You Walk in the Truth
1 The elder [of the church addresses this letter] to the beloved and esteemed Gaius, whom I love in truth.
2 Beloved, I pray that in every way you may succeed and prosper and be in good health [physically], just as [I know] your soul prospers [spiritually]. 3 For I was greatly pleased when [some of the] brothers came [from time to time] and testified to your [faithfulness to the] truth [of the gospel message], that is, how you are walking in truth. 4 I have no greater joy than this, to hear that my [spiritual] children are living [their lives] in the truth.
5 Beloved, you are acting faithfully in what you are providing for the brothers, and especially when they are strangers; 6 and they have testified before the church of your love and friendship. You will do well to [assist them and] send them on their way in a manner worthy of God. 7 For these [traveling missionaries] went out for the sake of the Name [of Christ], accepting nothing [in the way of assistance] from the Gentiles. 8 So we ought to support such people [welcoming them as guests and providing for them], so that we may be fellow workers for the truth [that is, for the gospel message of salvation].
9 I wrote something to the church; but Diotrephes, who loves to put himself first, does not accept what we say and refuses to recognize my authority. 10 For this reason, if I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, unjustly accusing us with wicked words and unjustified charges. And not satisfied with this, he refuses to receive the [missionary] brothers himself, and also forbids those who want to [welcome them] and puts them out of the church.
11 Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but [imitate] what is good. The one who practices good [exhibiting godly character, moral courage and personal integrity] is of God; the one who practices [or permits or tolerates] evil has not seen God [he has no personal experience with Him and does not know Him at all]. 12 Demetrius has received a good testimony and commendation from everyone—and from the truth [the standard of God’s word] itself; and we add our testimony and speak well of him, and you know that our testimony is true.
15 Peace be to you. The friends [here] greet you. Greet the friends [personally] by name.
To my dear friend Gaius, whom I love in the truth.
2Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, just as you are progressing spiritually. 3It gave me great joy when some believers came and testified about your faithfulness to the truth, telling how you continue to walk in it. 4I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.
5Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers and sisters,1:5 The Greek word for brothers and sisters (adelphoi) refers here to believers, both men and women, as part of God’s family. even though they are strangers to you. 6They have told the church about your love. Please send them on their way in a manner that honours God. 7It was for the sake of the Name that they went out, receiving no help from the pagans. 8We ought therefore to show hospitality to such people so that we may work together for the truth.
9I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will not welcome us. 10So when I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, spreading malicious nonsense about us. Not satisfied with that, he even refuses to welcome other believers. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church.
11Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God. 12Demetrius is well spoken of by everyone – and even by the truth itself. We also speak well of him, and you know that our testimony is true.
13I have much to write to you, but I do not want to do so with pen and ink. 14I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face.
15Peace to you.
The friends here send their greetings. Greet the friends there by name.