the matter of our faith in Christ. In 3rd John the apostle provides a practical example of this passage when he commends the evangelists that took nothing from the Gentiles (the unsaved) but rather relied on the Holy Spirit to move the hearts of the saints to open their doors to them. In this they were not disappointed since men like Gaius had been raised up to provide for these saints.
The apostle also writes that we should receive such men, to the end that we would be considered fellow workers for the truth, NKJV. So Gaius had a number of ministries; by ministering to the saints he was ministering with the saints, by providing for them their necessary things so they could continue focusing on preaching the word of God. Like the original apostles, these evangelists should have a warm reception in any town they visited so they did not need to concentrate on providing for their daily needs, but could instead focus their spiritual gifts on evangelization and the preaching of the gospel, Acts 6:2-4; 1st Corinthians 9:11-14.