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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 . . .

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. 8:18).

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 Tim. 3:7).


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).


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.

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