By Gary Knuckles
What kind of Christian are you?
I’m not talking about church preference or some kind of
faith. I’m talking about your character. Basically, what
is your role in the local church? The apostle, John, wrote
to some first century Christians and made reference to
three men among them. In 3 John, he
revealed something about the character of each man. Two of
men worthy of imitation, one was a man who did them great
In verses 1-8, John mentioned
Gaius, a man who was dearly beloved and who held firmly to
In fact, his reputation was so good that the brethren
“came and testified of the truth” that was in
him. (3,4) He was generous (6) and had helped missionaries
in their travels. His work for the Lord had been
productive and the church was better as a result. Every
congregation needs people like Gaius, people
who are reliable and unafraid to stand for the truth.
Unfortunately, this church also
had another man...Diotrephes. In 3 John 9, John says he
“have the preeminence” indicating that he was carnal in
his thinking. His actions betray a selfish
spirit, the kind of spirit that must have everything its
own way. He spoke evil of the apostles, would not help
missionaries as did Gaius, and withdrew from those who
assisted these missionaries in any way.
(10) So bad was his character, that John exhorted the
brethren not to follow his evil ways.
That’s pretty strong language coming from the “apostle of
love!” There is not a congregation
anywhere that needs a Diotrephes…the fewer of them, the
A third man in this congregation
was Demetrius. Though only one verse in this short epistle
him, we learn that he was a great man! Look at John’s
description of Him. “Well spoken of by everyone...even by
the truth...we (apostles) also speak well of him.” (10)
Need a dependable brother in the
church? Demetrius is your man! He isn’t a man who will run
out on you like Demas did with Paul. (2
Tim. 4:10) He is more like Luke who stayed with Paul
difficult times as well as the good. (2 Tim. 4:11) I have
known people like Demetrius, and they have blessed my life.
Which of these men best
describes you? Every church needs people who will stand
for the truth and follow up their faith
with good works. No church needs people who are bent on
making the church exactly like them.
All of us should strive to be more like Gaius and
These are the kind of people
that will make the church strong!
- Gary Knuckles preaches for the Briensburg Church of
Christ near Benton, KY. You may contact him via the