Handfuls on Purpose

by James Smith, 1943


This is another sample of the Apostle John's private correspondence. This letter was written to a generous and warm-hearted friend called Gaius, noted for loving hospitality, urging him to continue entertaining the traveling preachers, in spite of the bitter opposition of an autocratic and blustering Church official called Diotrephes.


3 John 1:2, 4, 5, 11

1. Was Gaius ill? (2).

2. Was Gaius one of Paul's converts? Note: "My children" (4).

3. Did Paul love Gaius very ardently? The word "Beloved" is repeated in this short letter, indicating ardent affection (1, 2, 5, 11).

4. Was Gaius prospering spiritually in the things of God? (2).


3 John 1:1, 3, 4,8

As in his previous writings, John has much to say about Truth. Note the various aspects of Truth.

I. An Indwelling. Truth is first regarded as being in the man. "The truth that is in you" (3).

II. A Road. Truth is then viewed as a road on which, and within whose limits, the man walks. "Even as you walk in the truth" (3).

III. An Atmosphere. Truth is now considered as an atmosphere in which the man moves. "Walk in truth" (4).

IV. A Soil, in which love is rooted (1). "I love in the truth."

V. A Weapon (8). "Fellow-workers with truth" (R.V.). Suggesting truth as their powerful weapon in Christian Service.

VI. A Companion. "Fellow-helpers to the truth" (8), suggesting that in our pilgrimage we should make truth our companion.

VII. Referee. Giving testimony in favor of these who walk in truth. "Demetrius has good report of all men, and of the truth itself."