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3 John: Living in the Truth

The stark beauty of the scene reflects the beauty of God's truth and living in it.
Photo Credit: Mark Shutt Images

February 28, 2024

Praying Friends,

The truth affects each and every one of us in a profound way. It shapes us. It molds us. It changes us. And it directs us. Our response to the truth will greatly impact both our character and our behavior.

As John writes his third letter, three main characters emerge. Each of them is seen in light of their response to the truth.

Gaius was a man who devoted himself to the truth. John writes to Gaius, commending him, “It gave me great joy when some believers came and testified about your faithfulness to the truth, telling how you continue to walk in it. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth” (3 John 1:3-4).

The letter opens by John addressing Gaius in an attitude of love. He desires that Gaius’ physical health will be matched by his inward condition before God. He says, “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well” (3 John 1:2).

Because of his faithfulness and commitment to the truth, he had a healthy soul. The body will slowly degenerate with time, but a person who loves Jesus and is walking in the truth will increase in wholeness before God.

This type of character building will be evident by how we treat others. Gaius showed kindness, love, and hospitality to brothers and sisters in Christ that he didn’t even know (3 John 1:5-6). Such is the nature of God’s truth.

Diotrephes was a man who denied the truth. “I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will not welcome us. So when I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, spreading malicious nonsense about us. Not satisfied with that, he even refuses to welcome other believers. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church” (3 John 1:9-10).

Sadly, there are those in our churches who have no love or care for the truth. While they may be professing believers in Jesus, their actions reveal a lack of knowledge as to what the gospel really is.

Diotrephes had an egoistic heart and was characterized by selfish ambition.. It says that he loved to be first. He wanted to be seen. His whole purpose centered around himself instead of focusing on the needs of others.

A person who likes to be the center of attention often puts others down. This is exactly what Diotrephes was doing. To lift himself, he spread malicious lies about John and other believers. He totally corrupted the truth of God.

Demetrius was a man who demonstrated the truth. “Demetrius is well spoken of by everyone—and even by the truth itself. We also speak well of him, and you know that our testimony is true” (3 John 1:12).

He had a good testimony and, like Gaius, he lived in such a way that the truth was honored in his behavior. He wasn’t perfect, as none of us is, but he was a good man.

A good character and testimony take time to develop. As you interact with others and allow the truth of God to form you into the person God wants you to be, your reputation will precede you.

To be well spoken of by the truth itself is a life that God greatly values. This is a life of transformation. A life that represents the truth well develops when the inner person and the outer behavior are equally balanced. 

May God help us all to live in His truth for His glory! Thank you for praying for our prodigals and for revival.

Love in Christ,

Bryan and Rachel


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