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 1:11-14
11 Beloved [agapetos], follow [mimeomai] not [me] that which is evil [kakos], but [alla] that which is good [agathos]. He that doeth good [agathopoieo] is [esti] of [ek] God [theos]: but [de] he that doeth evil [kakopoieo] hath [horao] not [ou] seen [horao] God [theos].
12 Demetrius [Demetrios] hath good report [martureo] of [hupo] all [pas] men, and [kai] of [hupo] the truth [aletheia] itself [autos]: yea [de], and [kai] we [hemeis] also bear record [martureo]; and [kai] ye know [eido] that [hoti] our [hemon] record [marturia] is [esti] true [alethes].
13 I had [echo] many things [polus] to write [grapho], but [alla] I will [thelo] not [ou] with [dia] ink [melan] and [kai] pen [kalamos] write [grapho] unto thee [soi]:
14 But [de] I trust [elpizo] I shall [eido] shortly [eutheos] see [eido] thee [se], and [kai] we shall speak [laleo] face [stoma] to [pros] face [stoma]. Peace [eirene] be to thee [soi]. Our friends [philos] salute [aspazomai] thee [se]. Greet [aspazomai] the friends [philos] by [kata] name [onoma]. KJV-Interlinear
11 Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. The one who does good is of God; the one who does evil has not seen God. 12 Demetrius has received a good testimony from everyone, and from the truth itself; and we also bear witness, and you know that our witness is true. 13 I had many things to write to you, but I am not willing to write them to you with pen and ink; 14 but I hope to see you shortly, and we shall speak face to face. Peace be to you. The friends greet you. Greet the friends by name. NASB
John closes this letter with his final example of Demetrius who is the exact opposite of Diotrephes. Demetrius has the good complements not only of people, but of the scriptures as well. John attests to this himself.
The pattern of life which people should follow is that which is taught by the Bible, not the pattern of life which people invent for themselves out of convenience, out of selfishness, out of greed or ambition, out of prejudice and so forth.
Prior to our beginning this study, I would guess that if I had asked you to write down the names of all the people you could think of, from the Bible, neither of these two men, as well as Gaius, to whom the letter is addressed, would be on your list. These names though common in the ancient world, are not common in the minds of people today.
We know of Moses and David and many others, but of these three we are not generally familiar.
Two of these are good men. The one, Diotrephes, is not.
Now, their names are irrelevant, but their patterns of life which they live by, are important.
Most of us will not go down in the history of this world with much impact as far as the world is concerned. We are all nobody's. Some might wish that they could contribute to the history of the world, maybe even be recognized in some way, but that is generally ego or a form of approbation lust.
God placed both Gaius and Demetrius on this earth to grow up spiritually. As a result they have been blessed with their mention in the Bible. Of their daily lives, even of their total lives, we know virtually nothing.
Demetrius may have been the same man referred to as the silversmith of Artemis, Acts 19:24. A maker of idols. The one who was vehemently opposed to the teaching of Paul. But that is only a guess. This Demetrius may easily be someone else. Nothing is mentioned with regard to his past life, nor even his accomplishments in his life.
Because they are not relevant.
What you do in life with respect to accomplishments means nothing, if it is done within the power of the world. What does matter is your accomplishments which are done in the power of the Holy Spirit. That means what you do while in fellowship. The Holy Spirit controls your life when you are in fellowship.
And remember that the spiritual life is not of this world so anything spiritual cannot be felt, detected, measured, or otherwise sensed by you. None of this holy roller frothing at the mouth, emotional seizure stuff. That is all phony.
Your life can do nothing to make or break Gods plan. In eternity past, God looked down through the tunnel of time and saw your entire life. He made a decision when to place you in history, to whom, you would interact with in life, the decisions you would make, the actions you would take and so forth.
Based on what your attitude is toward your spiritual life, or lack of an attitude, God will bring you into situations which might be pleasant, or unpleasant. He might bring you into situations which are dangerous or not. He might bring you into situations which are difficult or easy in life.
Everything from the front line of a battlefield, to a crashing airplane, to the changing of diapers of a crying baby, to winning some huge prize. All these and many, many more situations are there to either test your metal or to discipline you.
Your response or reaction in any situation, whether the situations be significant or insignificant, reveals the depth of your spiritual life (or lack of it).
God knows your needs and your circumstances. Nothing catches God by surprise. Knowing this then you should never be worried in life. God will take care of those who belong to and are obedient to, Him.
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. NASB
John closes the letter with a wish for your peace, and this is the inner peace within your soul which comes only from the consistent study of the Bible and from your resultant spiritual growth to maturity.
You can go through life with nothing to show for your spiritual growth, and consequently be nothing more than historical filler, or you can go through life and pursue your spiritual life with a passion (Song of Solomon), being obedient to Gods will, and come out of it all, a phenomenal winner beyond your wildest dreams.
Most people have dreams but they never see them become a reality. Spiritually mature believers not only have dreams, but they develop better dreams which God (through Bible study) gives to them, and they live their dreams, even beyond their dreams. Which are you?
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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.