The Good, The Bad and The Brilliant

Daily Spirit & Word: 515: The Good, The Bad and The Brilliant.

Good morning on the Lord’s Day. Sundays are always such an encouragement for me, because I love gathering with my fellow saints to worship the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s great to hear them share what He’s been showing them from His Word and how they’ve had answered prayers during the week. Fellowship with each other is critical to our consistent walk with Jesus Christ. When we have good gatherings, it’ll be hard to wear a mask and make a pretense of walking in the light, when in reality we’re walking in the darkness.

Today we’re considering 3 John. One of the shortest books of the Bible, but again, like 2 John, it’s packed with significance for the Christian today. In this little letter (Epistle) from the Apostle John, we’ll see three different kinds of characters mentioned. You’ve probably all seen or heard about the Clint Eastwood film; “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”, well today in John’s letter we see three individuals: One is good, One is bad and the other is Brilliant (A shining example to every Christian). Hence today’s title; “The Good, The Bad and The Brilliant”.

Our Bible Reading Today:

3 John 1:1-14 1  The elder, To my dear friend Gaius, whom I love in the truth.
2  Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.
3  It gave me great joy to have some brothers come and tell about your faithfulness to the truth and how you continue to walk in the truth.
4  I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.
5  Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers, even though they are strangers to you.
6  They have told the church about your love. You will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God.
7  It was for the sake of the Name that they went out, receiving no help from the pagans.
8  We ought therefore to show hospitality to such men so that we may work together for the truth.
9  I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will have nothing to do with us.
10  So if I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, gossiping maliciously about us. Not satisfied with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church.
11  Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God.
12  Demetrius is well spoken of by everyone—and even by the truth itself. We also speak well of him, and you know that our testimony is true.
13  I have much to write to you, but I do not want to do so with pen and ink.
14  I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face. Peace to you. The friends here send their greetings. Greet the friends there by name.

What a wonderful letter to receive from the Ancient Apostle of Jesus Christ.

Imagine how you’d feel if John (the beloved Apostle) were writing this letter to you? What an encouragement it is. Well my friends, it is written to you too. It’s part of God’s Word and therefore it’s the Holy Spirit who’ll use it today to speak to each and every one of us.

Giaus The Good:

John’s letter is to this man Giaus, who is a great Christian.

  • He’s got a good witness. (3 John 1:1-6).
  • He’s Loved by the Apostle. (3 John 1:1)
  • He’s faithful to the TRUTH. (3 John 1:3)
  • He walks in the TRUTH. (3 John 1:3-4)
  • His walk with Jesus makes the Apostle John so full of joy. (3 John 1:4)
  • And He lives by the TRUTH with the actions of his life. (3 John 1:5-6)
  • He’s got lots of Christian Friends (verse 14)
  • He’s blessed by the Apostle: “Health, Success and Peace” (Verses 2, 14)
  • He’s entrusted to by John to greet everyone by name. (Verse 14).

Wouldn’t you like to have a Christian Witness like this man Giaus? His life in the Lord is being spoken of in other gatherings of the saints. He’s made a deep impression upon other brothers and sisters in the Lord.

Giaus was probably one of the people that the Apostle John led to faith and trust in the Lord. He’d taught him how to walk in the TRUTH (1 John). And is REJOICING because the one he’d lead to the Lord (His Children in the Truth) is continuing to walk with Jesus.

I can’t tell you how much of a JOY that is my friends. When we lead someone to faith in Jesus and they continue to walk with Jesus after many years. So much so that the fame of their walk reaches you by other brothers and sisters who tell what a great Christian they are.

But it’s Giaus’ Faithfulness and Continuing: In the Truth.

Of course the TRUTH here is a loaded word: John used the term to speak of people either walking in the light interchangeably with walking in the Truth or Walking in the Darkness (falsehood). If we’re walking in the light then the truth is in us:

1 John 1:5-10 5  This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.
6  If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. (i.e. we’re being FALSE).
7  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
8  If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
9  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
10  If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.

THREE STAGES OF FALSEHOOD: What we ‘claim’…

Lying To Others: 1 John 1:6. Being FALSE to our Brothers and Sisters in the Lord: Claiming to be walking in the light, but actually walking in the darkness: It’s living a lie. It’s claiming that we’ve got fellowship with God, when we’re actually sinning and walking in the darkness. (Lying to Others).

Lying To Ourselves: 1 John 1:8. Self-Deceived: When we continue to lie about our spiritual condition, we’ll actually begin to believe the lie, that we’re OK, that we’re walking in the light, when we’re actually walking in the darkness. It’s continuing to live sinfully and convince ourselves of the lie = self-deceived. So being false to our brothers and sisters is bad, but it will inevitable lead to self-deception. Thinking we’re OK with God. Walking in the Light.

Lying To God: 1 John 1:10. Being FALSE towards God. How foolish is that. Thinking that we can actually fool God into thinking that we’re walking in the light, that we’re in fellowship with Him, when we’re actually claiming we’ve not sinned. We’re making God out to be a liar, because God has said, “All have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God”. Romans 3:23-24.

So Giaus was walking in the TRUTH: i.e. He was walking in the light. He wasn’t living a lie, deceiving his brothers and sisters, himself or God. He wasn’t ‘CLAIMING’ to walk in the TRUTH, Giaus was doing it.  His life was beaming bright and he was a living testimony that he was truly converted to Jesus. No wonder the aged Apostle was so full of joy and so full of love and blessings for him. He could trust Giaus to deliver his message to the other brothers and sisters, knowing that he’d communicate it faithfully.

Giaus Practices Hospitality:

He looked after the Brothers who’d come to Minister: They were STRANGERS, but Giaus welcomed them and looked after them.

In 2 John we read of the Elect Lady in the faith, who’d been warned not to invite False Teachers into her home. But here John is highlighting the need for all Christians to practice hospitality, especially towards Ministers who’d come to work for Jesus. (Truth 3 John 1:7). They didn’t get support from NON-BELIEVERS, but like all good workmen for the Lord, they depended upon the hospitality of the saints to sustain their Ministry.

In verse 8 John reveals that it’s not simply good practice, but an obligation to support the ministry. 3 John 1:8 “We ought therefore to show hospitality to such men so that we may work together for the truth.” We’re working together for the TRUTH.

Giaus did this and was commended for it by the Apostle, but we turn now to someone who didn’t: Diotrephes.

Diotrephes The Bad:

Now we come to the BAD: Diotrephes was a man who wanted to be FIRST:

John revealed what Diotrephes was doing; “So if I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, gossiping maliciously about us. Not satisfied with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church.”

  • Malicious Gossip: Saying things that are not true, to make others look small, because he loved to be PREEMINENT / FIRST.
  • Refusing to Welcome: He’s not welcoming the ‘BROTHERS’: Good Christian men who’re going out to serve the Lord Jesus. 
  • Expelling those who do: Puts them out of the Church if they support the BROTHERS. 

Diotrephes is the worst kind of CONTROL FREAK. I want my way and I want to be first, if I’m not, then you are out of the Church.

He’s definitely a BAD Witness. His fame for being bad had reached the Apostle too.

Demetrius The Brilliant:

Then we come to Demetrius: He’s the Bright and Shining Example to us all.

3 John 1:12 “Demetrius is well spoken of by everyone—and even by the truth itself. We also speak well of him, and you know that our testimony is true.”

WOWzer! I’d love to be spoken of like Demetrius, wouldn’t you? Even by the TRUTH itself: It’s a strange phrase.

I love it when I hear brothers and sisters ‘Speaking Well’ of each other, but even more so when it’s for great reasons; because of their ‘Walk in the TRUTH’ or How they, “Walk in the Light”.

I’ve been privileged to witness so many BRILLIANT examples. And I’m always thanking God for the massive impact they’ve had upon my life and my walk with Him. They are such an encouragement.

Following Others:

Demetrius is a great example for us to follow, so is Giaus, but should we follow men?

God Encourages Us To Follow / Imitate the EXAMPLE and LIFE of those who are faithful followers of Jesus Christ.

Philippians 3:17 17  Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you.

1 Corinthians 11:1 1  Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.

It’s great to have some Brothers and Sisters we admire, but lets be sure we admire them for the right reasons. Not for their Money, Position or Fame, but for the way they Follow the Example of Jesus Christ. I’m always encouraged by many great men of the faith. Some of whom have gone to be with the Lord Jesus now.

But we also, like John the Apostle Here, Encourage one another. We need to be encouraged and spurred on in our walk with Jesus.

Hebrews 10:24 24  And let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds.

Conclusion:

God wants to meet our every need in life, but we’ll only be completely satisfied if we’re walking in the Truth like Giaus and Demetrius: The LORD encourages us today;

Matthew 6:33 33  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

When we do seek His Kingdom as a first order priority: Then we’ll have a great TESTIMONY in the Church and before God and we’ll not be a FALSE witness, even to ourselves. We’ll be walking in the light, walking in the TRUTH and our lives will shine BRILLIANTLY FOR JESUS, FOR TRUTH AND FOR LOVE.

Have an awesome week with Jesus. Continue to walk in the Light as He is in the Light and we’ll have fellowship with one another.

Don.