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October 17, 2022 - 3 John

John writes his third letter to Gaius and commends him for his faithful care of brothers in Christ. Fairly obviously, these are preachers and ministers of the gospel, ‘“fellow workers for the truth’“ (8) who are with Gaius for a bit and then sent on their way. John doesn’t specify precisely what Gaius has done for these ministers, but the effort is even more noteworthy because, as John notes, these workers are strangers to Gaius.


A second matter has to do with Diotrephes, who is so much unlike Gaius. Diotrephes puts himself first and refuses to help the brothers. He even fights against those who do want to help, and he tries to put them out of the church.


One final example is Demetrius, who ‘“has received a good testimony from everyone’“ (12), as John informs us. I suspect, in many churches, we can point out a modern day Gaius and Diotrephes and Demetrius or two. And therein lies the importance of this letter. John concludes, ‘“Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God’“ (11).


One reason I am so encouraged about the relationships Baxter has with Cedar Creek and with Vine Street and, hopefully, with Franklin Street Baptist Churches (and, of course, with the larger family of LRBA churches) is the strengthening and encouragement to all of us, which comes from us working together as encouraged by John. There’s an old African-American spiritual:


Walk together, children, don’t you get weary,

walk together, children, don’t you get weary,

walk together, children, don’t you get weary,

there’s a great camp meeting in the promised land.


Sing together, children, don’t you get weary . . .


Pray together, children, don’t you get weary . . .


Work together, children, don’t you get weary . . .

there’s a great camp meeting in the promised land.

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