Artwork

Το περιεχόμενο παρέχεται από το Leading The Way with Dr. Michael Youssef and Jonathan Youssef. Όλο το περιεχόμενο podcast, συμπεριλαμβανομένων των επεισοδίων, των γραφικών και των περιγραφών podcast, μεταφορτώνεται και παρέχεται απευθείας από τον Leading The Way with Dr. Michael Youssef and Jonathan Youssef ή τον συνεργάτη της πλατφόρμας podcast. Εάν πιστεύετε ότι κάποιος χρησιμοποιεί το έργο σας που προστατεύεται από πνευματικά δικαιώματα χωρίς την άδειά σας, μπορείτε να ακολουθήσετε τη διαδικασία που περιγράφεται εδώ https://el.player.fm/legal.
Player FM - Εφαρμογή podcast
Πηγαίνετε εκτός σύνδεσης με την εφαρμογή Player FM !

Episode 244: Are You Walking in Truth?: Jonathan Youssef

24:58
 
Μοίρασέ το
 

Manage episode 411428605 series 3225558
Το περιεχόμενο παρέχεται από το Leading The Way with Dr. Michael Youssef and Jonathan Youssef. Όλο το περιεχόμενο podcast, συμπεριλαμβανομένων των επεισοδίων, των γραφικών και των περιγραφών podcast, μεταφορτώνεται και παρέχεται απευθείας από τον Leading The Way with Dr. Michael Youssef and Jonathan Youssef ή τον συνεργάτη της πλατφόρμας podcast. Εάν πιστεύετε ότι κάποιος χρησιμοποιεί το έργο σας που προστατεύεται από πνευματικά δικαιώματα χωρίς την άδειά σας, μπορείτε να ακολουθήσετε τη διαδικασία που περιγράφεται εδώ https://el.player.fm/legal.

Join Jonathan Youssef to navigate the complexities of truth and love. In this episode of Candid, Jonathan will examine the challenges of understanding these concepts, including whether absolute truth exists and the multifaceted nature of love.

The conversation touches on the Christian perspective of being salt and light to a dying world that lacks an understanding of truth and love. It highlights the importance of living out the truth of our faith with love and patience in the community.

Further, we explore the apostle John's transformation from a zealous youth to a wise elder who embodies truth and love. Through his letter to Gaius, we uncover the joys of faithfulness to the Gospel, the significance of hospitality, and how to discern true from false teachings.

This episode aims to inspire a deeper understanding and practice of truth and love in listeners' lives. It encourages reflection on personal beliefs and actions in light of these foundational principles. Join us to explore how these ancient virtues remain relevant and transformative today.

After you listen to this episode, you may have questions. We would love to hear from you! To ask Jonathan a question or connect with the Candid community, visit https://LTW.org/Candid

Also, join the conversation on our social media pages:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/candidpod

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/candidpod

Twitter: https://twitter.com/thecandidpod

This transcript recounts Candid Conversations with Jonathan Youssef Episode 244, Are You Walking in Truth?:

Today I want to talk to you about Truth and love. These are two words with many different definitions. When I say truth and love, you don’t even know what I could say next. I could say anything. Is it my truth? Is it your truth? Is it his truth, her truth, their truth? It’s almost as if it’s just a subjective topic, a subjective term. Is there anything like absolute truth?

And love, my goodness, are we talking about romantic love, brotherly love, or agape love? Are we talking about love that is just tolerance and acceptance? Do we love each other only as long as we agree with each other? Or is it just a feeling or an emotion? Is love self-defined? Love is love.

The world today is tied up into knots over these two terms. Can a person have truth and not love? Can a person have love but not truth? Here’s the reality: I don’t expect the world to get this right. I don’t have a great hope that things will get a lot better at any point in time because this is not our home. But at the same time, I have not been called to run out into the hills and build a bunker and stock up on ammunition. We have been called to look at a dying world that does not know the truth and does not understand love, and we are called to be salt, and we are called to be light to them.

We are called to encourage one another, to gather and praise God's name together, and to go out and witness to the world together because our message is far greater than any message they will ever hear. No matter your age or stage of life, if you put your saving trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, then your calling is to be obedient to the truth and to walk the truth out in love.

A. W. Pink was a reformed theologian who wrote several great books and many fantastic sermons. His writing is so helpful; I’ve used several of his writings in research that I’ve done for other sermons. Martin Lloyd-Jones, who was succeeded by our dear friend R. T. Kendall at Westminster Chapel said, “Don’t waste your time reading these other theologians,” like Karl Barth and Bruner. He said, “Go and read Arthur Pink. Read Pink.”

Pink would tour around America and Australia preaching and teaching, but he was never well-known until after he died. Pink finished out his days living in isolation in Scotland with his wife. They never really became part of a church body. They never got situated with a good church community.

Lloyd-Jones also said of Pink, “As it related to his inability to be patient with people and remain in a particular church, if I had behaved as Pink did, I would have achieved nothing. I could see that the only hope was to let the weight of truth convince people, so I had to be very patient and take a long-term look at things; otherwise, I would have been dismissed, and the whole thing would have been finished.”

Pink was a man who was grounded in the truth and yet, for whatever reason, was not walking it out. And his own friends testified against him. That’s why Scripture is very careful to teach us that we walk these two things out together—truth and love. We should be people who are marked by truth, strong in our convictions, and hold fast to the Word of God, by the Spirit of God, for the glory of God. But we should also be marked by love and generosity, grace and humility, hospitality, and care because all of these are the markings of Jesus’s life and ministry on Earth.

So, we read about these two things, truth and love, in the shortest letter in the Bible, John’s third epistle. Before we go any further, let’s take a minute and read from Third John:

The elder, To my dear friend Gaius, whom I love in the truth. Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. It gave me great joy when some believers came and testified about your faithfulness to the truth, telling how you continue to walk in it. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. Dear friend, you are a faithful ... you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers and sisters, even though they are strangers to you. They have told the church about your love. You will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God. It was for the sake of the Name that they went out, receiving no help from the pagans. We ought therefore to show hospitality to such men so that we may work together for the truth.

John wrote the Gospel of John and First, Second, and Third John. He would also later write the book of Revelation. First John was written to a very general audience. Second John was written to a specific church. And this letter, Third John, was written to a very personal and specific person.

Let’s take a minute to get to know John. He was a disciple, and he was nicknamed by Jesus, with his brother James, the “sons of thunder”. When Jesus and the disciples were turned away from hospitality from a Samaritan village, it was James and John who went to Jesus and said, “Can we call for fire to come down to judge these people,” - a la Elijah and the prophets of Baal.

Jesus rebukes them because his first coming was not one of judgment but to preach the good news, to bring healing, and to bring life. But compare John in his youth to this John here in writing his third letter, and he is referred to simply as “the elder.” John grew from a brash, arrogant young man filled with fire, to this wise, gentle, loving older man who is full of love and truth.

What happened to John? How did he move from a son of thunder to the loving elder? What had he experienced? He had witnessed a lot. He had witnessed Jesus’s teachings, Jesus’ miracles, Jesus’ preaching. He witnessed Jesus’ patience with the disciples. He witnessed the transfiguration and saw Christ with Moses and Elijah, a depiction of the Law and the prophets. He also witnessed His Lord and Savior crucified on the cross. It was then he was given the position of caring for Jesus’s mother, Mary. This is John, who would also see His Resurrected Lord and Savior. John is a man who has been used mightily by the Lord.

And John is writing this letter to a man called Gaius. Now, we don’t know anything about Gaius. He doesn’t appear to be in any sort of leadership in the church that we can tell. All we see is Gaius’s character, and that character is being reported back to John. We see that there was some conflict in the church over who was trustworthy. They wanted to know who they could believe.

There are so many mixed messages. A preacher would travel from house church to house church and depend on other believers to show them hospitality. In John’s second epistle he warns the believers not to welcome in or even greet the false preachers and teachers because that would only help them spread a false gospel. He’s saying, “Do not endorse these people, but take the faithful in and welcome them.”

So, what are the distinguishing marks between a false teacher and a faithful teacher? Now, these weren’t denominational issues. They weren’t in disagreement over infant baptism and believer’s baptism. They disagreed over whether Christ had physically come in the flesh. John says, “Leave these people alone. Let them go on their way. The truth itself will testify to the faithful teachers.”

In essence, he is saying, “If you are a believer who has heard and received the Gospel and your spiritual eyes have been opened, your spirit inside you will resonate with what is being taught and you will know a true teacher of the Gospel.”

Teachers were dependent on hospitality. They didn't have Holiday Inn or Motel 6. This is why hospitality was such a major issue in the early church. When Jesus sends out the 12 and the 72, He tells them they will be provided for by people of peace. When Paul writes to the Romans, he fully expects that they will financially support his mission journey to Spain. And the book of Hebrews urges the hearers not to neglect hospitality to strangers. Two great needs, truth and love, together.

So John writes to Gaius, verse 1, “The elder to the,” in the ESV, beloved, I’m going to use that term, “the beloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth.”

What does it mean to love in the truth? John says that Gaius continues to be faithful to the truth concerning Jesus Christ. And it is the truth that binds us together. We know love because we know the truth.

John writes in his first epistle, 1 John chapter 3 verse 16, “By this, we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers because of the truth of the gospel.” Because of the gospel's truth, we are called to love one another. Strangers? Never heard of it, not in the church. I may not know your name, but we are brothers and sisters in Christ. We have more commonality than flesh and blood oftentimes do.

Listen to what John writes in verse 2, “Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health as it goes well with your soul.”

How does he know it’s going well with Gaius’s soul? We read it in the next verse: "For I rejoiced greatly when the brothers came and testified to your truth, as indeed you are walking in the truth.”

John knows it is going well with Gaius’s soul because he is living out the gospel's truth. They testified about his faithfulness to the gospel. Gaius is living out the truth of the gospel in love. He’s walking in the truth.

John emphasizes that Gaius’s faithfulness involves his holding to true doctrine and his persistence and actions, which are consistent with what is in the doctrine. In verse 4, John says that his greatest joy is not that his 401(k) is strong, not that his children’s academic and athletic successes are great, not that the design of his home is beautiful, nor that his favorite sports team won a big game. His greatest joy is that his children fellowship with him and actively walk in the truth.

In each of his three letters—to the general church, to the specific church, and to the individual—he goes out of his way to say, “This is important to me. I’m conveying what brings me joy: that you are walking in the truth.”

Gaius has remained faithful to the gospel. He has not fallen to the false teachings that were swirling around. And he is a source of the elder’s greatest joy. Moms and dads, what is your greatest joy regarding your children? Is it that they are academically successful and get into a fantastic college? Is it that they are athletically successful and get scholarships? Is it in your position and the status of your vocation? Is it in the appearance of your home?

And this goes beyond families because Gaius is not John’s physical son; he’s his spiritual son. And so when we are here together as a body, we are, again, brothers and sisters in Christ, and we’re constantly putting forth and putting on display what we prize. I wonder if we went around and asked all the children, “What is it that your mom and dad prize, or your grandma and your grandfather?” What are we displaying as the greatest value to the next generation?

But I also understand that this can be a source of great pain for many people. Your children may not be walking with the Lord, so instead of being a source of great joy, it is a source of great struggle and pain. I think John would give the word to those in that situation to remain in the truth and love. Don’t take truth as a 2 x 4 to your children and try to beat them up with it, insisting that this is right. Your children will despise you for that, and they will despise the truth. But you walk this out in love, with compassion. Don’t forget the truth. Instead, hold it together with love. That is the gospel's message as it was put on perfect display by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Then John praises Gaius for his hospitality to traveling preachers. “Beloved, it is a faithful thing you do in all your efforts for these brothers, strangers as they are, who testify to your love before the church.”

His efforts for the faithful brothers is what John commends as faithful. It isn’t just what Gaius believes is faithful, but also his actions. And it is because of what Gaius believes, what he has planted his faith in, that he can be faithful with his actions. Because if you’re not planted in something faithful, your actions won’t reflect faithfulness. But Gaius is planted in a living hope. He is planted in a resurrected hope. He is planted in an unconquerable hope.

These believers go back to Ephesus, where John was, and they say, “We had an amazing time preaching in this little town. You wouldn’t believe it. In this little town, there was a brother in Christ called Gaius, and he was a brother who was strong in the truth. And he was a brother who loved well. He took us in, cared for us, and introduced us to people in the church. He is a dear brother.”

How good is it when people speak well of us? Have you ever been conversing with someone you didn't know very well, and you mention a friend, and that person immediately starts to gush over that person?

“Oh, I love that person. They are so fantastic! Let me tell you. We were moving, and they came and helped us move.” And then you’re sharing stories about how fantastic this person is, how much you love this person, how helpful and insightful they are, and what a blessing they are to know them.

I remember in Australia, there was a well-known evangelist and preacher who was contemporaries with John Stott and Dick Lucas, and just like those two men, this man never married. And the Lord used their singleness to serve the global church so well. This man’s name was John Chapman, and in typical Australian lingo, they shortened it incredibly and just called him Chapo. He was funny, he was kind, he was generous, he was hospitable. He was a mentor to my pastor in Sydney. He had done some work with Dad in the past as it related to evangelism.

And I remember after Chapo died watching his funeral online. The Archbishop of Sydney got up and shared, and he mentioned how deep of an impact Chapo had on so many people. And then he said, “Why don’t we all take a minute right now and have everyone just share your Chapo story with your neighbor?” I mean, I almost burst into tears because it was immediate. Not a second had passed, and the room was filled with smiles, laughter, love, and storytelling. And the problem was that they finally had to get up and say, “Stop. Be quiet. Stop. We have to keep going with the service.” Because they could have gone on like that for hours.

I have a feeling that would have been Gaius. Maybe on a smaller scale, but that would have been Gaius. People would have gone on and on about how dearly he was loved and his impact on them.

I wonder what people would say at a celebration of your life? Would people easily share what an encourager you have been and what a great help you were? Or would they talk about how you may have had your doctrine perfect, dotted every I, and crossed every T, but had no love, like Arthur Pink?

There weren’t universities, trade schools, or tertiary education in the first century. There were these philosophers who would gather in the town square and philosophize. They would just drone on and on about how their philosophy was right. Nothing has changed.

They would try to attract hearers, and then they would start these schools with the hopes that some of these families would say, “We want to send our son to your school,” and then they would train them in that philosophy. Some thought that just as there were stoics, cynics, and epicureans, Christians would have a school like this, and then they would just train up their people like this, that they were just another philosophy of life.

But Christians refused to take this money because Christians were not saying they were just another philosophy amongst the rest. They were announcing the Kingdom of God. They were telling people the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. That is not just a philosophy; that is a total worldview perspective that affects everything and everyone.

So John says, “These men come in the name of Christ, preaching the word of Christ, and they refuse help from the pagans; therefore, we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth.”

Now listen, I understand we may not be in the same position as Gaius or this church, but think about your missionary care and support. Think about your care and your support for ministries that strive to take the gospel to the lost and those on the outside. Think about how you care for and support the pastoral team in your church. Think about how you care for and support your small group leader; how you care for and support your Bible study leader. Think about what it means to support people in ministry. We are all fellow workers for the truth. Your support carries on our work as preachers.

It allows for ministries like Leading The Way to exist, and that work leads to ultimate destinies being changed in people's lives. I read a letter from a young Muslim convert a while back. He was watching the Genesis series we did a while back and talked about how it served, blessed, encouraged, and equipped him. So, your support of the truth motivated by love is serving and blessing this community here and to the rest of the world. What a privilege it is to be a part of something bigger than ourselves, to be supportive of something outside ourselves. When we see that people are blessed and are walking in the truth, that can serve as our greatest joy.

I want to leave you with three questions. It would be good to write them down and to think about them this week.

First, where does your great joy come from?

Second, do people speak well of you regarding truth and love?

And finally, are you a fellow worker for the truth?

I hope these will serve you well today, tomorrow, the week ahead, and the rest of your life. I hope that they will serve as great motivation.

  continue reading

249 επεισόδια

Artwork
iconΜοίρασέ το
 
Manage episode 411428605 series 3225558
Το περιεχόμενο παρέχεται από το Leading The Way with Dr. Michael Youssef and Jonathan Youssef. Όλο το περιεχόμενο podcast, συμπεριλαμβανομένων των επεισοδίων, των γραφικών και των περιγραφών podcast, μεταφορτώνεται και παρέχεται απευθείας από τον Leading The Way with Dr. Michael Youssef and Jonathan Youssef ή τον συνεργάτη της πλατφόρμας podcast. Εάν πιστεύετε ότι κάποιος χρησιμοποιεί το έργο σας που προστατεύεται από πνευματικά δικαιώματα χωρίς την άδειά σας, μπορείτε να ακολουθήσετε τη διαδικασία που περιγράφεται εδώ https://el.player.fm/legal.

Join Jonathan Youssef to navigate the complexities of truth and love. In this episode of Candid, Jonathan will examine the challenges of understanding these concepts, including whether absolute truth exists and the multifaceted nature of love.

The conversation touches on the Christian perspective of being salt and light to a dying world that lacks an understanding of truth and love. It highlights the importance of living out the truth of our faith with love and patience in the community.

Further, we explore the apostle John's transformation from a zealous youth to a wise elder who embodies truth and love. Through his letter to Gaius, we uncover the joys of faithfulness to the Gospel, the significance of hospitality, and how to discern true from false teachings.

This episode aims to inspire a deeper understanding and practice of truth and love in listeners' lives. It encourages reflection on personal beliefs and actions in light of these foundational principles. Join us to explore how these ancient virtues remain relevant and transformative today.

After you listen to this episode, you may have questions. We would love to hear from you! To ask Jonathan a question or connect with the Candid community, visit https://LTW.org/Candid

Also, join the conversation on our social media pages:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/candidpod

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/candidpod

Twitter: https://twitter.com/thecandidpod

This transcript recounts Candid Conversations with Jonathan Youssef Episode 244, Are You Walking in Truth?:

Today I want to talk to you about Truth and love. These are two words with many different definitions. When I say truth and love, you don’t even know what I could say next. I could say anything. Is it my truth? Is it your truth? Is it his truth, her truth, their truth? It’s almost as if it’s just a subjective topic, a subjective term. Is there anything like absolute truth?

And love, my goodness, are we talking about romantic love, brotherly love, or agape love? Are we talking about love that is just tolerance and acceptance? Do we love each other only as long as we agree with each other? Or is it just a feeling or an emotion? Is love self-defined? Love is love.

The world today is tied up into knots over these two terms. Can a person have truth and not love? Can a person have love but not truth? Here’s the reality: I don’t expect the world to get this right. I don’t have a great hope that things will get a lot better at any point in time because this is not our home. But at the same time, I have not been called to run out into the hills and build a bunker and stock up on ammunition. We have been called to look at a dying world that does not know the truth and does not understand love, and we are called to be salt, and we are called to be light to them.

We are called to encourage one another, to gather and praise God's name together, and to go out and witness to the world together because our message is far greater than any message they will ever hear. No matter your age or stage of life, if you put your saving trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, then your calling is to be obedient to the truth and to walk the truth out in love.

A. W. Pink was a reformed theologian who wrote several great books and many fantastic sermons. His writing is so helpful; I’ve used several of his writings in research that I’ve done for other sermons. Martin Lloyd-Jones, who was succeeded by our dear friend R. T. Kendall at Westminster Chapel said, “Don’t waste your time reading these other theologians,” like Karl Barth and Bruner. He said, “Go and read Arthur Pink. Read Pink.”

Pink would tour around America and Australia preaching and teaching, but he was never well-known until after he died. Pink finished out his days living in isolation in Scotland with his wife. They never really became part of a church body. They never got situated with a good church community.

Lloyd-Jones also said of Pink, “As it related to his inability to be patient with people and remain in a particular church, if I had behaved as Pink did, I would have achieved nothing. I could see that the only hope was to let the weight of truth convince people, so I had to be very patient and take a long-term look at things; otherwise, I would have been dismissed, and the whole thing would have been finished.”

Pink was a man who was grounded in the truth and yet, for whatever reason, was not walking it out. And his own friends testified against him. That’s why Scripture is very careful to teach us that we walk these two things out together—truth and love. We should be people who are marked by truth, strong in our convictions, and hold fast to the Word of God, by the Spirit of God, for the glory of God. But we should also be marked by love and generosity, grace and humility, hospitality, and care because all of these are the markings of Jesus’s life and ministry on Earth.

So, we read about these two things, truth and love, in the shortest letter in the Bible, John’s third epistle. Before we go any further, let’s take a minute and read from Third John:

The elder, To my dear friend Gaius, whom I love in the truth. Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. It gave me great joy when some believers came and testified about your faithfulness to the truth, telling how you continue to walk in it. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. Dear friend, you are a faithful ... you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers and sisters, even though they are strangers to you. They have told the church about your love. You will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God. It was for the sake of the Name that they went out, receiving no help from the pagans. We ought therefore to show hospitality to such men so that we may work together for the truth.

John wrote the Gospel of John and First, Second, and Third John. He would also later write the book of Revelation. First John was written to a very general audience. Second John was written to a specific church. And this letter, Third John, was written to a very personal and specific person.

Let’s take a minute to get to know John. He was a disciple, and he was nicknamed by Jesus, with his brother James, the “sons of thunder”. When Jesus and the disciples were turned away from hospitality from a Samaritan village, it was James and John who went to Jesus and said, “Can we call for fire to come down to judge these people,” - a la Elijah and the prophets of Baal.

Jesus rebukes them because his first coming was not one of judgment but to preach the good news, to bring healing, and to bring life. But compare John in his youth to this John here in writing his third letter, and he is referred to simply as “the elder.” John grew from a brash, arrogant young man filled with fire, to this wise, gentle, loving older man who is full of love and truth.

What happened to John? How did he move from a son of thunder to the loving elder? What had he experienced? He had witnessed a lot. He had witnessed Jesus’s teachings, Jesus’ miracles, Jesus’ preaching. He witnessed Jesus’ patience with the disciples. He witnessed the transfiguration and saw Christ with Moses and Elijah, a depiction of the Law and the prophets. He also witnessed His Lord and Savior crucified on the cross. It was then he was given the position of caring for Jesus’s mother, Mary. This is John, who would also see His Resurrected Lord and Savior. John is a man who has been used mightily by the Lord.

And John is writing this letter to a man called Gaius. Now, we don’t know anything about Gaius. He doesn’t appear to be in any sort of leadership in the church that we can tell. All we see is Gaius’s character, and that character is being reported back to John. We see that there was some conflict in the church over who was trustworthy. They wanted to know who they could believe.

There are so many mixed messages. A preacher would travel from house church to house church and depend on other believers to show them hospitality. In John’s second epistle he warns the believers not to welcome in or even greet the false preachers and teachers because that would only help them spread a false gospel. He’s saying, “Do not endorse these people, but take the faithful in and welcome them.”

So, what are the distinguishing marks between a false teacher and a faithful teacher? Now, these weren’t denominational issues. They weren’t in disagreement over infant baptism and believer’s baptism. They disagreed over whether Christ had physically come in the flesh. John says, “Leave these people alone. Let them go on their way. The truth itself will testify to the faithful teachers.”

In essence, he is saying, “If you are a believer who has heard and received the Gospel and your spiritual eyes have been opened, your spirit inside you will resonate with what is being taught and you will know a true teacher of the Gospel.”

Teachers were dependent on hospitality. They didn't have Holiday Inn or Motel 6. This is why hospitality was such a major issue in the early church. When Jesus sends out the 12 and the 72, He tells them they will be provided for by people of peace. When Paul writes to the Romans, he fully expects that they will financially support his mission journey to Spain. And the book of Hebrews urges the hearers not to neglect hospitality to strangers. Two great needs, truth and love, together.

So John writes to Gaius, verse 1, “The elder to the,” in the ESV, beloved, I’m going to use that term, “the beloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth.”

What does it mean to love in the truth? John says that Gaius continues to be faithful to the truth concerning Jesus Christ. And it is the truth that binds us together. We know love because we know the truth.

John writes in his first epistle, 1 John chapter 3 verse 16, “By this, we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers because of the truth of the gospel.” Because of the gospel's truth, we are called to love one another. Strangers? Never heard of it, not in the church. I may not know your name, but we are brothers and sisters in Christ. We have more commonality than flesh and blood oftentimes do.

Listen to what John writes in verse 2, “Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health as it goes well with your soul.”

How does he know it’s going well with Gaius’s soul? We read it in the next verse: "For I rejoiced greatly when the brothers came and testified to your truth, as indeed you are walking in the truth.”

John knows it is going well with Gaius’s soul because he is living out the gospel's truth. They testified about his faithfulness to the gospel. Gaius is living out the truth of the gospel in love. He’s walking in the truth.

John emphasizes that Gaius’s faithfulness involves his holding to true doctrine and his persistence and actions, which are consistent with what is in the doctrine. In verse 4, John says that his greatest joy is not that his 401(k) is strong, not that his children’s academic and athletic successes are great, not that the design of his home is beautiful, nor that his favorite sports team won a big game. His greatest joy is that his children fellowship with him and actively walk in the truth.

In each of his three letters—to the general church, to the specific church, and to the individual—he goes out of his way to say, “This is important to me. I’m conveying what brings me joy: that you are walking in the truth.”

Gaius has remained faithful to the gospel. He has not fallen to the false teachings that were swirling around. And he is a source of the elder’s greatest joy. Moms and dads, what is your greatest joy regarding your children? Is it that they are academically successful and get into a fantastic college? Is it that they are athletically successful and get scholarships? Is it in your position and the status of your vocation? Is it in the appearance of your home?

And this goes beyond families because Gaius is not John’s physical son; he’s his spiritual son. And so when we are here together as a body, we are, again, brothers and sisters in Christ, and we’re constantly putting forth and putting on display what we prize. I wonder if we went around and asked all the children, “What is it that your mom and dad prize, or your grandma and your grandfather?” What are we displaying as the greatest value to the next generation?

But I also understand that this can be a source of great pain for many people. Your children may not be walking with the Lord, so instead of being a source of great joy, it is a source of great struggle and pain. I think John would give the word to those in that situation to remain in the truth and love. Don’t take truth as a 2 x 4 to your children and try to beat them up with it, insisting that this is right. Your children will despise you for that, and they will despise the truth. But you walk this out in love, with compassion. Don’t forget the truth. Instead, hold it together with love. That is the gospel's message as it was put on perfect display by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Then John praises Gaius for his hospitality to traveling preachers. “Beloved, it is a faithful thing you do in all your efforts for these brothers, strangers as they are, who testify to your love before the church.”

His efforts for the faithful brothers is what John commends as faithful. It isn’t just what Gaius believes is faithful, but also his actions. And it is because of what Gaius believes, what he has planted his faith in, that he can be faithful with his actions. Because if you’re not planted in something faithful, your actions won’t reflect faithfulness. But Gaius is planted in a living hope. He is planted in a resurrected hope. He is planted in an unconquerable hope.

These believers go back to Ephesus, where John was, and they say, “We had an amazing time preaching in this little town. You wouldn’t believe it. In this little town, there was a brother in Christ called Gaius, and he was a brother who was strong in the truth. And he was a brother who loved well. He took us in, cared for us, and introduced us to people in the church. He is a dear brother.”

How good is it when people speak well of us? Have you ever been conversing with someone you didn't know very well, and you mention a friend, and that person immediately starts to gush over that person?

“Oh, I love that person. They are so fantastic! Let me tell you. We were moving, and they came and helped us move.” And then you’re sharing stories about how fantastic this person is, how much you love this person, how helpful and insightful they are, and what a blessing they are to know them.

I remember in Australia, there was a well-known evangelist and preacher who was contemporaries with John Stott and Dick Lucas, and just like those two men, this man never married. And the Lord used their singleness to serve the global church so well. This man’s name was John Chapman, and in typical Australian lingo, they shortened it incredibly and just called him Chapo. He was funny, he was kind, he was generous, he was hospitable. He was a mentor to my pastor in Sydney. He had done some work with Dad in the past as it related to evangelism.

And I remember after Chapo died watching his funeral online. The Archbishop of Sydney got up and shared, and he mentioned how deep of an impact Chapo had on so many people. And then he said, “Why don’t we all take a minute right now and have everyone just share your Chapo story with your neighbor?” I mean, I almost burst into tears because it was immediate. Not a second had passed, and the room was filled with smiles, laughter, love, and storytelling. And the problem was that they finally had to get up and say, “Stop. Be quiet. Stop. We have to keep going with the service.” Because they could have gone on like that for hours.

I have a feeling that would have been Gaius. Maybe on a smaller scale, but that would have been Gaius. People would have gone on and on about how dearly he was loved and his impact on them.

I wonder what people would say at a celebration of your life? Would people easily share what an encourager you have been and what a great help you were? Or would they talk about how you may have had your doctrine perfect, dotted every I, and crossed every T, but had no love, like Arthur Pink?

There weren’t universities, trade schools, or tertiary education in the first century. There were these philosophers who would gather in the town square and philosophize. They would just drone on and on about how their philosophy was right. Nothing has changed.

They would try to attract hearers, and then they would start these schools with the hopes that some of these families would say, “We want to send our son to your school,” and then they would train them in that philosophy. Some thought that just as there were stoics, cynics, and epicureans, Christians would have a school like this, and then they would just train up their people like this, that they were just another philosophy of life.

But Christians refused to take this money because Christians were not saying they were just another philosophy amongst the rest. They were announcing the Kingdom of God. They were telling people the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. That is not just a philosophy; that is a total worldview perspective that affects everything and everyone.

So John says, “These men come in the name of Christ, preaching the word of Christ, and they refuse help from the pagans; therefore, we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth.”

Now listen, I understand we may not be in the same position as Gaius or this church, but think about your missionary care and support. Think about your care and your support for ministries that strive to take the gospel to the lost and those on the outside. Think about how you care for and support the pastoral team in your church. Think about how you care for and support your small group leader; how you care for and support your Bible study leader. Think about what it means to support people in ministry. We are all fellow workers for the truth. Your support carries on our work as preachers.

It allows for ministries like Leading The Way to exist, and that work leads to ultimate destinies being changed in people's lives. I read a letter from a young Muslim convert a while back. He was watching the Genesis series we did a while back and talked about how it served, blessed, encouraged, and equipped him. So, your support of the truth motivated by love is serving and blessing this community here and to the rest of the world. What a privilege it is to be a part of something bigger than ourselves, to be supportive of something outside ourselves. When we see that people are blessed and are walking in the truth, that can serve as our greatest joy.

I want to leave you with three questions. It would be good to write them down and to think about them this week.

First, where does your great joy come from?

Second, do people speak well of you regarding truth and love?

And finally, are you a fellow worker for the truth?

I hope these will serve you well today, tomorrow, the week ahead, and the rest of your life. I hope that they will serve as great motivation.

  continue reading

249 επεισόδια

Kaikki jaksot

×
 
Loading …

Καλώς ήλθατε στο Player FM!

Το FM Player σαρώνει τον ιστό για podcasts υψηλής ποιότητας για να απολαύσετε αυτή τη στιγμή. Είναι η καλύτερη εφαρμογή podcast και λειτουργεί σε Android, iPhone και στον ιστό. Εγγραφή για συγχρονισμό συνδρομών σε όλες τις συσκευές.

 

Οδηγός γρήγορης αναφοράς