A Good Testimony

by Jeffrey W. Hamilton

Text: III John


I.          The book of III John is not very long, but it teaches us many things concerning our example.

             A.         There is the bad example of Diotrephes, but there is the excellent example of Demetrius - III John 11-12

             B.         People spoke well of him, but John mentions that the Truth also gave him a good testimony.

                          1.          Now that sounds interesting. How does one have the Truth witness on their behalf?

                          2.          The Truth defines good behavior.

                          3.          Demetrius’ life exemplified that life. It was consistent with the Truth.

             C.         If such can be said of Demetrius, it can be said of you or I.

II.         By Speaking the Truth - III John 3

             A.         To have a good testimony from the Truth one must speak truthfully

                          1.          Too many are untruthfully. It is easy to tell when they are lying, just look and see if their mouth is open.

                          2.          It bothers me that so many will say, “you don’t really mean that!” If that was true, why would I say it?

                          3.          Christians are to be honest - Ephesians 4:25

                                       a.          People should be able to rely on your word

                                       b.          Colossians 3:9-10 - Lying is of our old ways.

                          4.          God has always expected it of his people - Zechariah 8:16-17

                          5.          Wisdom teaches us to always speak the truth - Proverbs 8:6-9

             B.         Speaking the truth is more than speaking what we think is the truth

                          1.          Truth is rooted in righteousness - Proverbs 12:17

                          2.          Always speak as God’s words - I Peter 4:11

                          3.          Some prefer fables - II Timothy 4:1-4

                                       a.          They turn against those to speak the truth - Galatians 4:16

                                       b.          Truth will make people uncomfortable at times

                                       c.          Falsehoods will give deceptive comfort

                          4.          We are to speak the truth in love to cause others to grow - Ephesians 4:16

III.        By Obeying the Truth - III John 3-4

             A.         God’s word is truth - John 17:17

             B.         Listening to and following the truth bears fruit - Colossians 1:3-6

                          1.          Those who receive the word have honest and good hearts - Luke 8:15

             C.         The truth must be believed - Ephesians 1:13-14>

             D.         Truth must be obeyed - I Peter 1:22-23

                          1.          Without obedience we are storing up wrath - Romans 2:5-8

             E.         The real assurance of salvation and forgiveness of sins is the testimony of the Truth.

IV.       By Practicing the Truth - III John 5-8

             A.         Not just in words, but in our deeds - I John 3:17-19

             B.         Words alone accomplish nothing - James 2:14-16

             C.         Romans 12:9-18 - Notice verse 17, doing what is right in the sight of all men

V.         Some people want to give their testimony.

             A.         The testimony of an individual on his own behalf is not worth much - John 5:31

             B.         It is not what we think of ourselves. If we are walking in the truth, others will notice and comment on it - III John 12

             C.         But most importantly is what does God think of your life? - II Corinthians 5:10-12; I Corinthians 4:1-5

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