3 John 5-8 / Hospitable Gaius (Sermon notes and Audio)

Posted on October 30, 2014


This is the second 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 26, 2014. This message looks at some of the positive attributes of Gaius (specifically hospitality), and the Godly example he sets. Please note that the sermon notes are not a full transcript.

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3 John 5-8


3 John 5-8

The example of Gaius lists the following attributes:

  • As previously noted, he walks in the truth.
  • He is faithful.

Genuine faith always produces genuine good works.

James 2:14–17

  • He is hospitable.

Gaius practiced hospitality not only toward those whom he knew but also to those whom he did not know. The reference concerns especially traveling preachers that Gaius aided on their journeys.

hospitality was and is required of all Christians.

Matthew 10:10-11

Romans 12:13

Hebrews 13:2

In the church’s early days, traveling prophets, evangelists, and teachers were helped on their way by people like Gaius, who housed and fed them.

Hospitality is a lost art in many churches today.

This is an active and much-appreciated way to show your love. In fact, it is probably more important today.

Because of our individualistic, self-centered society, many lonely people wonder if anyone cares whether they live or die.

If you find such a lonely person, show him or her that you care!

Hospitality does require some discernment, because in the case of a false teacher, it must be refused.

2 John 9-11

You don’t want to be one to aid a false teacher in spreading his message.

However, in the case of a true believer, hospitality must be extended.

Therefore, we would do well to examine a stranger before providing hospitality.

1 John 4:1

The only way to know if the word is being compromised, is to know the word.

To truly know the word, you must first know the Son.

Proverbs 9:10

By offering hospitality to the true men of God, Gaius had gained a good reputation.

Part of what these traveling preachers had reported to John was the wholehearted way–involving, perhaps, risk to his standing in the community–in which Gaius had entertained them.

Gaius was likely acting contrary to the rest of the community, especially given the heavy handed description we have of Diatrophes, who was ver unhospitable.

On returning, they had testified to this before the whole church, and this increased the John’s joy in Gaius.

He had not only entertained the traveling brothers but had shown them agape love.

John exhorted and encouraged Gaius to maintain this behavior.

The admonition to send them on their way “in a manner worthy of God” shows the supreme importance of hospitality.

The phrase probably means that the traveling brothers were to be recognized as servants of God and supported as such.

In such instances, Christians were to provide hospitality as if the Lord himself were being welcomed.

John 13:20

So why was this level of hospitality so important?

Because “they went forth for His name’s sake”.

They had a ministry that was for God’s glory, not their own.

This verse also makes it clear that they weren’t in it for the money (taking nothing from the gentiles).

These attributes show that they truly were working on God’s behalf.

When one is truly and faithfully doing the will and work of God, we should support them as much as absolutely possible.

What is the benefit of such generous support?

When you help someone who is spreading the Good News, you are in a very real way a partner in the ministry.

This is the other side of the principle in 2 John 1:10

Not everyone is called to go to the mission field; those who work for Christ at home are vital to the ministry of those who go and who need support.

We can support missionaries by praying for them and by giving our money, hospitality, and time.

By doing this, Gaius became a worker for the truth, who was in complete cooperation with other believers.

He provides a great example for us to follow.

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