3 John 1: 13, 14
I had many things to write, but I will not with ink and pen write to you:…
I had many things to write, etc. What a precious boon communication by writing is when communication by speech is unattainable! How valuable is writing also when accuracy and permanence are desired! Yet writing has its disadvantages as compared with speech, as St. John found at this time.
I. THE APOSTLE'S HOPE. "I hope shortly to see thee, and we shall speak face to face." He hoped for communication by speech, which, as compared with writing, is:
1. More easy and rapid.
2. More expressive.
3. More pleasurable.
The sainted apostle mentions this in closing his former private Epistle. "That your joy may be fulfilled."
II. THE APOSTLE'S BENEDICTION. "Peace be unto thee." A very comprehensive benediction. It comprises:
1. Peace in our relation to God. This peace is a consequence of the forgiveness of our sins and our reconciliation unto God. "Thy sins are forgiven... go in peace." "Being justified by faith, let us have peace with God," etc. The peace also which flows from confidence in God as regards the possibilities of the future (see Matthew 6:25-34). "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee."
2. Peace in our relation to men. The absence of jealousy, revenge, bitterness of spirit, etc. The practical recognition of the claims of others upon us. And the exercise of good will, kindness, etc.
3. Peace in our own being. The accusations of conscience silenced by the removal of our guilt through the mercy of God.
"I feel within me
A peace above all earthly dignities,
A still and quiet conscience."
(Shakespeare.) The conflict between the flesh and the spirit ended in the victory of the spirit. The rebellion of passion against principle, and of appetites against aspirations, quelled by the power of the Divine life in the soul. By his grace God establishes order in a man's own being, brings the faculties and propensities of his nature into harmony, and so gives to him inward peace. In this way the peace of the Christian soul is complete. Our Lord bequeathed this peace unto his disciples. "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you," etc. (John 14:27; John 20:19, 26).
4. Perfect peace in heaven. Here our realization of this peace is variable. Doubts assail us; fears depress us; sickness and sorrow darken and disturb, if they do not distress us. Serenity of spirit is not always ours. But hereafter "God shall wipe away every tear from our eyes," etc. (Revelation 21:4).
III. THE APOSTLE'S GREETING. "The friends salute thee. Salute the friends by name." - W.J.
Parallel VersesKJV: I had many things to write, but I will not with ink and pen write unto thee: