DIG Gals Bible Study: 3 John

This is the final study of the epistles written by John. We will observe and interpret 3 John as we look at today’s text.

Third John is another short letter, only 14 verses directed to a brother in the Lord whom John loved very much.

Let’s start at the beginning. As usual, my study Bible is the King James Version so you may want to follow along in your favourite version as we study this book together.

Our examination of the Word is through the Inductive Study Approach where we ask the 5 Ws and H questions, that is, who-what-where-when-why-how.  We used this approach in Second John and First John as we studied chapter 1, chapter 2, chapter 3, chapter 4 and chapter 5 along with the summary of the book.


Author and Recipient

To begin, we want to learn who is the author and recipient. This information can be recorded on the 3 John Worksheet found in my Free Libraries. You can download your worksheet by signing up to the Insiders Pod which will give you the access to both libraries and regular bi-weekly insider updates from the blog.

In Second John, the writer started the letter with reference to himself as the Elder and again in 3 John, he uses this same term.

John is the Elder and his audience is Gaius who is referred as well-beloved Gaius whom I love in the truth.

On the worksheet, record the Author and Recipient and on the next page, you can record what you learn about Gaius.

Gaius is a beloved man of God who walked in the truth and is faithful in everything that he did for his brethren. His actions spoke well of him as strangers were also on the receiving end of his kindness and faithfulness. What a wonderful testimony and reputation to have as other people knew of his acts of kindness in the church! He even helped out when the brethren from surrounding communities arrived in town. Look at 3 John 7, when the brethren headed out again, they had supplies for their journey as they did not have to take anything from the Gentiles. Such kindness and generosity Gaius displayed!


3 John | Bible Study | Inductive Study Method | Inductive Bible Study |
Free Stock Photo: BossLatina Collection


Who Else?

We are introduced to two other men, Diotrephes and Demetrius. Let’s take a closer look at them. Remember, we are asking the questions, who-what-where-when-why-how to find out who they are and why they were mentioned.

Diotrephes seems to be a man who loved himself by lifting himself up among the believers. John wrote to Diotrephes’ church but he would not welcome John as a traveling speaker. More than that, Diotrephes spoke very unkindly about John and his co-workers, speaking maliciously against them. Diotrephes went so far as to forbid his church to receive John and his team!! And not only that, he cast the church members out of the church! {Jaw-drop!}

John reminds Gaius that those who do good have God in them and those who do evil, are not part of God’s family.

Paul told us in his writings that when believers are faced with false teachers, we are to “mark them and avoid them.” This means to make it known who the false teachers are so other believers will not be deceived. It is interesting that John also agreed with Paul about this as John mentioned to Gaius that he should not follow Diotrephes. He didn’t say that Diotrephes is a false teacher but he certainly did tell Gaius of the treatment he and his team received from Diotrephes. I would say that it is important to be aware of who to avoid. Would you agree?

Demetrius is the opposite of Diotrephes. He has a good report among men and a good reputation regarding the truth. As well, John and his team gave their endorsement of Demetrius so the Christian community would be comforted in knowing they could trust Demetrius.

Quite a difference between these two men, wouldn’t you say? Do you see now why they were mentioned?


3 John Key Words & “Contrasts”

Marking key words in this book will be easy as there are only three words to note.

  • evil
  • good
  • truth

Remember the importance of “contrasts?” They drive home the significant truths and make it easier to remember.  One such contrast is two of these key words: evil and good. The common denominator for them is whether the person has seen God or not. He who does evil has not seen God, therefore he who does good, is of God.

John then uses part of this contrast to say that Demetrius has a good reputation among the men. Nothing more needs to be said about Diotrephes.



You know what I will be asking you next, right? Based on your observations, what is the theme of this short book? I noted a similarity in themes between Second and Third John. I have two themes at the top of the page, one in each corner in my Bible: Walk in Truth and Do Not Follow After Evil.

What did you come up with? The Face of Evil? Anything else?

As you sum up this book, what is your main takeaway? What information did you receive that will help you in your walk?

Christians “ought to leave a good report,” says the Apostle Paul. How is your testimony before your family and friends and neighbours? Are you known for your compassion and understanding? For your generosity?


I have a surprise for you. Actually, three surprises. Three bookmarks for completing our studies on the three epistles by John. Physical size is 2×5 inches.

Sign up for the Go – Gather – Grow Letters to receive an email with the access password to the Resource Library.


Well, this is a wrap. We have studied all three epistles written by John. Hope you enjoyed the studies and learned much!

Please leave a comment for me. I look forward to reading what you have to say. I always talk with my Father about any comments I receive. We are both pleased!







About Cindy

Lovin' the Word of God - reading it - studying it - sharing it - living it!

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