Imitating What is Good

By Michael Haykin / May 29, 2011

Series Christian Discipleship

Context Westminster Chapel Toronto

Topic Discipleship

Scripture 3 John

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We belong to the great body of Christians through all history, and this reality should be reflected in our love for all faithful churches.

Scripture: 3 John

Sermon Notes

  1. John writes in the context of the vast Roman Empire, connected by roads and inns.
  2. Hospitality was a requirement of the New Testament church, because the inns of the day were not very hospitable.
  3. Hospitality is a demonstration of the command to love one another (1 Peter 4:8-9).
  4. We are to show hospitality liberally despite the dirt, wear, breakage, or security risks.
  5. Hospitality is possibly even an opportunity to honour angelic beings (Hebrews 13:1-2).
  6. In Matthew 25, Jesus says that showing hospitality, even to the least brother or sister, is to honour the Lord.
  7. Gaius is commended for receiving strangers and for sending them out, i.e., providing them with lodging, food, and provisions for the next stage of their journey.
  8. Gaius is a walker in the truth, and a worker for the truth.
  9. One of the marks of a mature Christian is a growing catholicity.
  10. We belong to the great body of Christians through all history, and this reality should be reflected in our love for all faithful churches.
  11. The fellowship of believers is a precious means of grace. We are to live together and work together for the cause of Christ.
  12. John expects the brothers to work together; our task is too great for one church.
  13. Against Diotrephes, John writes that he wants to be the center, and he refuses to show hospitality to the brothers.
  14. Hospitality was important particularly because the church met in homes.
  15. The great need of our churches is that they be centers of truth and centers of love.
  16. Showing hospitality to a stranger or a fellow Christian is a great way to show love.
  17. If we are Christians today, it's because God was once hospitable to us.
  18. While we were still hostile toward God, He came and made us to sit down with Him, and to enjoy the fellowship meal with Him.

Application Questions

  1. What was the scope of hospitality practiced in the New Testament Church?
  2. How is hospitality important in today's culture?
  3. What opportunities do I have to serve strangers? Christian brothers?
  4. Am I hesitant to share my home and resources because of the risks?
  5. How does recognizing God's gracious provision of salvation help me to practice open-handed generosity toward those God sends my way?
  6. Do I pray that the Lord would send workers into the harvest? See Matthew 9:37.

Sermon Notes