3 John 1:1-14
Saturday, 8 October 2022
Beloved, you do faithfully whatever you do for the brethren and for strangers,...... We therefore ought to receive such, that we may become fellow workers for the truth. 3 John1:5-8
In the third epistle of John, the Apostle encourages fellowship with Christian brothers. This epistle is addressed to Gaius, who is here cited as a model for such a kind of fellowship. He is commended in Romans as a person who extends his fellowship to the whole church. Rom 16:23: Gaius, my host and the host of the whole church...
John the Apostle of love, always emphasized on this kind of expression of love. This brings out the warmth of love, in a church and spreads to its surroundings. Without the fellowshipping of brethren in love, the flow of life will not happen in a church. This affects the spiritual growth of the Church. So it is very vital to have heart to heart fellowship in a church environment.
Here Apostle is talking about caring and fellowshipping with the traveling Evangelists. In those days, people travelled to other places to spread the gospel and their only source of support was from the generosity/support shown by such churches on their way. Many churches in those days followed this practice of entertaining travelling evangelists. Through this practice they showed forth their sincere love and also became partakers in spreading the Gospel far and wide. Due to the sincere fellowship these people enjoyed on their way, many ventured to go ahead in preaching the good news. Through this practice both the parties are blessed and the blessings overflowed into the unreached parts of the world as true riches of heaven. Anyone who carries a burden for evangelism is really carrying the true riches (treasure) of heaven— as it is mentioned in 2 Cor.4:7: “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.” So they are to be treated with honor and dignity.
But we also need to be aware that there are false prophets and workers who go around filling their appetites, which need to be checked. This is what Apostle John admonishes the church in his second epistle. For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward. Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds. (2John 1:7-11)
Practical aspects to consider from today’s reading:
We need to show forth hospitality and fellowship to those who are real and sincere servants of God. They need to be given due respect and the church needs to meet their needs on their way to preach gospel far and wide. As we entertain them we partake in their work for the Lord and receive the blessing from God.
At the same time we need to be aware about the false teachers, prophets and apostles who work against the true church of God and they should not be entertained. If we entertain such people we become partakers in their evil deeds. This brings in destruction instead of blessings from God.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
"Our love to God is measured by our everyday fellowship with others and the love it displays." ~Andrew Murray