3 John 1-4 / The Beloved Gaius (Sermon notes and Audio)

Posted on October 16, 2014


This is the first in a series of verse-by-verse expositions of the book of 3 John. This message was delivered at Hillcrest Baptist Church on the evening of October 12, 2014. This message introduces the book of 3 John, the man named Gaius, and the Godly example he sets. Please note that the sermon notes are not a full transcript.

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3 John 1-4


3 John 1-4

The book of 3 John tells us of two men, Gaius and Diotrephes, they couldn’t be more different.

John uses the two to contrast the differences in the behavior of a true Christian compared to a false teacher.

First, John loves him “in the truth”.

As I’ve previously noted, the truth is a reference to Jesus Christ.

John 14:6

We will see a very stark contrast between the two, along with a commendation for Gaius, and condemnation for Diotrephes.

First up is Gaius, who is a fine example of what a Christian should be.

This beloved Gaius was a traveling companion of Paul.

Acts 19:29

Acts 20:4

Gaius is one of the few people who Paul baptized.

1 Corinthians 1:14

Gaius was also Paul’s host in Corinth.

Romans 16:23

John’s prayer for Gaius is significant, but first lets recognize what it is not.

John’s prayer is not a nod to the prosperity gospel. This is in no way a promise of material prosperity and good health.

The false promise that one will be prosperous and healthy if only they have enough faith cannot be found here.

In fact, you’ll find no such promise in Scripture. Such a position is based on wishful, selfish, flimsy and erroneous interpretation of Scripture.

Such a promise can only be asserted when one takes great liberties with the Word of God, totally ignoring the plain and straight-forward meaning of Scripture.

Such a position ignores the inconvenient truth of the many very faithful saints, who throughout the centuries have suffered poverty, sickness and perecution.

Paul himself had a physical ailment, that apparently his faith could not eliminate.

2 Corinthians 12:7-10

Timothy had a stomach condition which needed more than faith to treat, otherwise he could have willed it away, but we see no such instruction from Paul.

1 Timothy 5:23

Were neither of these Godly men faithful enough? Would the followers of the prosperity gospel assert that they are of greater faith than Paul and Timothy?

Let’s be clear, John is not advocating some false prosperity Gospel. He has something far different in mind.

To ask about one’s health was standard custom in ancient letters, but John used it in a unique way. . . to highlight Gaius’s excellent spiritual state.

Gaius’s spiritual state was so great that John prayed that his physical health would match his spiritual vitality.

This prayer speaks volumes, would you want someone to pray this for you?

If your physical health matched your spiritual health, what kind of shape would you be in.

I’m afraid that this prayer might be all but a death sentence to many Christians.

This prayer is also a reminder that Christians should pray for the physical needs of others.

While there is no indication that Gaius was in poor health, John was obviously concerned with the state of his health.

Such should be a concern of all Christians.

The fact that Gaius’ spiritual condition was so excellent didn’t go unnoticed. People were talking about it, and word had made it back to John.

To see people walking in the truth was a great joy for John.

2 John 1:4

This is the first attribute we see in Gaius, is that he walks in the truth.

Gaius apparently didn’t just talk the talk, he also walked the walk.

James 1:22

James 2:14-17

Such, of course, is a requirement of Christ.

Matthew 25:32-46

This, of course, is not teaching a works based salvation, but that true faith will be seen in one’s works. True faith will bear fruit.

Once again, we see that John derives great joy to see people walking in the truth. Such should be the case for us also.

Are you walking in the truth?

Is your spiritual health such that you’d want your physical health to be a reflection of it?

When you make it a point to walk in the truth, you’ll have no need to worry about your spiritual health.

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