The 3rd Epistle Of John


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Laindon Christadelphians Bible Class 3rd Epistle of john 17 June 2009

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The 3rd Epistle Of John

  1. 1. The 3rd Epistle of John Laindon 17 June 2009
  2. 2. Background <ul><li>Author: “the elder” – The Apostle John, not named but consistent style and content again. </li></ul><ul><li>Recipient: Gaius </li></ul><ul><li>Location: probably written from Ephesus. </li></ul><ul><li>(Papias, Polycarp (via Irenaeus), Justin Martyr, Eusebius) </li></ul><ul><li>Date: Around same time as 2 John - AD 90. </li></ul><ul><li>Other characters: my children </li></ul><ul><li>the brethren </li></ul><ul><li>the church x 2 </li></ul><ul><li>Diotrophes </li></ul><ul><li>Demetrius </li></ul>
  3. 3. Reconstruction Demetrius? John Gaius The brethren The church John The church Diotrophes
  4. 4. Gaius <ul><li>Commended for: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ the truth that is in thee” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ thou walkest in the truth” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>John wrote directly to him because letter to the church was rejected </li></ul><ul><li>John encourages Gaius to continue his good works </li></ul>
  5. 5. Bring forward on journey <ul><li>Opposite of 2 John case </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“Beloved, it is a faithful thing you do in all your efforts for these brothers, strangers as they are” (ESV) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“we therefore ought to receive such” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“Fellow helpers to the truth” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Opposite of ‘partaker of evil deed’ </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Taking nothing <ul><li>V7 – “taking nothing of the gentiles” </li></ul><ul><li>As Paul – not chargeable </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1 Thess 2:9 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2 Thess 3:8 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1 Corinthians 9:6-15 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Honour” in 1 Tim 5:3,17 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Is there a Jew / Gentile angle to this? </li></ul>Financial support for those ministering to ecclesias was acceptable. But Paul did not exercise the right so none could accuse him of abusing it. The brethren sent by John did the same.
  7. 7. For his name’s sake <ul><li>For his name’s sake </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ there is none other name” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Perhaps because the doctrine of Christ was being perverted </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cp Rev 2 - John’s letter to his ecclesia </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.” Rev 2:2,3 </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Diotrophes <ul><li>Did not accept John’s letter </li></ul><ul><li>“ but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority.” v9 (ESV) </li></ul><ul><li>Loveth to have the pre-eminence, </li></ul><ul><li>Speaks malicious words against John </li></ul><ul><li>Forbids and casts some out of the church </li></ul>
  9. 9. A familiar behaviour pattern <ul><li>Challenges to Apostles authority </li></ul><ul><ul><li>2 Cor 11:5,13-20 – false apostles, if a man take of you, exalt himself </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2 Tim 1:13-15 – all in Asia turned away from me </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Titus 1:9-11 – insubordinate, for filthy lucre </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2 Peter 2:1,3,10 – false teachers, make merchandise of you, despise government, speak evil of dignities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jude 8,11,12 – despise dominion, speak evil, ran greedily, feeding themselves, cause divisions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rev 2:2 – Ephesus - false apostles </li></ul></ul>What little we know of Diotrophes sounds similar to these subversive elements in the ecclesias
  10. 10. Diotrophes <ul><li>Diotrophes </li></ul><ul><li>Desires pre-eminence </li></ul><ul><li>Rejects authority </li></ul><ul><li>Malicious words </li></ul><ul><li>Casts out of church </li></ul>False Apostles Exalt themselves Despise dominion Speak evil of dignities Cause divisions Taking filthy lucre False doctrine Taking filthy lucre? False doctrine? Compare Mark 10:37!
  11. 11. John’s response <ul><li>His advice to Gaius </li></ul><ul><li>Follow not evil, but imitate good </li></ul><ul><li>Based on deeds </li></ul><ul><li>Good: receiving brethren </li></ul><ul><li>helping forward the Truth </li></ul><ul><li>Evil: seeking pre-eminence </li></ul><ul><li>rejecting genuine visitors </li></ul><ul><li>casting others out </li></ul><ul><li>His Response </li></ul><ul><li>Sending the brethren out </li></ul><ul><li>This letter to Gaius </li></ul><ul><li>A personal visit </li></ul>
  12. 12. Summary <ul><li>2 John </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Principle linking atonement with unity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Receiving & supporting error is partaking in it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Apostles’ devotion to resist error while edifying an imperfect body in love </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Action driven by love for Truth, not fear </li></ul></ul><ul><li>3 John </li></ul><ul><ul><li>An example of action in brethren sent out </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gaius’ commended for helping them – receiving & supporting the Truth is to be a fellowhelper </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Diotrophes’ familiar pattern of behaviour </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>John’s measured response to a rejection of his efforts – consistent with his teaching </li></ul></ul>