Sermons In 3 John

Written by Serena Berger
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Sermons in 3 John are surprisingly abundant given the brevity of the passage. 3 John is just one chapter, a letter from John to an elder named Gaius of a church apparently some distance away. In addition to the personal material, there are three main themes that are discussed in the epistle and make for excellent sermons in 3 John.

Themes for Sermons in 3 John

First, there is the mention of the word truth, which recurs several times. Typically it is not capitalized, which means it is not specifically another name for God or Christ, yet that is precisely the context in which it seems to be used. For example, in verse 12, John writes of a man named Demetrius who is beloved by everyone and spoken well of all around, even by "the truth itself." The fact that the truth is personified in such a way that it can "speak" is a potential topic for a sermon.

Second, there is the theme of verse 11. This verse states essentially that if you do what is good, you are acting in the service of God no matter what your conscious reasons for the act, and if you do something which is not good, then you are not acting in the service of God. This verse is actually central to many Christian denominations with more modern and liberal ideologies. While some churches believe that many rituals such as baptism are necessary for a soul to end up in heaven, there are others which simply believe that if you are a good person, you are one of God's people.

Perhaps the main point of 3 John is to talk about evangelism, or missionary work, and to establish the church's guidelines for such endeavors. Sermons in 3 John could cite verses 5-8, in which John thanks Gaius for taking in missionaries he had never met before and giving them support in their quest to bring the word of God to many unconverted Romans. The presence of 3 John in the Bible clearly advocates the establishment of a network of support for missionaries and people who have gone into new or even hostile environments to spread their faith, and furthermore, it lays forth the idea that someone is not a stranger if they share your faith.


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