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Monday, December 17, 2012

What Kind of Christian Are You?

By Gary Knuckles
     What kind of Christian are you? I’m not talking about church preference or some kind of generic 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 these were men worthy of imitation, one was a man who did them great harm.
     In verses 1-8, John mentioned Gaius, a man who was dearly beloved and who held firmly to the truth. 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 loved to “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 better!
     A third man in this congregation was Demetrius. Though only one verse in this short epistle mentions 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 through the 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 Demetrius.
     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 congregation's website: http://briensburgchurchofchrist.org/


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