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The Third Letter of John: Chapter 1

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1 THE Elder to dear Gaius, whom I love in the truth.

2Dear friend, above all I pray that things go well with you, and that you may enjoy good health: I know it is well with your soul. 3I was very glad when some fellow-Christians arrived and told me of your faithfulness to the truth; indeed you live by the truth. 4Nothing gives me greater joy than to hear that my children are living by the truth.

5Dear friend, you show a fine loyalty in what you do for our fellow-Christians, though they are strangers to you. 6They have testified to your kindness before the congregation here. Please help them on their journey in a manner worthy of the God we serve. 7It was for love of Christ's name that they went out; and they would accept nothing from unbelievers. 8Therefore we ought to support such people, and so play our part in spreading the truth.

9I wrote to the congregation, but Diotrephes, who enjoys taking the lead, will have nothing to do with us. 10So when I come, I will draw attention to the things he is doing: he lays nonsensical and spiteful charges against us; not content with that, he refuses to receive fellow-Christians himself, and interferes with those who would receive them, and tries to expel them from the congregation.

11Dear friend, follow good examples, not bad ones. The well-doer is a child of God; the evildoer has never seen God.

12Demetrius is well spoken of by everyone, and even by the truth itself. I add my testimony, and you know that my testimony is true.

13I had much to write to you, but I do not care to set it down with pen and ink. 14I hope to see you very soon, when we will talk face to face. Peace be with you. Your friends here send you greetings. Greet each of our friends by name.

Text Commentary view alone

1–2 : Address and prayer.

1 :

Gaius, an exemplary Christian, has already aided itinerant preachers (v. 6 ). To love in the truth is to love as a Christian.

3–14 : The body of the letter.

4 :

In 2 Jn. 4 the phrase living by the truth means obedience to God.

5 :

The writer recommends Demetrius (v. 12 ) and his associates to Gaius' care as our fellow-Christians.

9 :

Diotrephes is not heretical but he is a foe of the Elder, overambitious, unjust, and uncharitable.

11 :

The Christian well-doer is called a child of God in 1 Jn. 3.9 .

13–14 :

See 2 Jn. 12–13 . The note ends with a wish of peace, the sum total of all Christ's blessings.

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