Thoughts on 3 John 1:11


3 John 1:11 (ESV) Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God.

A friendly letter, written by the Apostle John and sent to a church leader, Gaius, to give him encouragement for his treatment and exhortation in regards to false teachers.
BELOVED: John had a very special place in his heart for the recipient of this short letter, Gaius. He calls Gaius such four times.

IMITATE: Greek is “mimou” from base “mimeomai.” Not much of a mental leap to get to the word, “mimic!”

EVIL: “kakon” (base: kakos)
1)  of a bad nature
 a)  not such as it ought to be
2)  of a mode of thinking, feeling, acting
 a)  base, wrong, wicked
3)  troublesome, injurious, pernicious, destructive, baneful
Is this a hat tip to the old unregenerate nature?
GOOD: “agathon” (base: agathos)
1)  of good constitution or nature
2)  useful, salutary
3)  good, pleasant, agreeable, joyful, happy
4)  excellent, distinguished
5)  upright, honourable
Based on Romans 7:19, 12:21 which uses kakon for evil and agathon for good, these two words are diametrically opposites.

WHOEVER DOES GOOD: “agathopoion”  (base: agathopoieo)
1)  to do good, do something which profits others
 a)  to be a good help to someone
 b)  to do someone a favour
 c)  to benefit

2)  to do well, do right

WHOEVER DOES EVIL: “kakopoion” (base: kakopoieo)
 1)  to do harm
 2)  to do evil, do wrong

SEEN: “eoraken”
Seen, like knowing, experienced.
Perfect – past completed and once and for all not need repeating.
Indicaitve – The indicative mood is a simple statement of fact. If an action really occurs or has occurred or will occur, it will be rendered in the indicative mood.
BLOW IT UP (very very loose paraphrase based on what I’ve learned for the sole purpose of helping my understanding.):
Gaius, dude, I love you like mad, that’s why I’m saying don’t copy what the unregenerate do. Copy the redeemed! I mean, the people who are out there doing what’s good and right and just, THEY are the ones who know God, not the lawless ones who do evil. They are lost, clueless, and were never ever Christian to begin with.

Young children look up to adults and will copy what they do. They will play act firefighter or cop or army man or superhero. In doing so the will act valiantly and heroically and full of wonderful fantasy as mom and dad sit back, watching, pondering these thing at heart. They will try to be helpers so they can be like mommy making supper or like daddy fixing the car. Such things parents encourage or they ought to. But what about the child who mimics the robber all the time? Or the archfiend? Or the enemy? Mom and dad are no doubt worried about the little fellow. Such is true in the Christian life. A young Christian should be looking up to and greats! Polycarp, Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Ryle, Piper, MacArthur, etc! (And for the girls: Fanny Crosby, Joni Eareckson Tada, Dorothy Sayers, etc!)

There are more examples of wrong in this world than I could name. There are people who label themselves Christian who drag the name of Christ through the mud and every believer therewith. They make a mockery of ministry and pastoral office by embezzling or molestation or. They go to church on Sunday but were at the club on Saturday. They are modern day Pharisees or Sadducees. They call out “LORD! LORD!” but hear, “Depart…” Such people are a blight on Christianity. Sadly, they do not know God because they have never experienced His regenerating power. They go through the Country Club Christianity hoops and make all look well, but behind that veneer are people whose earthly hell will be forgotten in the eternal one. Then! But! However! Nevertheless! In every age there are 7000 who have not bowed the knee to Baal (I use this metaphorically). They weep and war against every sin. They preach the word in and out of season. They love Christ so much that by comparison they hate all else. They encourage others. They give generously to others. Most of them serve the Lord faithfully getting little if any praise on earth and in the end hear, “Enter into the joy of your Master.” All of them have had the life changing, metamorphous power of the Holy Spirit enact on their heart as to turn it from stone to flesh. These are the people we should look to and copy. We should want to be like the man who volunteers to clean the toilets at church. We should want to be like the woman who works in the nursery surrounding by screaming children every Sunday because she loves the Lord that much. We should want to be like the missionary who is far from any of the comforts of home because a lost soul saved is worth infinitely more than any air conditioner or heater or blanket or glass of clean water.

PRAYER: O Lord, in the name of Your Son Jesus Christ I come… help me to be like the men and women whose faith is strong, those famous and those nameless (in this world at least). Let me see bad for how bad it really is and be repulsed by it. Let me see good for how it glorifies you, then let me do it to for Your glory alone. May I encourage others who are working hard, standing firm, and living as best they can lives of holiness to continue. May I exhort others to follow Godly men and women as they follow Christ. May I be gracious when a Christian stumbles because I will stumble too. And may my heart break for those who have never known You so I may have the courage to tell them about the only hope. Amen.


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