Protecting God's Truth
To honor God with your life, you must imitate goodness. In our culture, a “me-first” mentality reigns supreme. If you imitate culture, then, you will live contrary to God’s Word and call in your life. You must, instead, choose to imitate goodness so that you might bring Him glory, set a different example, and lead others to faith in Him.
Because Jesus considered you first, He made himself nothing and humbled himself by willingly going to the cross.
3 JOHN 1:10-14 (NASB)
10 For this reason, if I come, I will call attention to his deeds which he does, unjustly accusing us with wicked words; and not satisfied with this, he himself does not receive the brethren, either, and he forbids those who desire to do so and puts them out of the church.
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 add our testimony, and you know that our testimony 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 will speak face to face.
MATTHEW 28:18 (NASB)
18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
HEBREWS 6:11-12 (NASB)
11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
JOHN 13:20 (NASB)
20 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.
1 THESSALONIANS 2:13 (NASB)
13 For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but forwhat it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.
ACTS 2:42 (NASB)
42 They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
JOHN 14:26 (NASB)
26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.
1 CORINTHIANS 14:37 (NASB)
37 If anyone thinks he is a prophet or spiritual, let him recognize that the things which I write to you are the Lord’s commandment.
In your own words, what was Diotrophes’ problem?
Do you think John was overreacting by planning to call Diotrophes out on his self-centeredness in person? Explain.
Do you think most believers view self-centeredness as a problem to be dealt with in the church, or simply as a normal part of church life and culture? Explain.
What do you think John meant when he wrote that Demetrius was well spoken of “by the truth itself”?
Why isn’t a person who is well spoken of by everyone, yet not “well spoken of by the truth” a good person to imitate?
How can these two factors—being well spoken of by believers and demonstrating a life that clearly lines up with the Word of God—help you discern whether a person is worth imitating or not?
This letter wasn’t enough; John wanted to meet with Gaius face to face. Why are in-person interactions more valuable for imparting influence than what we might get through a letter or computer screen? How should this fact impact how we discern whether or not a person is worthy of imitation?
Based on the context of this 3 John 1:11, who should Gaius imitate? Why?
What personal influences might you need to examine more closely, and perhaps turn away from?
What if you don’t think you have a person in your life worthy of imitating? What are some steps you can take to find someone who is?
The destitute soul says, “Look at me” , “Listen to me”, “Let me use you”, and “Leave this all to me.” With those attitudes in mind, what needs to change in your life in order to become a prosperous soul?
Who is someone who can help you with that? In this week’s message we were asked, “Who are you imitating for good?” and “Is your life worthy of being imitated by others?” How is God speaking to you in those two questions?
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