Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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Mining the Scriptures: 3 John 9-12


Can you imagine the audacity of a man who would seek to exalt himself against an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ? That is exactly what Diotrephes did, as he sought preeminence in a local congregation, and refused to accept John and his companions.

This note, which explains the tactics of Diotrephes, serves as an object lesson to Christians today. The man lied maliciously about John. Further, he compelled others to do his bidding, and put them out of the church if they were unwilling to go along with his agenda.

The lesson, concisely put in a quotation most commonly attributed to Edmund Burke, is that “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” God’s word tells us what to do with men such as Diotrephes (cf. Tit. 3:10).

In contrast, John calls upon his readers to imitate good rather than evil. Where Diotrephes is shown to be an example of evil, John puts forth Demetrius as an example of good. He had a good reputation, one that was valid because he was obedient to truth. For this, he received the commendation of the great apostle.