Thanks for visiting Bible Mountain. This is the beginning of a series of lessons on The Third Letter of John. Watch the video or scroll down to read the transcript. In this lesson I give an overview of the whole series. I also talk about why The Third Letter of John is in the Bible and why you and I should study and learn The Third Letter of John.
Hi, thanks for watching Bible Mountain. This is the beginning of a series of lessons on The Third Letter of John. Let me start by giving you an overview of the whole series.
In this lesson, I’m going to talk about why. Why is The Third Letter of John in the Bible? Why should you and I study and learn The Third Letter of John? In the second, third and fourth lesson, I’m going to talk about the biblical, historical, and geographical context. The context is important in order to understand how The Third Letter of John fits into the rest of the Bible.
In the fifth lesson I’ll start going through The Third Letter of John verse by verse. Verse one tells us about the author and recipient. The authorship is important because it affects how we understand the letter, and how the letter fits in the rest of the Bible. What’s important about the author and recipient of Third John is not so much who wrote it, as it is who did not write it.
Verse two talks about prosperity and prayers. Verses three and four talk about the joy we experience when our children live godly lives. I’ll look at this in the context of both birth children and spiritual children.
Verses five through eight talk about hospitality and how we should treat fellow believers. Verse five talks specifically about how to treat strangers. Verse six talks about doing things in a manner worthy of God. There’s a lesson in that for us. Likewise, there’s a lesson for us in verse eight about being fellow workers with the gospel. That’s important for people who support missionaries, but don’t go out and do missionary work.
Verses nine and ten talk about bad hospitality and we’ll see an example of what we should not do. In verse 11 there’s a command to imitate good and not evil. Then in the last lesson in this series we’ll look at the conclusion of The Third Letter of John and conclude our series through The Third Letter of John.
As I said earlier, in this study we’re going to look at why. Why is The Third Letter of John in the Bible? Why should you and I study, learn, and know The Third Letter of John?
The Third Letter of John is a very short book. If you go through each book of the Bible and count the number of words in the original languages, you will see that The Third Letter of John is the shortest book in the Bible. Therefore, it has a very narrow focus.
The benefit of a short book is it’s easy to read it in one sitting, That makes it easier to figure out the main thrust of the book.
The Third Letter of John is a letter written from one person to another. When you or I write a letter, we start out with some small talk before we get to the main point of what we want to say. The author of The Third Letter of John did the same thing. The author started out with some small talk, and then in verse five he got to the main point of what he wanted to say.
Verse five says
3 John 5 Beloved, you are doing that which is faithful when you do things for the brothers, especially the ones who are strangers.
The main point of this letter is the author wanted to tell the recipient that he was doing a good thing when he practiced hospitality towards other believers. Therefore, the point of this letter is to talk about how Christians are to treat other Christians. The author reinforced his point by criticizing a person named Diotrephes who was not practicing hospitality. We see that in verse 10
3 John 10b And not content with that, he [Diotrephes] does not welcome the brothers, and he hinders those who want to, and casts them out of the church.
In this letter the author complimented one man for practicing hospitality, and he criticized another man for not practicing hospitality. The main point of this letter is to give instruction about how Christians should treat other believers. As we work through The Third Letter of John, looking at the context and content of this letter, we are going to keep coming back to this subject of how we as Christians should treat and interact with other believers, particularly other believers who are strangers.
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Scripture quotations from 3 John taken from a translation by Bible Mountain.
“All other Scripture quotations taken from the New American Standard Bible®,
Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973,
1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
Used by permission.” (www.Lockman.org)