3 John Lesson

Choosing Our Friends Wisely


In his third epistle, John contrasts the character of two vastly different figures:

  1. Gaius, who was good,
  2. Diotrephes, who was bad.


John calls Gaius:

  • “The beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth (3 John 1).”  

He mentions that he has received good reports about Gaius for:

  • “Acting faithfully in whatever you accomplish for the brethren, and especially when they are strangers (3 John 5).”


By way of contrast, Diotrephes did not receive commendation from John.

Quite the opposite!  

Diotrephes did not accept what John had told him in previous letters.  

In his third epistle, John calls him out for:

  • “Unjustly accusing us with wicked words; and not satisfied with this, neither does he himself receive the brethren, and he forbids those who desire to do so, and puts them out of the church (3 John 10).”


The examples of Gaius and Diotrephes show us that John paid attention to the types of people that he associated with.

So should we!

In his first letter to the Corinthians, the Apostle Paul wrote:

It matters to God who we choose to associate with.


Because the  people that we associate with influence how we behave.  

If we spend our time associating with people who frequently sin, there is a greater probability that we will sin.

Conversely, if we surround ourselves with people of faith who prioritize keeping God’s commandments, their behavior can elevate ours and cause us to sin less often.


There are three takeaways from John’s third epistle that we have highlighted in today’s lesson:

  1. It is important for us to evaluate the people that we associate with.Are they Godly people, like Gaius, seeking to serve the Lord?   Or are they sinners, like Diotrephes? This epistle is a call to action!   As we read it, we should become motivated to seek out the Gaius' in our lives and try to imitate their righteous behavior.   Conversely, we need to recognize the Diotrephes’ in our lives that cause us to sin, and disassociate ourselves from them before they corrupt our behavior,
  2. Gaius had a positive impact on John.   Gaius was a follower of Jesus who lived his life in such a way that others noticed his love for the Lord.   How about us?   What do people say about our faith?   During His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in Heaven.” – Mathew 5:16.   God wants us to live our lives in such a way that others see our love for the Lord and are brought closer to God as a result of having known us.   Each of us gets only one life on earth, and we all will be judged for how we choose to live it.   (Hebrews 9:27).   John’s third epistle encouragesus to evaluate our lives and make sure that we are putting God first and surrounding ourselves with people doing the same.  
  3. We need to identify the people in our lives that are only out for themselves and disassociate ourselves from them before their selfish behaviors have a negative impact on our souls.

If we pay attention to what the scriptures are telling us, we can avoid potential pitfalls in our lives and avoid temptations that cause us to stumble.  

One of the ways that we do that is by choosing our friends carefully.

To choose good over evil.

  • “Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good.   The one who does good is of God; the one who does evil has not seen God.” –3 John 11.  

We will conclude today’s lesson with the following Psalm:

  • “Blessed is the person who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers!   But his delight is in the Law of the Lord, and on His Law he meditates day and night.He will be like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers.   The wicked are not so, but they are like chaff which the wind blows away.   Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.   For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.” – Psalm 1:1-6.


Virtual Bible Study™

1) What did today’s Bible study make you think or feel?
2) What questions do you have?
3) How can you apply what you have learned to something specific in your life?


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for me when i was younger i felt that the only way to protect myself after being bullied was to built up shield around me and mimic what others behaviors would do , i'll say this i want to find friends who are in this faith i met a few nice people we are not as close as i hope but i want to increase my walk in faith and by doing so i need to first surround myself with others who wish to walk in there faith

Melanie <3

I lost any friends i had left 2 years ago but, for the better i would say. She did and said many things behind my back. I had no idea and of course upon finding out i was devastated. I guess God was just keeping a lookout for me :') Up until today i have no friends, but who needs friends when you have a Savior who'll never betray you or push you away <3


I am so blessed to have a core group of friends that I can count on to support me.

Virtual Bible Study™

1) What did today’s Bible study make you think or feel?
2) What questions do you have?
3) How can you apply what you have learned to something specific in your life?


Pat Dermody

If we surround ourselves with God loving people, we improve our chances of not only growing in our faith but reinforcing our beliefs. We can help one another and our example can be spread out further.

James A Guillory

Always always keep your eyes on Jesus and your walk with him, always to walk with him in a way that pleases him and the closer we walk with Jesus the more and more His character will reflect out of our daily walk and we will be the influence in other people's lives that draw people to Christ!!