Work Together for the Truth

3 John

Friday, October 21, 2022

In the third and final letter from John, truth is once again evidenced in his thoughts.  

John is writing, in part, to commend a man named Gaius.  John said of Gaius that he was walking in the truth and that he was being faithful in providing support for strangers who were traveling around sharing the gospel (perhaps like modern day missionaries?).  

While there are many who are called to travel around sharing the gospel – to be missionaries – most of us are not.  That doesn’t excuse us from the responsibility of the Great Commission (Mark 16:15, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.”).  We can all come alongside those who are called to do such work by providing prayer, encouragement, and financial support.  This makes us the “fellow workers” that John talks about in verse 8.

John then goes on to contrast the faithful and loving behavior of Gaius with the selfish and subversive behavior of Diotrephes.  In verse 11 he tells Gaius, and us, “do not imitate evil but imitate good”.   It’s not enough to just not imitate evil, but it is commanded that we imitate good.  The one who does good is from God.  

-Todd & Amy Blanchard

Questions:

  1. Do you know who the missionaries we, as a church, support?  You can learn about them and our organization for supporting them, Lord’s Harvest International here:  http://lhicog.com/
  2. Who do you know that you could imitate?  How?
  3. Are the choices you make (attitudes, actions, words, etc.) worthy of imitation?

Abiding in Truth

2 John

Thursday, October 20, 2022

For such a short letter, John really packs a lot into it.  The greeting, which, if I am being honest, often gets skimmed, offers some insight into what the letter contains.  He mentions truth or the truth four times in the greeting alone.  I think his point is that truth matters.  So, what is the truth that he is talking about?  Verse 9 talks about abiding in the teaching of Christ.  This is the truth that is empathized in his greeting.  Verse 7 says that a deceiver is one who does not confess (believe) that Jesus Christ came in the flesh – that he was a real man who lived on this earth.  No one likes to find out they were deceived, tricked, or made to look foolish because they believed a lie.  The truth is that Jesus is the Son of God, he did live on the earth, he did preach a message of the coming kingdom, he did die for our sins, he was raised up, and he will come back.  We are to abide in that teaching, in that truth.  

I looked up abide and was surprised at the many definitions it has.  Here are a few:

  • to accept or act in accordance with
  • to remain in a stable or fixed state
  • to continue in a particular condition, attitude, or relationship
  • to be able to live with or put up with

Not only are we to abide in this truth, but to NOT abide in it is to NOT have God.  That is a scary thought!

John provides a warning to us in verse 8 to “Watch yourselves, so that you may not lose what we have worked for, but may win a full reward”.  He warns us because there will be “many deceivers” – many people who won’t be abiding in the truth about Jesus.  The only way to know if you are being told the truth or if you are being deceived is to “test everything” (I Thessalonians 5:21).  In order to do that, we need to know the truth ourselves.  We need to “test” what we are being taught against what is in God’s word, the Bible. 

  • Todd & Amy Blanchard

Questions:

  1.  Have you ever been deceived by someone?  How did you learn about the truth and what steps have you taken so you aren’t deceived in that way again?  
  2. How can you apply that to being watchful with regard to your faith walk (walking in the truth)?
  3. Being aware that knowledge of the truth prevents deception, how can you share your knowledge to help keep others from being deceived?
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