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3 John 11

3 John 11
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3 John 11, “Beloved, do not imitate the evil but the good. The one doing good is from God; the one doing evil has not seen God.”

In the context of 3 John, John is contrasting Gaius and Diotrephes. “Doing good” means—like Gaius—to generously receive and to love other believers for the sake of the Name of Christ (v.7-8). “Doing evil” means—like Dotrephes—to reject and withhold from others in order to build one’s self up. What is amazing about this text is that John says the one who does evil—who preserves for themselves, exalts themselves, refuses to generously receive others in Christ’s name—that person *has not seen God.*

“Seeing God,” then, necessarily results in a life of self-giving, other-upbuilding love in the Name of Christ. Why is this? Because one truly “sees God” only in the crucified Jesus Christ as He is proclaimed in the body of the risen Christ and illuminated by the Holy Spirit. We “see God” when we look, by faith and with eyes washed in the Spirit, to the cross of Calvary and there behold the “knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6). And if THIS is where we see God….then to see God here and receive God here must necessarily begin to transform us into the same image (2 Cor.3:18).

Conversely, if we are not growing in likeness to Christ (ie, self-giving love for the sake of His Name), then we have never really seen God…Oh, we may know the doctrine, we may know the passages, we may know the histories and the languages, etc. etc…but if our lives are not becoming ever more marked by likeness to Christ (love / “good”), then we have never really seen our God as He pours Himself out in love to His enemies on Calvary.

So may we, by grace, see, savor, and sing the beauty of the one true God as He has definitively declared Himself to creation on the resurrection-illumined cross, and seeing Him there, may we be increasingly conformed to that same image.