December 19, 2015.
Daily Reading: III John.
Background: This is the third epistle that we have that was written by the apostle John (see the intro to I John). Unlike the other two epistles, this one is addressed to a single person, Gaius, whom the apostle “love[s] in truth,” encouraging him to support the brethren who testified to his truth and love, even though they were strangers, warning him against Diotrephes and commending a man named Demetrius to him. The letter is believed to be written near the end of the first century.
Concepts and Connections.
Support and opposition: The apostle opens his letter to a man named Gaius with joy and encouragement, telling him of the joy that he had whenever he hears that his children are walking in truth, just as those who had come to him had testified of Gaius. He writes to Gaius to encourage him to support these brethren, even though they are strangers, and support those like them who are fellow workers in the truth. It is important to support those who have gone out for the sake of the name of Christ. However, the apostle warns Gaius against a man name Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first and did not uphold the authority of the apostles/elders, but rather talking wicked nonsense against them. He even refused to welcome the brothers, throwing any who was in opposition to him out of the church. Gaius was not to imitate evil, but rather good, for whoever does good is from God, and the one who does evil has not seen God. John also commends a man named Demetrius to Gaius, giving testimony to his work in the truth. He ends with more to say, but hope to visit in person to talk with Gaius face to face.
Tomorrow’s Reading: Acts 19-21.
Walk in truth.