3 Benefits of Walking in God’s Truth
By Jeff Cranston
The third book of John is a letter written by the apostle John to his friend Gaius, but we can easily see that John was also writing to all who follow Christ. Gaius was a man with an open house and a open heart. He walked in God’s truth and so can you. Read 3 John 1-4. In these four verses, you will learn three benefits to walking in God’s truth:
1. When you are walking in truth, your spiritual life is strengthened.
3 John 2 says, “Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.” John is saying that he wishes that Gaius’ physical health would correspond to his spiritual health. He says: “ … that in all respects you may prosper…” Prosperity here is mental health and general well-being. There is a man in the church named Diotrephes, who was self-centered and wouldn’t accept John’s leadership over the churches. He gave Gaius a very hard time, so Gaius needed encouragement.
“ … and be in good health… ” John is referring to his physical well-being, saying: “I long that your physical health would mirror your spiritual wealth.” There is profit in giving concern to our physical well-being, but there is much more benefit in spiritual prosperity.
John then writes, “… just as your soul prospers … “ Here’s the spiritual wealth part. John’s hope for Gaius is that his general well-being would be as good as his spiritual well-being. He’s basically saying, “I wish for you a general prosperity that equates with your spiritual prosperity.”
What would it mean for you to live with a soul that prospers? God’s soul food into your spiritual system strengthens your spirit. How do you do that? Read God’s Word. Ingest it, spiritually speaking, and allow it to do it’s purifying and beautiful work in your heart, soul and mind.
2. When you are walking in truth, you will manifest signs of spiritual life.
3 John 3 says, “For I was very glad when brethren came and testified to your truth, that is, how you are walking in truth.” Now it's tremendous to be a Christian and have the truth in you, but what John is saying is that it's better to manifest that truth in our lives. We should be people who don't just hold the truth—whether it's the Bible in our hands or doctrine in our heads or even love in our hearts—but we should be a people by whom the truth is held. Those who had been with Gaius told John that his life was consistent with truth. He walked according to the reality of the Word of God.
3. When you are walking in truth, your walk and your heart will be in alignment with Jesus.
3 John 4 says, “I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.” The greatest joy in the Christian life is not only just pointing a person to Christ, but also to see them going on with the Lord. That was John's joy.
Gaius really is a model for us. Here is a man who has received the Truth of the gospel and dedicated his time, talent and treasure to the Lord. All he had belonged to Christ. He was the picture of the man who had found Christ to be “the Way,” and in his everyday life, he tried to show that gracious Way to others.
If you’re a Christ-follower, take a moment and think with me about how healthy your soul is right now. Are you spending time in God’s Word every day? Praying to Him? Listening to Him? Worshiping with your faith family on a regular and consistent basis? Serving other people? Here’s a little secret: As you help others along, you will be strengthened, and your own faith will also be deepened.
Jeff Cranston is the lead pastor of LowCountry Community Church in Bluffton, S.C.