What Does 3 John 1:11 Mean?

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.

3 John 1:11(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

John's brief correspondence to the beloved Gaius, gives great encouragement to this mature brother in Christ... who walked in sincerity and truth, as led by the Spirit of God.

The beloved apostle rejoiced greatly about this man's faithful work, his sincere testimony to the truth of the glorious gospel of God, and for the love, friendship and grace he demonstrated, to all his Christian brothers and sisters.

However, John not only gives encouragement to fellow-believers, who read his epistle, but also provides some serious warning for all born-again believers, as we face the temptations and trials of life: Beloved, he pleads, do not imitate what is evil, but imitate all that is good. Remember, the person who does what is good is from God; while the one who does evil has never seen God.

John identifies a man called Diotrephes, who succumbed to fleshly temptations and the carnal allures of the world, through selfish pride, ambition, a lust for pre-eminence and ecclesiastical suppression of the people of God. This caused John to implore Gaius not to copy the evil behaviour of people like this man, but to imitate that which is good, and to think on things that are true, honest, just, pure, and lovely.

As children of God we are to be like our heavenly Father in thought, word and deed. We who are born of God are to be kind and merciful. We are to reflect the character and attributes of our Father in heaven, Who is tender-hearted, long-suffering, full of kindness and of great goodness.

Godly love for our brothers in Christ, is a demonstration of the grace of God, the love of Christ and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, to whomsoever we come in contact. It is only through the strength of Christ, and the supernatural power of the indwelling Spirit, that we are enabled to do good and eschew evil.

May we, who have passed from death to life, love others as Christ loved us, and imitate the grace of God in our lives, knowing that the one who does good is of God; the one who does evil has not seen God.

My Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for the witness of godly men like the apostle John and examples of spirituality, like Gaius, who walked in sincerity and truth.. as led by the Spirit of God. I pray that I may follow in their footsteps and do only those things that are righteous in Your eyes. Help me to eschew evil and keep me from being influenced by the evil practices of the world. I pray that I may reflect the beauty and goodness of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, so that His name may be glorified through my life. This I ask in Jesus name, AMEN.

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