Peter Barnes | 3 John 9-10
CHURCH LEADERSHIP GONE WRONG
(3 John 9-10)
– John is contrasting Gaius, Diotrephes, and Demetrius in 3 John.
1. The sin of loving to be first.
– v.9; Christ is to have the pre-eminence (Col.1:18; 2 Cor.4:5)
– George Findlay thinks that Diotrephes was a Greek aristocrat
– Matt.20:25-28; 1 Peter 5:2-3
2. What this sin can lead to.
– v.10: malicious gossip; refusal to receive Christian brothers; stopping others from receiving Christian brothers; excommunicating people wrongly
– right excommunications in 1 Cor.5; 1 Tim.1:20; 2 Tim.2:16-18; Rev.2:20
Augustine of Hippo: ‘One thing I say deliberately as an unquestionable truth, that if any believer has been wrongfully excommunicated, the sentence will do harm rather to him who pronounces it than to him who suffers this wrong. For it is by the Holy Spirit dwelling in holy persons that any one is loosed or bound, and He inflicts unmerited punishment upon no one; for by Him the love which works not evil is shed abroad in our hearts.’
3. How John will handle this sin.
– Matt.18:15 – private if possible; 1 Tim.5:20 – public if a public sin.