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  • Not the Gaius of Macedonia in Acts 19:29, nor the Gaius of Derbe in Acts 20:4, nor the Gaius of Corinth in 1 Cor. 1:14 and Rom. 16:23, but another named Gaius (the name was very common at that time). According to the contents of this Epistle, he must have been an outstanding brother in the church.

  • According to the context of the verse, this refers to external and material things.

  • Probably in the sense of prayer.

  • The Greek word means to go on well, as in a journey (Rom. 1:10). I.e., to succeed in reaching a desired end; thus, to prosper.

  • Bodily health, as in Luke 5:31; 7:10; 15:27.

  • Man is of three parts: spirit, soul, and body (1 Thes. 5:23 and note 1 Thes. 5:235c). The soul is the organ that mediates between the body and the spirit; it possesses self-consciousness, that man may have his personality. It is contained in the body and is the vessel to contain the spirit. As to the believer, God as the Spirit dwells in his regenerated spirit (Rom. 8:9, 16) and spreads from his spirit to saturate his soul that it may be transformed to express Him (Rom. 12:2; 2 Cor. 3:18). This is the prosperity of the believer's soul. When our soul is occupied and directed by the Spirit of God through our spirit so that it directs and uses our body for God's purposes, it prospers. The apostle wished that the recipient, who was a beloved brother, outstanding in such a prosperity of his soul, might prosper in all things and in bodily health, just as his soul prospered in the divine life.

  • The Greek word means to go on well, as in a journey (Rom. 1:10). I.e., to succeed in reaching a desired end; thus, to prosper.

  • Lit., your truth. This is the truth concerning Christ, especially His deity (see note 2 John 1:15). By the revelation of this truth the recipient's way of life was determined, and the recipient held to this truth as his fundamental belief. It is the objective truth that had become subjective in the recipient's daily walk.

  • The recipient not only held to the truth but also walked and lived in the truth. The truth concerning the person of Christ should be not only our belief but also our living, a living that testifies to our belief.

  • See note 2 John 1:42. So also in v. 4.

  • Referring to the providing of hospitality (as taught by Paul in Rom. 12:13 and Heb. 13:2), the receiving of the brothers (vv. 7-8) who traveled for the gospel and the ministry of the word.

  • Most of the recipients of the hospitality were strangers, unacquainted with Gaius.

  • In the past.

  • The church where the apostle was.

  • In the future. On one hand, the apostle praised Gaius for what he had done in receiving the traveling brothers in the past; on the other hand, he encouraged him to send them forward in the future.

  • The sending forward should be in a manner that matches God, who is generous, indicating that the sending forward must be with generosity.

  • The exalted and glorious name of the wonderful Christ (Phil. 2:9 and note Phil. 2:93; Acts 5:41; James 2:7).

  • The pagans, who have nothing to do with God's move on this earth to carry out His economy. If anyone who works for God's New Testament economy receives help for God's work, especially financial support, from the unbelievers, this is a shame and even an insult to God. In the apostle's time, the brothers who worked for God took nothing from the pagans.

  • The Greek word is made up of two words: under and to take; thus, to take up (from underneath), that is, to undertake, to sustain, to support. We, the believers, including the apostle, ought to support and undertake for the needs of the brothers who work for God in His divine truth and who take nothing from the Gentiles.

  • Denoting the revealed divine reality as the contents of the New Testament, according to the apostles' teaching concerning the Divine Trinity, especially the person of the Lord Jesus, for God's economy. All the apostles and faithful brothers worked for this.

  • Of which Gaius was a member.

  • The Greek word is made up of of Zeus (Zeus was the chief of the gods in the Greek pantheon) and to nourish; hence, Zeus-nourished. This indicates that Diotrephes, a professing Christian, never dropped his pagan name, contrary to the practice of the early believers, who took a Christian name at their baptism. According to history, he advocated the Gnostic heresy, which blasphemed the person of Christ. It is no wonder that he mingled with the believers as one who loved to be first among them.

  • This is against the words of the Lord in Matt. 20:25-27 and Matt. 23:8-11, which keep all His believers on the same level, that of brothers. In 2 John 1:9 the Cerinthian Gnostics took the lead to advance in doctrine beyond the teaching concerning Christ. Here in 3 John 1:9 is one who was under the influence of Gnostic heretical doctrine and loved to be first in the church. The former was a matter of intellectual arrogance; the latter, of self-exaltation in one's actions. These two evils are sharp weapons used by God's enemy, Satan, to execute his evil plot against God's economy. One damages the believers' faith in the divine reality; the other frustrates the believers' work in God's move.

  • I.e., receive hospitably.

  • The Greek word is derived from a word meaning to boil over, to overflow with words, to talk idly; hence, to babble, to speak folly or nonsense.

  • The Greek word means pernicious, as in 1 John 5:19 (see note 1 John 5:194b).

  • cf. John 9:22, 34

  • The Greek word means worthless, wicked, depraved.

  • The Greek word means to be a well-doer (as a favor or a duty), practicing good; hence, to do good.

  • Lit., out of (see note 1 John 5:191). God is the source of good. A well-doer, a doer of good, is one who is out of God and who belongs to God (cf. 1 John 3:8).

  • The Greek word means to be an evildoer, practicing evil; hence, to do evil.

  • An evildoer not only is not out of God but has not even seen God.

  • Demetrius, who might have been one of the brothers who traveled in working for the Lord (vv. 5-8), perhaps was the one who bore this Epistle to Gaius. Hence, it was necessary that he receive a favorable and strong commendation from the writer.

  • This indicates that Demetrius must have been a brother working among the churches, and thus was well known.

  • The revealed truth of God as the reality of the essence of the Christian faith (see note 1 John 1:66). This truth is the divine rule for the walk of all believers, and by it the believers' walk is determined. Thus, it gives good testimony to him who walks in it, as it did to Demetrius.

  • The apostle John and his associates.

  • The Greek word (an adjective akin to truth (reality) — cf. note 1 John 5:205c) means genuine, real; hence, true.

  • Lit., mouth to mouth.

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