For truth’s sake (3 John 1:1-8)

In 3 John just as in 2 John, John keeps using the phrase “the truth.” In 3 John, he is writing to Gaius. In this short book, John describes what makes a good church member and what makes a bad church member. We all likely know someone we admire for his walk with Jesus.

1. Every church has two types of people. There are those who God brings to the church. And there are those who the devil puts in the church to sow discord. Satan knows he cannot destroy the church from the outside, so he works on the inside. Gaius was a faithful church member who suffered from poor health.

2. Faithfulness looks for ways to serve rather than ways to give excuses. Gaius did not let his poor health get in the way of his faithfulness. We look for excuses rather than opportunities. People from the church gave testimony regarding Gaius’ faithfulness. Nothing gives a pastor greater pleasure than when his churchgoers walk in truth, and likewise for a parent to watch his child walk with the Lord.

3. Our personal testimony is the most valuable witness we have. Lost people are watching to see whether we’re real. We must learn to have a good testimony and to keep it. Once we lose our testimony with someone it’s difficult to get back. Our actions must match our words. If you do not have a good testimony, you are spiritually bankrupt. We can rebuild our testimony by being faithful to God. God’s people must take care of God’s people.

4. The life of a believer is to be marked by extravagant generosity. The church is to use the money God has entrusted it with. The church doesn’t sit on a large bank account. Likewise, God doesn’t call us as individuals to be stingy. We will reap what we sow, but we won’t reap until we sow. We won’t regret being generous. But we will regret being stingy. The local church is only as strong as the people who comprise its membership.

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