3 John 1:3
For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
1:1-8 Those who are beloved of Christ, will love the brethren for his sake. Soul prosperity is the greatest blessing on this side heaven. Grace and health are rich companions. Grace will employ health. A rich soul may be lodged in a weak body; and grace must then be exercised in submitting to such a dispensation. But we may wish and pray that those who have prosperous souls, may have healthful bodies; that their grace may shine where there is still more room for activity. How many professors there are, about whom the apostle's words must be reversed, and we must earnestly wish and pray that their souls might prosper, as their health and circumstances do! True faith will work by love. A good report is due from those who receive good; they could not but testify to the church, what they found and felt. Good men will rejoice in the soul prosperity of others; and they are glad to hear of the grace and goodness of others. And as it is a joy to good parents, it will be a joy to good ministers, to see their people adorn their profession. Gaius overlooked petty differences among serious Christians, and freely helped all who bore the image, and did the work of Christ. He was upright in what he did, as a faithful servant. Faithful souls can hear their own praises without being puffed up; the commendation of what is good in them, lays them at the foot of the cross of Christ. Christians should consider not only what they must do, but what they may do; and should do even the common actions of life, and of good-will, after a godly sort, serving God therein, and designing his glory. Those who freely make known Christ's gospel, should be helped by others to whom God gives the means. Those who cannot themselves proclaim it, may yet receive, help, and countenance those who do so.For I rejoiced greatly when the brethren came - Who these were is not certainly known. They may have been members of the same church with Gaius, who, for some reason, had visited the writer of this Epistle; or they may have been the "brethren" who had gone from him with a letter of commendation to the church, 3 John 1:9, and had been rejected by the church through the influence of Diotrephes, and who, after having been hospitably entertained by Gaius, had again returned to the writer of this Epistle. In that case, they would of course bear honorable testimony to the kindness which they had received from Gaius, and to his Christian character.

And testified of the truth that is in thee - That you adhere steadfastly to the truth, notwithstanding the fact that errors abound, and that there are many false teachers in the world.

Even as thou walkest in the truth - Livest in accordance with the truth. The writer had made the same remark of the children of Cyria, to whom the second Epistle was directed. See the notes at 2 John 1:4.

3. testified of the truth that is in thee—Greek, "of" (or 'to') thy truth": thy share of that truth in which thou walkest [Alford].

even as thou—in contrast to Diotrephes (3Jo 9).

Ver. 3,4. The truth is familiarly used to signify the pure doctrine of Christianity, which in its principal design aims at correspondent practice. That his children, i.e. such as had been converted to Christ by his ministry, {as 1 Corinthians 4:15} of whom it appears Gaius was one, did

walk in the truth; ( an apt expression of such correspondent practice); was greatest matter of joy to this holy apostle, especially when the godly lives of such, to whose conversion he had been instrumental, were so observable, as to gain them a testimony from all others that knew them, as it was in the present instance.

For I rejoiced greatly when the brethren came,.... From the place where Gaius lived, to that where John now resided; these brethren seem to be preachers of the word, who travelled from place to place to spread the Gospel:

and testified of the truth that is in thee; either of Christ, who was formed in him; or of the Gospel, which had a place in his heart; or of the truth of grace that was in him, as well as of that faithfulness, integrity, and sincerity he appeared to be possessed of, being an Israelite indeed, and without guile:

even as thou walkest in the truth: in Christ, and in the Gospel, and as became it, and with all uprightness; see 2 John 1:4; and this occasioned great joy in the apostle; as it is matter of joy to every one that truly loves Christ, and his Gospel; or has the true grace of charity in him, which envies not the gifts and graces of others, but rejoiceth in the truth, wherever it is found; and especially to the faithful ministers of the word, when they hear of the truth of grace in any souls, and that such continue walking in the truth of the Gospel, and particularly those who have been wrought upon under their ministry, as follows.

For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
3 John 1:3. Confirmation of the foregoing statement.

ἐχάρην γὰρ λίαν] see on 2 John 1:4. When and why the apostle felt such a joy is stated in the two following participial sentences, of which, however, as far as the sense is concerned, the first is subordinate to the second; à Mons: lorsque les frères qui sont venus ont rendu témoignage.

μαρτυρεῖν, with the dative of the thing: “to testify of anything;” comp. 3 John 1:6; 3 John 1:12; John 3:26; John 5:33; John 18:37.

By σου τῇ ἀληθείᾳ it is not the truth in the objective sense (Calovius: veritas evangelii) in so far as Caius had received it, but the truth in the subjective sense, that is to be understood (so also Lücke, Düsterdieck, Braune, etc.): the inner Christian life, which is born of the truth, is itself truth; some commentators incorrectly limit the idea to a single element of it; e.g. Lorinus to liberalitas.

The addition: καθὼς σὺ ἐν ἀληθείᾳ περιπατεῖς (comp. 2 John 1:4), serves as an explanation of the preceding: “namely how thou,” etc. In the fact that the brethren testified that Caius was walking in the truth, they bore a testimony to the truth that was in him. The sentence is not “a direct sentence” (Baumgarten-Crusius: “as thou indeed art living in accordance with the truth”) by which “John adds his testimony to that of the brethren (Besser) in order to confirm it” (Ebrard), but “an indirect sentence” (Brückner) dependent on μαρτυρούντων, on which a special emphasis is laid, as also the ἀκούω in 3 John 1:4 shows (so also Düsterdieck, Braune). σύ is emphatically used in contrast to those who do not walk ἐν ἀληθείᾳ.

3 John 1:3. ἐχάρην, see note on 2 John 1:4. ἐρχομένων, repeatedly, not on one particular occasion (ἐλθόντων). The itinerant brethren (die reisenden Brüder) were always at work, going out from Ephesus on their missions and returning with their reports. Cf. 3 John 1:5-6. See Introd. p. 155.

3. For] ‘I know that thy soul is in a prosperous condition, for I have it on good authority.’

I rejoiced greatly] See on 2 John 1:4. This cannot so well be the epistolary aorist, but rather refers to the definite occasions when information was brought. Of course if ‘rejoiced’ becomes present as epistolary aorist, ‘came’ and ‘bare witness’ must be treated in like manner.

testified of the truth that is in thee] Better, bare witness (see on 1 John 1:2) to thy truth (see on 3 John 1:6). The whole, literally rendered, runs thus; For I rejoiced greatly at brethren coming and witnessing to thy truth. John 5:33 is wrongly quoted as a parallel. There the Baptist ‘hath borne witness to the truth,’ i.e. to the Gospel or to Christ. Here the brethren bare witness to Gaius’s truth, i.e. to his Christian life, as is shewn by what follows. The ‘thy’ is emphatic, as in 3 John 1:6; perhaps in contrast to the conduct of Diotrephes. Comp. Luke 4:22.

even as thou walkest in the truth] Omit ‘the,’ as in 2 John 1:4. This is part of what the brethren reported, explaining what they meant by Gaius’s truth.

3 John 1:3. Ἐχάρην, I rejoiced) This is enlarged upon in 3 John 1:4.—γὰρ, for) A healthy state of the soul is known by the works; and the prayers of the righteous further this state.—καθὼς, even as) is explanatory.—σὺ) thou; opposed to Diotrephes, 3 John 1:9.

Vers. 3, 4. - For I rejoiced greatly. We must not lose sight of the "for," which is full of meaning. The elder has just expressed a wish that the external well-being of Gains may equal the well-being of his soul; and he is quite sure of the latter, for brethren keep coming and bearing witness to the fact. The good report of Gains is still greater joy to the apostle than the evil report of Diotrephes is a sorrow to him. The language in condemnation of Diotrephes, severe as it is, is not so strong as this in thankful delight respecting Gaius: Greater joy have I none than (to hear of) these things. "Greater" is made doubly emphatic, first by position at the beginning of the sentence, and secondly by the double comparative μειζοτέραν. 3 John 1:3Rejoiced greatly

See on 2 John 1:4.

Brethren came (ἐρχομένων ἀδελφῶν)

Lit., coming. The present participle denotes coming from time to time, and not coming on a single occasion, which would require the aorist. On brethren, see on 1 John 2:9.

Thou walkest in truth

See on 1 John 1:8. for the phrase walk in, see on 2 John 1:6. Thou is emphatic, suggesting a contrast with less faithful ones, as Diotrephes, 3 John 1:9.

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