Christian Hospitality – 2 John & 3 John

By John Bellingham on February 8, 2015
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Christian Hospitality

2 John & 3 John

 I. Withholding Hospitality – 2 John

  1. The Recipient of 2 John (vv. 1-3)
    1. The ‘Elect Lady’ is a Church, not a person
      1. ‘Lady’ – the New Testament Church is often pictured as Christ’s bride
      2. ‘Elect’ – the church is composed of God’s chosen people (cf. 1 Peter 5:13)
    2. This church shows signs of health – “some of her children are walking in the truth”
  2. The Message of 2 John (vv. 4-11)
    1. A Brief Summary of 1 John (vv. 4-7)
      1. Love for one another
      2. Obedience to Christ’s commandments
      3. Warning against false teachers
    2. A Specific Warning for the Church (vv. 8-9)
      1. Danger – God’s work might be undone!
      2. Travelling Prophets/Missionaries who were spreading lies about Jesus
        1. Probably some of the troublemakers who left the church in Ephesus
        2. ‘Going ahead’ in doctrine (v. 9) – teaching a ‘progressive’ message
    3. John’s Command (vv. 10-11)
      1. Do not encourage the ministry of false teachers by extending hospitality
      2. Those who knowingly assist false teachers share in their guilt

Application: Although hospitality is an important Christian virtue, the Church must never assist the work of false teachers (ie. financially supporting them, endorsing their ministries, allowing them to speak in our churches, associating with them in a way that would commend their teaching to others)

II. Extending Hospitality – 3 John

  1. The Recipient of 3 John (vv. 1-4) – Church leader named Gaius
    1. A faithful and fruitful Christian
    2. A man that John lead to Christ
    3. Possibly Gaius of Derbe who served as a Pastor/Bishop in Pergamum
  2. The Message of 3 John (vv.5-12)
    1. Commendation of Gaius’ Hospitality (vv. 5-8)
      1. He had welcomed a group of Travelling Prophets/Missionaries
      2. These travellers were NOT at all like the false teachers described in 2 John
    2. Rebuke of Diotrephes’ Pride (vv. 9-10)
      1. A tyrannical and self-absorbed leader
      2. No regard for Apostolic authority
      3. Unwilling to extend hospitality to his fellow-labourers in Christ

Application: We have an obligation before God to support the ministry of missionaries like Demitrius and to partner with them in the work of the gospel!   We must avoid the sectarian and competitive attitude of men like Diotrephes – God’s Kingdom is far bigger than any single church or denomination.

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