June 5th 2010

Loving In The Truth

“The elder, To my dear friend Gaius, whom I love in the truth.”
3 John 1 (NIV) 

Often elders have a special bond with those whom they have nurtured in the truth. 

The three epistles of John were probably written about 90 AD from Ephesus. John and his brother James were called “sons of thunder” by Jesus, no doubt because of their larger-than-life personalities. They did not hesitate to say what they thought, and usually got straight to the point. John’s writings illustrate how he was passionate for Christ and the Church. He was especially concerned that believers demonstrate the love of God toward each other and that they embrace sound doctrine.

In his third epistle John, who was responsible for all the churches in Asia Minor, writes to Gaius, who appears to be a leader in one of the congregations there. The tone of the letter is clearly warm and affectionate.

John associates love with truth. Truth is more than what can be known objectively. It is a spiritual insight about Jesus Christ who said, “ I am the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6). John places great value on “the truth, which lives in us and will be with us forever” (2 John 2). The bond of Christ’s love connects all those who share the truth. Thus we belong to a loving “family of believers” (Galatians 6:10), united by “the Spirit of truth” whom “ the world cannot accept, because it neither sees him nor knows him” (John 14:17).

John’s desire is that the flock under his care continue in the truth. “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth” (3 John 4). Even so today ministers are always delighted to know that those whom they have pastored still walk in the truth and have not gone astray into questionable teachings.

In the next few weeks we will look more into 3 John and will see that, although this short letter was written just under two thousand years ago, it still has a message for us in the twenty first century.

Prayer
Loving Father, thank you for the bond of love that unites me with my fellow believers, and help me to continue to walk in the truth. In Jesus’ name.
Amen
  

Study by James Henderson 

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