Having A Good Testimony

A Good Testimony

Book of 3 John Verse 1-14

The most important thing we can have after our salvation is, having the testimony of Jesus Christ!

The next most important thing is, that we and all Christians work together in the name of Jesus Christ!

We do this by being obedient to our Lord and Savior!

Mat 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Mat 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

If we cannot be the legs and arms to do these things Jesus asked us to do, then we have to be the pocketbook and the prayer warriors.

We all have a job in this salvation plan of God!

We will do this thing by allowing the Holy Spirit to have complete control of our being!

We will see in this small book of the Bible that John was writing to a faithful witness of the early Church.

Remember John always writes to the Church and this time John gets personal and writes to the servants of the Lord Jesus.

This brother in Christ called Gaius is to be an example to all believers!

We do not know anything about this man Gaius, because all we need to know about this brother in Christ is, that he had a good testimony!

What do we know about this period of Church history? All the Apostles were dead, but John, and John was near 100 years old and would not be alive much longer and the followers of Satan saw this time as the greatest time to attack the Church and to wipe out the Christian Church and all her followers.

We can see that the world did not yet understand the power of God and the Church is still standing for some 1900 plus years and will stand until the Lord comes to retrieve His Church!

No doubt that this man Gaius was being watched by the Apostle John so the Holy Spirit directed John to give us these words.

*3Jn 1:1 The elder unto the wellbeloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth.

In these first words we can see that Gaius was “well beloved”. No doubt that he was loved by the Church and maybe more than one Church as it will appear that Gaius may have been an evangelist, traveling from one place to another.

John’s intent or the Holy Ghost’s intent here, is that Gaius was well beloved of our Heavenly Father.

We might ask why, but we will see that Gaius was walking in the image of Jesus Christ. This man had a good testimony!

We must understand that we cannot have a testimony until we have been tested by the commandments of God!

The Bible is a “Testimony” of the sovereign will of Jehovah, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

The “Gospel” is the special witness of the testimony of the riches of God’s “Grace” in Christ Jesus to the Church and to all people.

What is to be the testimony of each Christian?

Psa 119:1 Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.
Psa 119:2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.
Psa 119:3 They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.
Psa 119:4 Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.
Psa 119:5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
Psa 119:6 Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.
Psa 119:7 I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.
Psa 119:8 I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly.
Psa 119:9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.
Psa 119:10 With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.
Psa 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
Psa 119:12 Blessed art thou, O LORD: teach me thy statutes.

This must be the basis for our Testimony

In fact this entire 119nth Psalm should be the testimony of each Christian!

When this is our own “testimony” we will prosper here on earth and our soul will prosper throughout eternity!

*3Jn 1:2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.

To have a personal relationship with our Heavenly Father and His Son, through the Holy Spirit, is to know how wonderful our future will be.

At the same time, knowing about our precious future gives us the ability to make the right choices in this life.

The most important choice was that choice to have a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ!

Gaius was such a man who loved the Lord. Gaius had accepted the call of the Lord. Gaius was the beloved of the Lord, in fact the well beloved of the Lord and we will be to when we have a good testimony!

What did Jesus say to us all?

Joh 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

Joh 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

It seems that Gaius was struggling with his health at this time and John did as we all should do he was being an encourager and also a prayer warrior for his brother in Christ.

Sometimes we need to be reminded of how much our soul will prosper throughout eternity even while in this life we are suffering just like all others suffer with different ailments that are common to all humans.

Gods care and God’s guidance would always be a part of his life!
God’s love would never diminish!
The reality of his salvation would always be with him!

As prayer warriors we should all pray that our brothers and sisters in Christ to prosper as well in this life and they will in their eternal life.

We should pray for their good health, for the longer we serve the Lord the more opportunities there will be for us to earn rewards.

We should not just pray for those we know but for every child of God to live long and prosperous lives, while still standing firm on the promises of God and the truth of God.

True peace in this life can come only by the Lord Jesus Christ!

Tit 3:8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.

We can only prosper in Heaven if we serve the Lord Jesus Christ in this life.

This is the truth of God!

*3Jn 1:3 For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth.

What is the truth? When we have a strong testimony for the Lord it will show!

Gaius walked in the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ and it was noticeable.

Gaius walked in the truth of all the Word of God and it was noticeable.

John had spent much time in his books teaching us about false teachers, but Gaius was a teacher of the truth and it was noticeable.

Those that heard him preach, knew they were receiving the truth!

Gaius took his stand on the truth of God even in places where false teaching was happening.

Today when we hear false teachers and false Christians stand up and try to teach us what “thus sayeth the Lord”, we must not sit idle and do nothing.

Gaius took his stand for the truth and other Christians saw him take a stand for the truth.

We already know that much false teaching was taking place as the world was trying to destroy the early church as all the Apostles had been murdered but the Apostle John.

Gaius stood on the truth of God as taught by the Apostles. Some called it the Apostles Doctrine, which was of course the Doctrine of Jesus Christ, according to the truth of all the Word of God!

So where do we begin in the truth?

Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Joh 14:7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

Joh 14:9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
Joh 14:10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
Joh 14:11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.

Without the truth of our Savior, we will never have a relationship with God the Father!

As far as the Apostle John was concerned there is no greater truth anywhere!

*3Jn 1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

It is probable that John had led Gaius to the Lord.

Gaius had been taught the truth and Gaius had remained in the truth and had actually grown in the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

Today I do not doubt that many know the truth of God, but it is obvious that the Church has become silent!

Those who take the Word of God and twist it into a lie are many, and yet the Church remains silent.

There are not many like Gaius today to stand for the truth and other Christians notice his stand.

What does God say?

Eph 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Eph 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

When are we going to stand with Gaius?

*3Jn 1:5 Beloved, thou doest faithfully whatsoever thou doest to the brethren, and to strangers;
3Jn 1:6 Which have borne witness of thy charity before the church: whom if thou bring forward on their journey after a godly sort, thou shalt do well:
3Jn 1:7 Because that for his name’s sake they went forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles.

1) We must be loyal to the all the truth of God. We cannot pick and choose which parts of God’s Word we will use, and we will not use!

2Pe 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
2Pe 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
2Pe 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

2) We must be loyal to our duty of serving the Lord.

It is our duty to obey our Lord and our King!

Joh 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

Joh 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

3) We must be loyal to the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ!

Mat 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Mat 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Mat 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

4) We must do all these things remembering the love God had shown to us!

Mat 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Mat 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
Mat 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Mat 22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

We must serve God better today than we did yesterday and this must be our goal every morning as we awaken to a new day!

We go out every day doing the best we can, not for our own praise, but for the praise of God!
We must ask ourselves daily are the things we do worthy of us or are they acceptable to God!
We must ask ourselves are we seeking our own glory or are we seeking the glory of God!

Gaius helped believers but he also helped total strangers.

Gaius was an evangelist at a time when evangelists were not welcomed in most churches.

It’s not hard to see that Gaius preached the truth and just as today the truth is not preached in many churches and Gaius would not be welcomed.

In fact Jesus Christ would not be welcomed in the Church of today!

We are never to fear the truth of God in fact, we had better fear those who twist the Word of God into a false message that can rob us of the salvation plan of God!

What do we know of our Lord? We know that He would never stay in one place, but He would travel from place to place.

We all have a place in the work God has given us to do!

Eph 4:10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)
Eph 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
Eph 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

When we know our calling, then we need to be busy in our calling!

The Church is to serve in the name of Jesus Christ.
These Evangelists are to serve in the name of Jesus.
These Missionaries are to serve in the name of Jesus.
Gaius served in the name of Jesus Christ the only Savior!

We must all remember it is not about money. If the Church would just obey the truth of God money would never be an obstacle!

We are to contribute ourselves! This what we do when we give our tithe and offerings!

We must all know that we are to be fellow helpers of the truth!

This man Gaius is an example for us in all these things and the Holy Spirit gave this example for to the Apostle John.

Gaius was a living example of a true Christian!

As Gaius traveled from church to church, it was the church that should have provided his support.

Monies given by non-Christians usually come with a cost, or a request to go against the Word of God!

This is the biggest reason the church has moved away from the truth.

The Church has been swayed by money given that allows that giver to have his or her way in the Church.

This not the way Church is to operate!

What does God say?

Luk_16:13 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

If the truth of the Gospel offends some in the church, then so be it. We must not veer from the truth of God!

*3Jn 1:8 We therefore ought to receive such, that we might be fellowhelpers to the truth.

We become fellow helpers of the truth, when we yield ourselves to the influence of the truth!

Gaius was doing all he could to help traveling missionaries and evangelists and as he traveled himself, this was his message!

When we do not have that little extra that could help some missionary then we certainly need to offer some prayer time for that ministry remembering, we need to live the “Gospel” so that our prayers reach into Heaven.

If we are partakers of the “Grace” of God, then certainly we need to share that “Grace” with all others!

The truth is a precious treasure that we must not try to keep to ourselves! The truth is to be shared!

The truth of Jehovah God is all the truth we need, and this truth will never change!

The Gospel is taught of God to be shared:

Joh_6:45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.

The Love of God is taught of God to be shared:

1Th 4:9 But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.

John now changes gears and tells us someone in the Church who is not a good example to follow.

*3Jn 1:9 I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.
3Jn 1:10 Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.

One of the greatest problems in our churches today is, church leaders who divide the church.

These are those who change the Word of God into a lie.

If we all practiced the truth of God, the Church would never be divided!

These are those who twist the Word of God into something that becomes false.

A divisive leader will gather those around him who follow him, and reek havoc, on those, who try to remain in the truth of God.

We see today that many denominations have allowed divisive leaders to come out on top!

Diotrephes refused to recognize the Apostle John as the Elder of the Church, and thought of himself as the true leader of the Church.

He refused to honor the truth of God! So much so, that even in his old age the Apostle John would travel to the location of this man to set him straight.

We do not see much of this anymore.

The Church has become so timid, that the Church refuses to take a stand on the truth!

Diotrephes was standing in the way of Church growth and God’s truth, and he was allowing his pride to rule his actions, rather than the Word of God.

He wanted to be recognized as greater than the Apostles.
He wanted the people to come to him for answers.
He wanted the people to seek his opinion.
He wanted all church ministries to be approved by him.
He wanted to sit in the judgment seat.
He wanted to have say so in all matters of the Church.
He wanted the right to approve or disapprove all things of the Church.

Notice how easily he attempted to move Jesus outside the Church, knocking to get back in.

Rev 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
Rev 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
Rev 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Rev 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
Rev 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
Rev 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
Rev 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
Rev 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

Though their names have changed, there are many such men as Diotrephes in the church today!

Mat 23:10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.
Mat 23:11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.
Mat 23:12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

What is the means to rebuke such men?

*3Jn 1:11 Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.

Diotrephes had criticized the epistles of the Apostle John, but the Church is to follow all the Epistles of the New Testament without questioning the authority of the Apostles and the other writers because it is the Holy Spirit who has preserved these words for the entire Church.

The one thing we are to be sure of is, if it goes against the Word of God it is definitely evil, and the Church must not follow anyone who teaches against the written Word of God.

We are to support traveling missionaries and evangelists who preach and teach the truth. Those who reject Jesus must be rejected by the Church!

A divisive leader is never to be followed, in fact they need to be rebuked and if they will repent then they can stay, but if not, they need to be cast out of the Church.

Luk 17:1 Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come!
Luk 17:2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.
Luk 17:3 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.
Luk 17:4 And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.

Rom 12:9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.

1Th 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

There was another godly leader who John knew stood for the truth and the Church needed to know that some of the traveling men were true men of God!

*3Jn 1:12 Demetrius hath good report of all men, and of the truth itself: yea, and we also bear record; and ye know that our record is true.

The name Demetrius, was a well known name in Rome, with many generals using that name, so this Demetrius could very well have been a Roman converted to Christianity and would certainly have been treated as an enemy to any Judaizers but Gaius should receive him as a brother in Christ and a true man of God.

Diotrephes would certainly have rejected this man!

The Apostle John knew this man Demetrius very well.

Just like Gaius, Demetrius had a strong testimony among all believers inside the Church and outside the Church.
Just like Gaius, Demetrius had a strong testimony among all the Church leaders.
Just like Gaius, Demetrius had a strong testimony of what a true Christian should be.

Why were these things true? Because Demetrius walked in the truth of God and he was not afraid to take a stand for the Lord.

Rom 1:8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.

Rom 16:19 For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.

1Ti 3:7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

It would take more than just this letter to straighten out this church that was being divided by Diotrephes so the Apostle wrote the last words to us that he would ever write as he was to journey in the name of the Lord to save one more church from false doctrine.

*3Jn 1:13 I had many things to write, but I will not with ink and pen write unto thee:
3Jn 1:14 But I trust I shall shortly see thee, and we shall speak face to face. Peace be to thee. Our friends salute thee. Greet the friends by name.

In the last days of John, he encouraged us to know just how important it is to have a good testimony.

Today there are even more Diotrephes in our churches who refuse to allow anyone one to come in and preach the truth.

We don’t have the Apostle John to travel from church to church to rebuke those who teach a false doctrine.

Divisions in the Church will drive away the Spirit of God.

Division in the Church will open the door to envy in the Church.

Division in the Church will open the door to malice in the Church.

So, there is nothing sweeter than Christian fellowship.

We should get to know each other enough that we know each other by name.

In the world we as Christians may not have many friends, but in the church, we can have many true friends!

John could have written many more things on this day, but he chose to travel to this place and gather together with his Christian family and speak of love and not division.

Speak of the truth of God and not some false gospel.

The one thing we as Christians need today, is to have a good testimony for the Lord Jesus Christ all our remaining days!

Amen

Let’s Pray!