Temple Baptist Church - 1-27-2016
3 John 12
A. 3 John was written to commend two men and condemn another.
1. It was written to Gaius but, in interpretation, was an admonition to a local church. It is also prophetic of the conditions that would precede the second coming of the Lord.
2. Fortunately, we have two types of these people (Gaius and Demetrius) and, unfortunately, we occasionally have the third (Diotrephes) in our churches today.
B. Tonight, I want to take a close look at a man named Demetrius. This is the only mention of Demetrius and it only involves one verse of Scripture. Acts 19 makes mention of Demetrius the silversmith but he is not the man of this book.
C. Though there is only one verse offering a characterization of this man, God said a lot in a short sentence.
D. I want to look at verse 11 as I lead up to our verse on Demetrius: 3 John 1:11 “Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.”
1. John is admonishing Gaius to not be a follower of those who do evil but rather those who do good and points him to Demetrius. The evil “hath not seen God” but the good “is of God!” This is a strong statement concerning the spiritual state of both Demetrius and Diotrephes.
2. Demetrius us “of” God. The preposition “of” denotes the origin of something or out of something. Demetrius was a saved man whose life was derived from Christ Jesus. As we take on the physical and psychological characteristics of our parents, the child of God takes on the spiritual characteristics of the LORD.
3. Diotrephes “hath not seen God!” I believe that many of these traveling troublemakers that go from church to church are not acquainted with our Lord! I do not want this to be a blanket statement as all of us can get out of the will of God and have some of the characteristics of Diotrephes but people who do not love God’s people, God’s man, and God’s church probably fit into the category of the lost!
e. Now, let us look at Demetrius’ report card.
1. When I was young, you were graded with A through F. Each of these grades had a percentage number that it represented: A (90-100), B (80-99), C (70-79), D (60-69), F (0-60). With letter grades, you knew where you or your children stood as far as their work was concerned.
2. Some gives grades of S (satisfactory or pass) and U (unsatisfactory or fail). These grades do not tell you where your child is!
3. I believe that the reason the LORD gave Demetrius a “good report” is to show that he passed and his work was satisfactory. Not all students are A+ students! If a C or D is the very best that a child can do, then his report card is good. If an A is what a child is capable of and he or she gets a D, that is not a good report card. God gives to all of us different talents and capabilities.
f. Demetrius got a “good report” card in three areas:
1. Demetrius got a “good report” of all men. Men measure that which can be seen.
a. A man to be followed. This is not man-worship. We hear a lot about “preacher worship.” God ordained that we follow in the steps of good men who tread the paths before us. Every generation does not have to re-invent the wheel. Neither does each generation have to cut a new path. Follow those who follow the Old Paths.
b. A man to be imitated. Demetrius could not only be followed; he could be imitated. Godly men should be our examples and role models after which we pattern our lives.
2. Demetrius got a “good report” of the truth itself. The truth measures what a man is.
a. A man who spoke the truth. What Demetrius said was Biblical! A man that spoke God’s Word without deviation or compromise. God said what He meant and meant what He said.
b. A man who lived the truth. Demetrius was a man who lived what he believed. To him who knoweth to do good and doeth it is a man of truth.
3. Demetrius got a “good report” of God’s men. God’s men measure that which a man can achieve.
a. A man with spiritual potential. God gives to every man and woman gifts to be used for the glory of God and the continuity/welfare of the local church. It takes the God given gifts of all of us to make the church what it should and needs to be. Each of you have something to contribute.
b. A man who attained his potential. We often hear the phrase “wasted potential.” Demetrius lived up to the expectations of the man of God. “To who much is given, much is required!” Our talents are not to be hidden but to be used. Demetrius was all for God that God intended him to be.
Conclusion: Not everyone is a Gaius and, thank the Lord not everyone has characteristics of old Diotrephes, but everyone here in this church can be a Demetrius and receive a good report both here and at the Judgement Seat of Christ.