Saturday after the Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: 3 John 1:1-14 (NKJV)
1:1 THE ELDER,
To the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth:
2 Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. 3 For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth. 4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
5 Beloved, you do faithfully whatever you do for the brethren and for strangers, 6 who have borne witness of your love before the church. If you send them forward on their journey in a manner worthy of God, you will do well, 7 because they went forth for His name’s sake, taking nothing from the Gentiles. 8 We therefore ought to receive such, that we may become fellow workers for the truth.
9 I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence among them, does not receive us. 10 Therefore, if I come, I will call to mind his deeds which he does, prating against us with malicious words. And not content with that, he himself does not receive the brethren, and forbids those who wish to, putting them out of the church.
11 Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God. 12 Demetrius has a good testimony from all, and from the truth itself. And we also bear witness, and you know that our testimony is true.
13 I had many things to write, but I do not wish to write to you with pen and ink; 14 but I hope to see you shortly, and we shall speak face to face.
Peace to you. Our friends greet you. Greet the friends by name.
St. John had sent missionaries like Demetrius to the congregations to preach the truth, but Diotrephes would not receive them. This deceiver refused to give them lodging or help them on their way. Not only did he refuse those who confessed the deity of Jesus Christ come in the flesh, but he excommunicated those members of the congregation, like Gaius, who did assist these brethren sent by St. John. Jesus said, “This is my commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you” (John 15:12). We can tell who the true believers are by how they treat fellow believers, and especially those who preach the truth of God’s Word and Gospel message of justification by faith in Jesus Christ.
“Fellowship” is not people eating cookies together. 3 John 8 says, “We therefore ought to receive such, that we may become fellow workers for the truth.” (Once again, St. John mentions the word “truth” five times in the first eight verses.) True fellowship is established by agreement in Christ’s doctrine and faithful practice. Fellowship is established by making a public profession of the Christian faith in joining a congregation. Pastor and people become fellow workers for the truth. The pastor preaches the truth and the people receive instruction in the Word (Gal. 6:6-7). By their offerings the people see to it that “those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel” (1 Cor. 9:14).
We pray: Heavenly Father, You have provided for us the truth of Your Holy Word and the office of the Ministry to deliver it to us. Preserve us in Your truth; give us respect for those who serve in the noble task of overseer, and lead us to share all good things with our instructors. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.