111 John – Model the Gospel

There is a wild chase for prosperity. The dark horses in this race are those who seek prosperity of soul. We will emerge as winners.

Key Verse

Model the Good

3 John v. 5-8 Dear friend, when you extend hospitality to Christian brothers and sisters, even when they are strangers, you make the faith visible. They’ve made a full report back to the church here, a message about your love. 3 john 1 (Message)

Presentation Overview

  • Introduction
  • Objectives
  • Emulate those who model the gospel:
    • Enjoy Prosperity of soul
    • Experience the walk of truth
    • Extend hospitality to them
  • Expose those who battle the gospel:
    • Reject external hospitality
    • Contest the truth
    • Experience leanness of soul
  • Recap
  • Discussion

Objectives

To

  • Attain and maintain prosperity of soul
  • Support God’s people from the global church
  • Walk in the truth
  • Be a role model within and outside the church
  • Discern power mongers and take action

Introduction

  • Written by Apostle John to Gaius encouraging his hospitality.
  • Gaius was a wealthy man who extended hospitality to missionaries.
  • Traditionally appointed by John as the bishop of Pergamum
  • John warns of Diotrephes, a leader who opposed God’s work by not wanting to be accountable.
  • Diotrephes, already a leader was trying to close the church to outside influences, even positive ones.
  • He was creating a powerhouse where he had high control – a dangerous sign for the body of Christ.
  • 3 John vs. 9 indicates John sent a letter, possibly to Diotrephes, which he apparently destroyed.
  • Church setting was probably in Ephesus
  • John recommends Demetrius (later appointed as bishop of Philadelphia), and probably sends the letter through him.

Emulate those who model the Gospel

  • Enjoy Prosperity of soul
  • Experience the walk of truth
  • Extend hospitality to them

3 John v. 11 Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. The one who does good is of God; the one who does evil has not seen God.

In 3 John v. 12, we see that Demetrius has received a good testimony from everyone, and from the truth itself; and we add our testimony, and you know that our testimony is true.

  • The Truth itself stood for Demetrius.
  • When you stand for the truth, the truth stands for you

Discussion

  • Reflect on “the truth itself testifies (speaks) for him”.
  • In today’s age people feel they need to on occasions jog or twist the truth to get things done?  Is that true?
  • How can we make the truth speak for us? Share experiences.

Enjoy Prosperity of soul

Material prosperity should follow on the heels of prosperity of soul not vice versa.

3 John v. 2 Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.

Experience the walk of truth

3 John v. 3 For I was very glad when brethren came and testified to your truth, that is, how you are walking in truth. 4 I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.

Extend hospitality to them

3 John v. 5 Beloved, you are acting faithfully in whatever you accomplish for the brethren, and especially when they are strangers; 6 and they have testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God.

3 John v. 7 For they went out for the sake of the Name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles. 8 Therefore we ought to support such men, so that we may be fellow workers with the truth.

Expose those who battle the gospel

3 John v.10 For this reason, if I come, I will call attention to his deeds

Godly leaders should nip power centres in the bud

These people:

  • Reject hospitality to outsiders
  • Contest the truth
  • Experience Leanness of soul

Reject External Hospitality

..he himself does not receive the brethren, either, and he forbids those who desire to do so and puts them out of the church. 3 John v 10 b

Diotrephes was creating a power centre for self rather than a power centre for the Spirit.

Contest the truth

Diotrephes, who loves to be first among them, does not accept what we say. 3 John v. 9……unjustly accusing us with wicked words; and not satisfied with this

Experience leanness of soul

  • Diotrephes, .. loves to be first among them,  3 John v 9..
  • Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, 3 John v 11..

Diotrephes, a leader in the church marked out as an egoistic evildoer.

Reflection

  • If we could read people’s minds, what testimony do we have in our churches and fellowships?
  • While we do need to stay committed to our local churches, do we have a “global church” mindset?

Model the Gospel - Recap

  • Emulate those who model the gospel:
    • Enjoy Prosperity of soul
    • Experience the walk of truth
    • Extend hospitality to them
  • Expose those who battle the gospel:
    • Taste leanness of soul
    • Contest the truth
  • Reject external hospitality

Discussion

  1. How can we ensure that our prosperity of soul is ahead of material prosperity?
  2. What was Diotrephes’ motive for being a key church leader derailing the church? What challenges can it create?
  3. Do we see our churches today getting similarly derailed? How do we respond in situations when such leaders take over?
  4. Gaius and Demetrius had believers speak for them. How can we be good examples to others in the midst of these challenges?

 

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