Posted by Peter Thompson

III John 1-8

Spiritually Successful

INTRODUCTION:  John writes this very short letter to a man named Gaius.  Gaius is a Christian man that John loved and probably won to the Lord.  We see him talk about his spiritual children in v. 4.  This love is the same agape love that John wrote about in his previous books.  He has chosen to love and do anything for this man Gaius.  This man is very special to John.  As John salutes him at the beginning of this letter his words describe this man.  We find that this man was very successful, but not successful like the world thinks.  He may have had worldly wealth but that wealth is not what John commends here.  This man was spiritually successful.  He was a servant of God, and that is real success.  How can you be spiritually successful?  There are three goals that you should strive to achieve that will make you spiritually successful.

  2. As John greets this man, Gaius, it is very obvious that this man is saved
  3. He is loved by John in the truth-so he has discovered the truth about God in Jesus Christ that John has talked about in his other letters
  4. He is wellbeloved-other people in the churches loved Gaius as well
  5. The word here for love in both places is agape, which is the love that Christians can have because God gives it
  6. John begins to wish him well in this greeting
  7. First he wishes that Gaius would “prosper”
  8. This word prosper in the Greek literally means to be successful
  9. And the first time John is talking about in health
  10. So he wants him to be healthy and well
  11. Some have speculated that Gaius had some kind of illness
  12. He wants Gaius to be as healthy and successful in his body as he is in his soul
  13. The word soul in this context refers to the inner man
  14. It is translated heart sometimes in the Bible
  15. It is used of someone’s spiritual source of life
  16. What John is saying here is that Gaius is spiritually healthy
  17. Which is much more important than physical health
  18. Physical health, give you a long life on earth
  19. Spiritual health gives you eternal life and eternal reward
  20. How can you become spiritually healthy like Gaius?
  21. Before you know Jesus as your savior you are dead spiritually-you have no health at all and are on your way to hell-so the first step to spiritual health is to be born spiritually (salvation message)
  22. Then the Bible teaches that we should be nourished by the word of God-fist with the milk or easy things of the word, and then by the meat or harder things of the word-the more you read and study and hear the preaching of God’s word the more spiritually healthy you will become
  23. You also need to be in contact with the source of life-so prayer to your God is also critical to your spiritual health
  24. As you grow healthy spiritually, you will begin to do the things that God wants you to do, and he will sustain you and keep you going in His work
  25. God would have you to be in full contact with Him and learning from Him-so that you can be completely spiritually healthy as Gaius was
  26. That is much more important than physical health because it is about your reward in eternity not this temporary life
  27. Spiritual health is a goal that when achieved makes you successful where it really matters
  28. A GOOD TESTIMONY (VS. 3-4)
  29. John rejoiced greatly-that means that he had joy on the inside that showed itself on the outside
  30. We don’t know if John let out a shout
  31. If he just smiled real big
  32. If he shared the good news with others
  33. But he showed his joy outwardly because of what he heard
  34. He heard from brothers in Christ that Gaius was had the truth in him and was walking in that truth
  35. It is very possible that Gaius was just saved
  36. It is possible that these brothers reported Gaius’ salvation to John
  37. But not only that, he was walking in the truth
  38. He was doing what God’s word told him to do
  39. The truth about Jesus had changed his life and made a difference in the way that he was acting in life
  40. And people were able to tell John about this walk of truth
  41. Paul continues in v. 4 that he has no greater joy than to hear that his children are walking in the truth
  42. Those that he had won to the Lord or those that he had led spiritually
  43. He loved to hear that they were doing what God would have them to do, that they were living for God
  44. The joy came in the hearing of what they were doing-this meant that they had a reputation of being what God wanted them to be
  45. Gaius had that reputation and people were talking about his walk for God
  46. What about you, what is your testimony in the world
  47. Is there anybody out there telling people about your walk for God?
  48. Are you living your life in such a way that people see it and know you to be a godly person?
  49. Are you staying away from sin?
  50. Are you studying and applying the Word to your life?
  51. Are you helping people as God would have you to?
  52. Are you teaching others about Jesus and following God?
  53. When people look at your life, do they say, that person is a Christ follower?
  54. When you have achieved that reputation, then you have become successful where it really matters
  56. John then commends Gaius for his faithfulness
  57. To be faithful is to continue in a work without stopping
  58. It is to do a work with diligence and consistency
  59. It is being responsible in the work that you are doing
  60. Specifically it is the work of helping the saints and strangers that come by for which Gaius is being commended
  61. He would help those that were in need
  62. He would offer hospitality to those that needed a place to stay
  63. And he did that faithfully
  64. You could always count on Gaius to provide help when needed
  65. Whether it was his money, his house, or his service he was always ready to give it
  66. There were people that told John about the great things that Gaius had done for them
  67. In fact that had told John about Gaius’ charity
  68. The word here for charity is “agape”
  69. Recognize that word?
  70. It is the word for love that we studied for a long time
  71. It is being willing to sacrifice your own good for the good of someone else
  72. It is a love that is shown by action and commitment to the well being of someone else
  73. It is a love that you make a choice to have and show by your actions
  74. In other words Gaius chose to sacrifice himself for the good of others consistently and faithfully
  75. John says that these particular people that Gaius helped were people who had gone out to share the name of Jesus and had taken nothing of the unsaved people
  76. They were probably missionaries
  77. And Gaius was helping them on their way
  78. His ministry was not only helping brethren that needed help
  79. His ministry was not only choosing to love those that were in need
  80. His ministry was to help men that would share Jesus with others, he was moving the gospel to all the world with his help
  81. And He was faithful to do it, every time, all the time
  82. Each of you has a ministry or multiple ministries that God would have you to be doing
  83. Whatever it is that God wants you to be doing
  84. He wants you to do it faithfully
  85. All the time, every time, without fail
  86. God needs to be able to count on you, to be where you are supposed to be when you are supposed to be there
  87. God needs to be able to count on you to do what you commit to do
  88. God needs to be able to count on you to make his work your priority
  89. God’s churches today are in desperate need of people that will be faithful in the work of God
  90. People that will do the ministry God leads them to with all their might
  91. People that can be counted on
  92. Is that you?
  93. When you achieve faithful ministry then you have been successful where it really matters.

CONCLUSION:  Are you striving for success in the right areas?  Do you have the right goals in life?  If you want to be spiritually successful like Gaius, you should strive to be spiritually healthy regardless of your physical health.  You should strive to live a life that is pleasing to God in front of people so that God is glorified and people will come to Him.   You should strive to have a faithful ministry that advances the cause of God.