You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
3 John 1:5-8
5 Beloved [agapetos], thou doest [poieo] faithfully [pistos] whatsoever [hos] [ean] thou doest [ergazomai] to [eis] the brethren [adelphos], and [kai] to [eis] strangers [xenos];
6 Which [hos] have borne witness [martureo] of thy [sou] charity [agape] before [enopion] the church [ekklesia]: whom [hos] if thou bring forward on their journey [propempo] after [axios] a godly [theos] sort [axios], thou shalt do [poieo] well [kalos]:
7 Because that [gar] for [huper] his [autos] name's [onoma] sake [huper] they went forth [exerchomai], taking [lambano] nothing [medeis] of [apo] the Gentiles [ethnos].
8 We [hemeis] therefore [oun] ought [opheilo] to receive [apolambano] such [toioutos], that [hina] we might be [ginomai] fellowhelpers [sunergos] to the truth [aletheia]. KJV-Interlinear
5 Beloved, you are acting faithfully in whatever you accomplish for the brethren, and especially when they are strangers; 6 and they bear witness to your love before the church; and you will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God. 7 For they went out for the sake of the Name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles. 8 Therefore we ought to support such men, that we may be fellow workers with the truth. NASB
Over the course of ones life, a pattern of behavior evolves which becomes obvious to those around you. Now, most folks will be objective and give you a fair evaluation as to your personality and so forth. But of course there are those who, for whatever reason, will not like you and from them you shouldn't expect even a kind word.
God knows your heart and soul and God knows the actions which overflow from your soul into your everyday life. It is His evaluation, especially the one you will receive at the Judgment Seat of Christ, which is the single most important evaluation of your life, ever.
During life here on earth however, what you think will sooner or later guide your decisions and actions on a day to day basis.
It is from this that we around you will be able to tell whether or not you are an advancing believer. Not that anyone else on the earth has any right to judge you, which none of us do, but it is basic human nature to size people up. We may or may not want to trust others, or interact with them. And the only thing we have to go by is our perceptions we receive from words and behavior of people over the long haul.
No one should evaluate anyone based from a short period or from a single event in life. It is nearly impossible to get an accurate picture of anyone from just a quick glimpse. Certainly relationships of the heart should be based on long term exposure and experiences.
Anyway, Gaius was apparently such a person. His words were backed up by his actions. He was not a fraud in life or when dealing with people. And that is how your life should be conducted.
The spiritual life is a complete package, and not just words of philosophy which we read and then ignore in life.
The spiritual life begins obviously with salvation. It belongs to believers in Christ only and to no one else.
Next you spiritual life exists within the sphere of fellowship only. It is not a part of this world.
Third, you have to learn the rules of the game, and that comes from your daily Bible study. You cannot know what you do not learn.
Fourth, when you begin to live by the things you learn, then you begin to understand better that which you are studying. You learn a principle, then you do it. This reinforces your education and is a fundamental principle of learning and understanding.
Next, the cycle of this repetition, when applied to life's circumstances, develops wisdom within you and your decisions become smarter and wiser. You develop a pattern or trend or life style which is compatible with Gods will. You begin to understand God, His plan, and that all adds up to a great respect for God and His overwhelming wisdom.
You begin to treat friends as well as strangers with an attitude of integrity and consistency. Not playing favorites, not being prejudiced against anyone or any group. You are not hung up with weird rituals or human invented quirks of life. Treating all with a behavior pattern of life which is consistent with that taught in the Bible.
And, in this last verse in the passage, such people (Christians) as are described above when you encounter them, are the very people that you should interact with in social settings, in business settings, in relationship settings and so forth. Just as you are to avoid supporting religions and philosophies which are contrary to the Word of God, so too, you are obligated to support Christian organizations whether social, business or charitable, etc.
Do not fret if you cannot evaluate people or organizations for the purpose of interacting with them. When you have a clear choice then make the right choice and support as is appropriate. Otherwise conduct your daily life in a reasonable manner and deal with people under the principle of 'love thy neighbor' principle. Remember that we are all on this planet and interacting in commerce settings is a reasonable function of life. Better to bring commerce to those in third world countries, for example, than to ignore them altogether.
Use the check list which we put together a long time ago, to help guide your own life, and otherwise do not over think your day to day decisions. Just be normal. Your priority in life is to grow up spiritually and not to evaluate everyone around you. Too much evaluation can lead to becoming overly critical, opinionated, and even to prejudicial attitudes. Do not create barriers of self righteousness.
In verse seven of our passage, John teaches that we should do all in the name of Christ. And by that he means that we live and conduct our life in accordance with Gods teaching in the Bible. Accepting nothing from the gentiles is a reference to non-Christian philosophies.
In the Bible there are two classes of people, Gods chosen people and the gentiles. The term Jew is a reference to those people who lived in Judea in the few decades and centuries just prior to the birth of Christ. This term is not the same as the term Israelite, which is the description of the descendants of Jacob, whose name was later changed to Israel.
Abraham was the Father of the chosen race based on his faith in the savior, the Son of God, the Messiah whom we have come to know as Jesus Christ. Jacob is the father of the nation of Israel since his name was changed to Israel. This is representative of the peoples who collectively believe in the savior. Being a member of the chosen people of God is a spiritual determination and not of a genetic determination.
Descendants of Abraham may be believers or unbelievers in Christ. Others who did not descend from Abraham may be believers or unbelievers. Faith is the criteria for being in the chosen of God, not ones genetic ancestry.
Gentile is the descriptive term for those who are outside of the family of God. It is used for teaching purposes only, and is not to be used for discrimination against any culture or group of people on earth.
By being in the family of God, and by growing up spiritually as we are commanded, then we do not carry along with us the baggage of the worlds beliefs. Like a burdensome lead weight, the world will only slow you down and sink you in due course.
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Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.