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No prize for first place

15/10/2023 - Matthew Destry

Romans 16:3-5

Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, 4 who risked their necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks but all the churches of the Gentiles give thanks as well. 5 Greet also the church in their house…

In this letter to Gaius, a house-church leader, John is apparently attempting to counter the opposing influences of Diotrephes, a different house-church leader who is asserting his own authority and rejecting emissaries backed by John’s apostolic authority.

3 John 1-4

The elder to the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth.

2 Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul. 3 For I rejoiced greatly when the brothers came and testified to your truth, as indeed you are walking in the truth. 4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.

How many children do you have?

How is your progress?

Are your soul and body in harmony?

3 John 5-8

5 Beloved, it is a faithful thing you do in all your efforts for these brothers, strangers as they are, 6 who testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their journey in a manner worthy of God. 7 For they have gone out for the sake of the name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles. 8 Therefore we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth.

Hospitality opens doors

Who is welcome at your place?

Could your home be a mission field?

3 John 9-10

9 I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority. 10 So if I come, I will bring up what he is doing, talking wicked nonsense against us. And not content with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers, and also stops those who want to and puts them out of the church.

An awkward moment

The attitude of pride

The actions of pride

Does not acknowledge godly authority

Holds the word of God back

Uses words as weapons

Acts as a gatekeeper for the church

3 John 11-12

11 Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God. 12 Demetrius has received a good testimony from everyone, and from the truth itself. We also add our testimony, and you know that our testimony is true.

Honour those worthy of honour – and listen to them

The marks of true hospitality

  1. Acknowledge and honour godly authority
  2. Offers and promotes and brings the word of God
  3. Use words to encourage and build up
  4. Act as a ‘doorkeeper’ ie. host to the church

Psalm 84:10

For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.

3 John 13-15

13 I had much to write to you, but I would rather not write with pen and ink. 14 I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face.

15 Peace be to you. The friends greet you. Greet the friends, each by name.