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"A Good Testimony "
3 John 12
Wednesday AM Bible Study
May 3, 2006
One of the problems that John is dealing with in this letter is that of how
the church should evaluate traveling preachers and ministers; and when it
should welcome them as fellow-workers for the gospel. John's introduction
to Gauis of Demetrius gives us sound principles for judgment.
Note that Demetrius is an example to us. He has a good testimony . . .
I. "FROM ALL"
A. He had a good name among the people of God; which is a thing to be
chosen over great riches (Prov. 22:1; see also Acts 6:3; 16:2; 22:12; 2 Cor.
B. The "all" is the body of Christ at large - possibly from the city of
Ephesus from which John wrote; but probably in the broader sense. Gaius
never met him; but many believers had; and spoke well of him.
C. This is an essential requirement of one who would serve the church (1
II. "FROM THE TRUTH ITSELF"
A. "Truth", here, is a reference to the doctrines of the gospel of the
faith. Demetrius was tested and found to be in conformity with the truth.
B. It's essential that a servant of the church be in doctrinal conformity
with the truth, because many deceivers have gone out into the world (2 John
7-11). Therefore, such a worker should give careful attention to his
doctrine (1 Tim. 4:13, 16).
C. Not only this, but the life of such a worker should conform with the
truth (Matthew 7:15- 20; 1 John 1:5-9).
III. "WE ALSO BEAR WITNESS"
A. John points to Demetrius' reliability by pointing to the reliability to
others. John himself testified to his own trustworthiness (John 19:35;
21:24). But note that, here, there is a body of several who testify ("us";
i.e., the body of apostles).
B. Even Paul operated on the condition of the approval of other leaders in
the church (Acts 13:1-3; Gal. 2:7-9).
* * * * * * * * * *
We should seek to be "approvable" like Demetrius. We should (1) have a
good reputation with the church at large, (2) have a good reputation in the
truth, and (3) have the approval of the leaders.