December 9th 3 John A. Gaius Greetings
1: The elder unto the wellbeloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth.
Prayers for prosperity
2: Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. 3: For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth. 4: I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
Commendation for hospitality
5: Beloved, thou doest faithfully whatsoever thou doest to the brethren, and to strangers; 6: Which have borne witness of thy charity before the church: whom if thou bring forward on their journey after a godly sort, thou shalt do well: 7: Because that for his name's sake they went forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles. 8: We therefore ought to receive such, that we might be fellowhelpers to the truth.
B. Diotrephes Diotrephes separates
9: I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. 10: Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.
Follow good & shun evil
11: Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.
C. Demetrius Demetrius commended
12: Demetrius hath good report of all men, and of the truth itself: yea, and we also bear record; and ye know that our record is true.
See you soon
13: I had many things to write, but I will not with ink and pen write unto thee: 14: But I trust I shall shortly see thee, and we shall speak face to face. Peace be to thee. Our friends salute thee. Greet the friends by name.
This is another little letter from John to a friend and believer. John gives him a typical Jewish greeting. He says he wishes that he might prosper in life and in health to the same degree as their spiritual wellbeing. John says that he has written to the church but he wants to say more about Diotrephes. He says about him that he loves to have first place. In other words he likes to be in charge. And not only that but he refuses to receive the apostles. He says that when he comes to the church he will remember what he has done. Then John lists his misdemeanours. He has been malicious to John in word and not just that but he has been a divisive force in the churches. He does not receive the brethren and excommunicates those who do. This is the spirit of exclusivism creeping into the churches. It is a great evil, because it separates the body of Christ. John gives them a general exhortation to do good, i.e. to live righteously. John commends Demetrius. Then he closes with a desire to come and see them in person.
Jude 1 A. The Occurrences of Apostasy The dangers of false teaching.
1: Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called: 2: Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied. 3: Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. 4: For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. 5: I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. 6: And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. 7: Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. 8: Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities. 9: Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee. 10: But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves. 11: Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. 12: These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; 13: Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever. 14: And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, 15: To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. 16: These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage.
B. The Occupation of Believers in days of Apostasy Our duty to fight for the truth.
17: But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; 18: How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. 19: These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. 20: But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, 21: Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. 22: And of some have compassion, making a difference: 23: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. 24: Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, 25: To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
Jude writes with a word of warning against false teachers to his Jewish friends. He says that they are to earnestly contend for the truth. First he describes them as men who turn the Grace of God into lasciviousness and denying the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ. He reminds them of the fact that not all the children of Israel who came out of Egypt were righteous because they were unbelievers. He reminds them of the angels that sinned are reserved for Judgment. He reminds them of Sodom and Gomorrah who lived for the flesh were destroyed by fire. For he accurately describes them as filthy dreamers and then says in his dignity the LORD rebuke them. He describes them as animals who are filthy and corrupted. Then he pronounces a woe upon them. They follow the career of Cain and Balaam. They are a spot on the love feasts they promise great things but do not deliver. Then Jude describes the coming of the angels of God to bring judgment before the Kingdom is set up. John warns them in the most graphic manner of their evil ways. Then Jude encourages his readers to separation, prayer and perseverance looking forward to the coming of Christ for his people. He says have compassion for some of these people and other snatch them out of the fire. Then Jude commends them to the only wise God and Saviour.