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Be prosperous in the image of the well-being of your soul
december 2018



The epistle of 3 John, with a total of 15 verses, is the second shortest book in the Bible, after the epistle of 2 John which has 13. By reading this letter, we let us notice from the outset that it presents a very clear contrast with the second. As one commentator put it, “  in the second we are told to keep the door to our house closed while in the third we are told to have it opened. The second warns us not to receive seducers; the third exhorts us to receive and support the true servants of God. The second warns us against the enemies of Christianity, while the third encourages us to maintain practical communion with our friends. In a word, one shows the firmness of love that refuses to receive those who do not teach the truth : one should not exercise hospitality towards false teachers in the name of love. The other is about the tenderness of love that helps those who announce the truth : all those who welcome the truth deserve to be loved and taken_cc781905-5cde-3194 -bb3b-136bad5cf58d_ take care of them[2].


    I.1 Context of the Epistle

The letter under study has truth as its theme, especially in the introductory part where the word " truth " appears five times[2], only in the first eight (8) verses. It is a call to hospitality to those who faithfully teach the truth of the gospel (see 2 John 10:11[i])[2]. Thus, the epistle under study, in this case 3 John, addresses the question of the duty of believers to show love and hospitality towards the brethren, in order to be faithful to the truth.


In this epistle, three men are mentioned by the addresser: Gaius, who is the addressee, Diotrephes, the reprimanded, and Demetrius, the messenger. The first and third are warmly praised, while the second is severely blamed. On the other hand, in this paper, we will be more interested in the wish of the apostle to the recipient of the letter formulated in these terms :

Beloved, I wish that in all things you prosper and be healthy, as your soul prospers (3 John 2, Darby)


In this context, we will indeed have to eradicate any ambiguity with regard to the character in question, namely Gaius,  in order to then understand the profound scope of the wish of the apostle_cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b -136bad5cf58d_nicknamed the Elder[ii].


     I.2 Gaius, who was he?


First of all, it should be pointed out that in the New Testament this name is mentioned several times. However, we do not know if this is the same Gaius referred to in Acts 19 :29; 20 :4; Romans 16 :23 and 1 Cor. different characters with the same name.


The whole town was in confusion. They all rushed to the theater together, taking with them Gaius and Aristarchus, Macedonians, Paul's traveling companions (Acts 19 : 29).


Thessalonica was the capital of Macedonia[iii] and Philippi was a province of it. This Gaius referred to here was  Macedonian as the text specified.


He had to accompany him to Asia: Sopater of Berea, son of Pyrrhus, Aristarchus and Second of Thessalonica, Gaius of Derbe, Timothy, as well as Tychicus and Trophimus, originating from Asia (Acts 20_cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b -136bad5cf58d_:4). 


The city of Derbe was in Galatia. Therefore, the latter was a Galatian.


Gaius, my guest and that of the whole Church, greets you. Erastus, the city treasurer, greets you and Brother Quartus (Romans 16 :23).


Paul wrote to the Romans from Corinth (Romans 16 :1), because the city of Cenchrea mentioned in Romans 16 was a port city of Corinth. So this Gaius, one of Paul's converts, was from Corinth, as the text clearly indicates.


I thank God that I baptized none of you, except Crispus and Gaius, so that no one would say that you were baptized in my name (1 Corinthians 1 : 14) .


By going through these passages, having noticed that it is not the same character, we find that this name was one of the most common in Roman society at the time. John MacArthur pointed this out as  : " Gaius " was among the 18 common names that Roman parents chose from the first name of their sons, all suppositions as to the exact identity of this character are subject to caution [3] ”.   However, in these few verses, we understand that this Gaius of whom the apostle John speaks was a believer, a brother in the faith, because of the term " bien -aimé ”. Because, in the New Testament, this term  is applied only to Christians[3]. Here are some supporting Bible texts :


Rom 1 :7; 16 :5,8; Phil 4 :1; Col 3 :12; 4 :9; Philemon -2; 2 Pie 3 :13-;1 John 4 :, etc.


Paul, prisoner of Jesus Christ, and brother Timothy, to Philemon, our beloved and fellow worker, … (Philemon 1 : 1)


13 But we look, according to his promise, for a new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. 14 Wherefore, beloved, while waiting for these things, strive to be found by him spotless and blameless in peace. 15 Believe that the patience of our Lord is your salvation, as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you, according to the wisdom given to him. (2 Peter 3 :13-15)


The Greek word translating it is therefore “ agapêtos ”, this,   to mean that the believer is not only loved by the community Christian but also of the Lord.


II- Considerations on the concept " Prosperity "


Se dit d'une situation de succès, de réussite, de bonheur ( or well-being) often based on the wealth, whether the situation of a country, a community or a person[1]. La prospérité se caractérise par l'abondance de biens et la croissance[2]. Thus, prosperity can therefore be defined as the material well-being that allows people to have no worries[3] to meet their needs. And, this quickly leads us to draw the parallel between happiness according to man and happiness according to God.


     II.1 Happiness according to humans vs. Happiness according to God


According to man, prosperity (happiness) is when he has at his disposal money, sex, house; when he enjoys good health, success in various fields; when he has the respect of others, a good reputation, a respectability, an apparent longevity, a loving family, a certain integrity, a beautiful self-esteem,   a spiritual realization according to his aspiration, etc. On the other hand, for God, happiness (the state of one who is “ heureux ”) is first of all Christocentric. Having Christ in one's heart is what makes man objectively “ happy ” and “ prosper03_cc754-debb35b7819 136bad5cf58d_". 


In the Old Testament, David said : “ Blessed is the man whose transgression is forgiven, and whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man whose iniquity the Lord does not reckon and in whose spirit there is no guile. The happiness of man, in the divine prism, begins with the forgiveness of his sins[4]. 

It is a happiness, according to the Word of God, which can be experienced even in suffering (see Matt 5 : 5-11 and the paradoxes of the beatitudes)[ iv].


So we see and see that man's happiness, centered in himself, is based on wealth and glory without God. On the other hand, in this passage read, the apostle John wants to show us the opposite while dividing his wish into three parts which we call the three aspects of the wish.


III- The aspects of the wish of the apostle John


The Greek term that translates the verb " wish " in this passage is "euchomai[v]". This word generally means in the New Testament to pray “ Pray God ”, but it is also used to express a strong and sincere desire to mean “_cc781905 -5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_prier, demander, désirer, souhaiter, vouloir ». Donc les mots « je souhaite_cc781905-5cde -3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_” can also be understood literally by “ je pray, I ask, I desire, I want ”. In this sense, John fervently wished that in every way Gaius could prosper in the image of the well-being of his soul. He wanted him to be prosperous in all directions (materially, physically, etc.). Thus, in this biblical passage, we have detected three aspects in the wish[4]:


     III.1 Material Prosperity : “ I wish you to be prosperous in all respects ”


Le verbe « prospérer » rend une forme du  verbe grec « euodoô_cc781905-5cde-3194- bb3b-136bad5cf58d_”. This English equivalent, which is only used here, in Romans 1 :10 and in 1 Corinthians 16 :2, means "_cc781905-5cde-3194- bb3b-136bad5cf58d_réussir », « que les choses vont bien » ou « jouir de circonstances favorables_cc781905 -5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_”[4], according to John MacArthur’s point of view. In Romans, we notice that the word can assume the meaning of " to enjoy favorable circumstances " : I always ask my prayers, to finally have, by the will of God, a favorable opportunity to come and see you (1 :10, KJV21). And, in 1 Corinthians, the word takes on the meaning of means and means  goods of the earth : Let each one of you, on the first day of the week, put goes home what he can, according to his means, so that they don't wait for my arrival to do the collections (16 :2). In addition, the phrase " in all respects " makes us think that the author would not yet need to specify either physical prosperity or make the comparison with the spiritual aspect, because that would have said everything, if it did not refer to this aspect. Nevertheless, in our view, he did so to demarcate the other two aspects, as to the true meaning of the word in the text, in order to remove any ambiguity. This, to mean that he wants to talk about material prosperity, his goods and means[vi]. Moreover, this version by Auguste Crampon[5] confirms the idea of the material aspect of the wish :

Beloved, above all things I wish the state of your affairs and your health to be as prosperous as that of your soul.

     III.2 Physical prosperity (well-being) : “  I wish you good health ”

      _cc781905- 5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_     _cc781905-5cde- 3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_     _cc781905-5cde-3194- bb3b-136bad5cf58d_     _cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b- 136bad5cf58d_ _cc781905-5c de-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_     _cc781905-5cde- 3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_     _cc781905-5cde-3194- bb3b-136bad5cf58d_ 

The apostle's solicitude for beloved Gaius expresses his earnest desire to see him free from the turmoil, suffering, and weakening that comes with sickness, so that he may be free to serve the Lord and his Church[4]. So to speak, the apostle John is talking about the health of the body. On the other hand, it is not necessary to suppose, in order to interpret this correctly, that Gaius was then suffering from a bodily indisposition (slight physical disorder), although it is perhaps quite natural to suppose so. [6], because John wants the wish for his health to be more important so that he continues to work for the advancement of the Kingdom of God.


     III.3 Spiritual prosperity or prosperity of one's soul

      _cc781905- 5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_     _cc781905-5cde- 3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_     _cc781905-5cde-3194- bb3b-136bad5cf58d_     _cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b- 136bad5cf58d_ _cc781905-5c de-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_     _cc781905-5cde- 3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_     _cc781905-5cde-3194- bb3b-136bad5cf58d_     _cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b- 136bad5cf58d_      _cc781905- 5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d__cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b -136bad5cf58d_      

Regarding this aspect of Gaius' life, John had no doubt that he was in good spiritual health. For John had learned, it would seem, from the "brethren" who had come to him (3 John 1:3) that Gaius lived a practical, daily Christian life; that he progressed in the knowledge of the truth by being exemplary in the duties of the Christian life; and John prays that in all other respects he may be as prosperous as he has been spiritually. It is not very common for a man to be more prosperous in his spiritual interests than in his other interests, or that we may, in our wishes for the well-being of our friends, make prosperity of the soul, the standard of our wishes with regard to other things. It shows a high degree of godliness when we can, as an expression of our highest desire for the well-being of our friends, express the hope that they may perhaps in every way be as prosperous as their spiritual concerns.


     III.4 Comparison made between the aspects of the wish with "As"

The subordinating conjunction “ Comme ”  introduces the idea of a comparison by marking the intensity of the latter. In this way, the apostle took care to show that, in his wish,  the spiritual aspect sets the tone for the other two aspects and not the other way around (Matthew 6_cc781905-5cde- 3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_:33).  And it is in this sense that, according to John MacArthur, the wish that John  is significant : the condition  of this man was so good that he could wish him physical health  commensurate with his vigor spiritual[3]. John's wish for beloved Gaius was legitimate. For he knew that the health of his soul was vibrant because of the testimony of those who knew him personally, as John indicated in the verses that follow.


IV- Considerations on the prosperity gospel : a false gospel.

Lately there is another gospel being preached, that of prosperity. We call it that because it is not based on the essence of the message for the salvation of souls. In other words, this “prosperity gospel” teaches that God wants Christians to be healthy, wealthy, and happy. It is a message that judges the spiritual state of believers according to their physical and material state.  So it is based on health and wealth as indicators of people's salvation. Any message not centered on Christ as a means of salvation is anathema (Ep 2 :8-9). It is in this sense that the apostle Paul, addressing the Christians of Galatia, expressed his concern, with regard to any message not having Christ as a base, in order to put them back on track_cc781905-5cde-3194- bb3b-136bad5cf58d_:


6I wonder that you turn away so quickly from him who called you by the grace of Christ, to pass to another gospel. 7Not that there is another gospel, but there are people who trouble you, and who want to overthrow the gospel of Christ. 8But when we ourselves, when an angel from heaven should proclaim another gospel than the one we have preached to you, let him be anathema! 9We have said it before, and I repeat it now: if anyone preaches a gospel to you other than the one you have received, let him be anathema! (Galatians 1 :6-9)


Paul expressed himself thus to signify that any message which does not rest on the person of Jesus Christ is another Gospel. At the time, the Galatians, seduced by false teachers, the Gnostics advocating a doctrine based on two false ideas where one of them declares that salvation is obtained by acquiring a superior knowledge of God [5], seeking their righteousness in the works of the law, fell from this grace under “the curse” (Galatians 3.10). Paul wanted them to know that Christ is the object and the content of the message, and this, without any mixing. Moreover, this is what he had reminded the Corinthians by saying to them:


      « …  je n' I didn't think I had to bring you anything other than Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ crucified... »

  (1 Corinthians 2 )


Therefore, so-called good news having a basis other than Jesus Christ is anathema, in light of the Word of God. For example, this prosperity gospel having nothing to do with saving souls is another gospel. In this sense, David W. Jones wrote an interesting article on this subject entitled : 5 doctrinal errors of the prosperity gospel[7], to signify that it is a false gospel. Incidentally, it should be noted that the Bible does not encourage poverty, since our God is capable and does not cease to bless us by forming peace projects for his children. However, what God aims above all for is the good spiritual health of our soul.


This is why the apostle John, in his greeting of wish to his beloved Gaius, prevailed the spiritual aspect before the material aspect. Moreover, he took the first aspect as the yardstick for the second.  And oftentimes we confuse true happiness by basing it on visible and perishable wealth only. Moreover, in the following passage, the Lord through the apostle John knew how to make the difference between the vision of the world and that of God, by repeating to the believers of the Church of Smyrna these words_cc781905-5cde- 3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_:


I know your tribulation and your poverty although you are rich, and the calumnies from those who call themselves Jews and are not, but who are a synagogue of Satan. (Revelation 2:9)


These people were poor in earthly goods, but rich in spiritual goods. In addition, Jesus Himself declared  that these treasures should not be hoarded, because they are ephemeral :


19 Do not lay up treasures on the earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break through or steal.… (Matthew 6 : 19-20)


As we have clearly indicated previously, according to the divine principle, it is the prosperity of the soul which shows and opens the  way to the riches of the earth. In the 33rd verse of the same chapter, and in the 36th verse of chapter 8 of the book of Mark, the Lord emphasized the prosperity of the soul :


Seek first the kingdom and righteousness of God; and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6 :33) "What is the use of a man gaining the world if he comes to lose his soul ?" (Mark 8_cc781905-5cde- 3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_:36).


Thus, the Lord wishes to remind us of the order of things : the salvation of our soul first. It simply means that this aspect is far more important and will set the tone for others.


V-  Why did the Apostle John consider Gaius to be spiritually prosperous?


For the apostle's consideration of the spiritual prosperity of beloved Gaius, the context is found in the rest of the passage (vv 3-8). The " car[8] " introduces the apostle's justification and motive for believing in the prosperous state of Gaius' soul. Thus, three reasons were mentioned :

  1. The truth [viii] was in him (3a)

  2. He walked in truth (3b-4)

  3. He demonstrated this truth by the practice of love (5-8).



     V.1 The truth was in him (3a)

In Greek, it is rather present participles that are used. So we will read :


          _cc781905-5cde-3194 -bb3b-136bad5cf58d_           _cc781905 -5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_         _cc781905-5cde-3194- bb3b-136bad5cf58d_         J'ai été fort réjoui des frères venant et rendant testimony to the truth of you.


Some interpreters conclude from these present participles that these brothers did not come just once, but on various occasions. Just as the words (Greek) to the truth of you, are explained in various ways. In this sense, the ancient exegetes meant by the truth, the Gospel, the true doctrine, and paraphrased: your fidelity, your attachment to the truth, the fact that you know and possess the truth[9]._cc781905-5cde-3194 -bb3b-136bad5cf58d_ And that, that he remains attached to the truth and that he lives according to this truth.


     V.2 He walked in truth (3b-4)

To walk in the Truth, you must first be in the Truth! One must be born from the Truth! Those who are not born again in Christ, and who simply strive to practice certain principles of morality and truth, cannot walk in the Truth, because they are not born of the Truth[10 ]. In this sense, Alister McGrath [6] was right to say : 

“…  for the Christian, sin is not primarily moral, it is theological. Our unhappy condition is the result of a faulty relationship with God. Sin has estranged us from God, alienated us from God; this condition of alienation is the root of the human dilemma; if we want our condition to change, we must restore a good relationship.”

We can only be of the Truth and restore this right relationship if we have gone through a spiritual new birth in Christ[ix]. And we can only go through a new spiritual birth if we repent of our sins, and if we accept Jesus as our Savior and our Lord. God then makes us penetrate into the Truth, which is Jesus. And He also brings the Truth into the depths of our hearts. We are begotten in Truth by the Word of Truth.

"  He (God) begot us according to his will, by the word of truth, so that we might be the firstfruits of his creatures " (James 1 : 18).


To walk in the truth[11], in the biblical sense of the term, very clearly means that Gaius kept the commandments of God and walked in his ways. In other words, the Word is the Truth. To walk in the Truth is therefore to follow in the footsteps of Jesus here below and to put into practice the Word of God[12]. So there is a match between what Gaius professed and what he did.


Physical prosperity as well as material prosperity, to speak of the perishable riches of the earth, and not being our delights as expressed above in Matthew 6 : 33, are considered blessings often arising from our good walk with God. Thus, in the Old Testament, God taught the people how to enjoy it fully.


8The LORD will command blessing to be with you in your barns and in all your enterprises. He will bless you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you. 9You will be a holy people to the LORD, as he swore to you, when you keep the commandments of the LORD your God, and walk in his ways.… (Deuteronomy 28_cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b- 136bad5cf58d_:8-9)


And that was exactly what the apostle wished for Gaius, since he was walking in the truth. However, the apostle did not declare that Gaius would be so but prays that it would be. To which, John MacArthur stipulated that (be in good health) did not imply that Gaius was unwell. Although that might as well be the case. Let us remember the case of Paul where God used him to work miracles and heal the sick in an extraordinary way.


11 And God was working extraordinary miracles through the hands of Paul, 12 so that they applied aprons or handkerchiefs that had touched his body to the sick, and the diseases left them, and the evil spirits came out. (Acts 18 :11-12)


On the other hand, he suffered from a thorn in the flesh[x] and could not heal himself while he delivered others from their physical obstacles (diseases, demonic possession, etc.).


About this trial, I prayed three times to the Lord to take it away from me, but he answered me: "My grace is sufficient for you, it is in weakness that my power is fully manifested... (2 corinthians 12 :8-9)


In this way, according to William McDonald [1], verse 2 of the book of 3 John “is especially interesting because it is in absolute contradiction to the teaching of many so-called faith healers. These claim that all sickness is the result of sin in the sick person's life and that if someone is not healed, he lacks faith. That certainly wasn't the case with Gaius, was it? His spiritual state was good, but his physical health left something to be desired. This proves that one cannot judge a person's spiritual state by his physical state_cc781905-5cde-3194 -bb3b-136bad5cf58d_”. On the other hand, what gave the apostle joy was to learn that his children were walking in the truth. (3 John 3)


     V.3 Demonstration of the truth by the practice of love (5-8).


Love is sacrifice, gift and action. It must be expressed and shared in truth. To have the truth within us is good; manifesting it in our life is better. We must not only own the truth, but let it own us. People would rather see a sermon lived than hear a sermon. Beloved Gaius demonstrated what he professed by the practice of love toward foreign brethren, "that is, members of churches established in other lands, traveled as traveling missionaries or evangelists »[13]. 136bad5cf58d_ responded to the exhortation that the apostle John made in his first epistle by saying :


If someone possesses the goods of the world, and seeing his brother in need closes his bowels to him, how does the love of God dwell in him? 18Little children, let us not love in words and with the tongue, but in deeds and with truth. 19By this we shall know that we are of the truth, and we shall reassure our hearts before him;… (1 John 3 : 17-19)


To properly understand the text in verse 7, the brothers were in need. On the other hand, they did not accept anything from the hands of unbelievers since it was the work of God.  The missionaries were then so impressed by the service that Gaius lavished on them in all humility only after having returned to Ephesus, that they bore witness to his love, in the presence of the Church [4]. So Gaius' actions matched his words. He was the perfect example of a person who practices what he preaches [3].


This is how saved people act since they are created in Jesus Christ to accomplish good works that God himself has prepared in advance in order to practice them (Ep 2_cc781905-5cde -3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_:10). In this sense, there was no dichotomy between the sermon delivered and its experience.


VI- Conclusion


In this reflection, we see that the spiritual well-being of a child of God is not measured by the amount of goods or the honors that people give him, but lies in obedience and the practice of the word of God. The apostle therefore invites us to turn away from such a perception by practicing good deeds in sincere love, especially[xi], towards our fellow believers.

      _cc781905- 5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_     _cc781905-5cde- 3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_     

9Let us not tire of doing good; for we will reap in due time if we do not slack off. 10 So therefore, while we have the opportunity, let us do good to all, and especially to the brethren in the faith. (Galatians 6 :9-10, KJV)


Salvation comes from faith which produces good works (Ep 2 :10). Consequently, good works are a proof of our faith and our good relationship with God (Ja 2 :14-18, 26) but do not determine it.


Like Gaius, would we like our physical condition to match our spiritual condition? Isn't it sadly true that we take more care of our bodies than of our souls? That's why someone made this ironic remark : "It is better not to express to all our friends the wish of verse 2 because, if the health of their body were to correspond to that of their soul, they could get sick [1]”. However, in verse 2 of the passage John alluded to the material and physical aspects of Gaius as the comparison of the second part of the verse makes clear.  What the apostle wishes it is therefore that these two aspects of the life of beloved Gaius are as good as his spiritual health.


So, my beloved ones, our wish for you is that you have an unquenchable flame for meditation on the Word of God, that you be insatiable in your quest for intimacy with God,_cc781905 -5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_ that you excel in the practice of love, the bond of perfection, towards everyone, and especially towards people belonging to the family of God. Thus we could wish, following the example of the apostle Jean : "that your physical and financial health be on a par with your spiritual health".

General Secretary of Standing 4 Christ Ministry 


BIBLIOGRAPHIES       _cc781905- 5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_     _cc781905-5cde- 3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_     _cc781905-5cde-3194- bb3b-136bad5cf58d_     _cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b- 136bad5cf58d_ _cc781905-5c de-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_     _cc781905-5cde- 3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_     _cc781905-5cde-3194- bb3b-136bad5cf58d_     _cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b- 136bad5cf58d_      _cc781905- 5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d__cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b -136bad5cf58d_      _cc781905 -5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_     _cc781905-5cde -3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_     _cc781905-5cde-3194 -bb3b-136bad5cf58d_     _cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b -136bad5cf58d__cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58 d_      _cc781905- 5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_  


[1]     _cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b -136bad5cf58d_ W. McDonald, The Epistles of John, French Editions. Emmaus, 1979.


[2]     _cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b -136bad5cf58d_ J. MacArthur, COMMENTARY ON THE NEW TESTAMENT, IMPACT Editions. Christian Publications Inc., 2008.


[3]     _cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b -136bad5cf58d_ J. MacArthur, The Holy Bible  with commentaries by John MacArthur, 4th ed. Bible Society of Geneva, 2010.


[4]     _cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b -136bad5cf58d_ JM Boice, The Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5-7, Bakerbooks. Grand Rapids: 1972.


[5]     _cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b -136bad5cf58d_ R. Saint-Paulin, “Do not conform to the present age”.


[6]     _cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b -136bad5cf58d_ A. McGRATH, Building bridges: the art of defending the Christian faith, Éditions la Clairière. QC, Canada: Christian Publications Inc., 1999.







[6] Being sinners, we are all subject and prey to suffering, sickness, fatigue, … as a consequence of sin. In this case, we would not be at fault for also considering it from this angle.

[7] (available online)


[8] The « car » is omitted in several versions, but present in the Darby, Martin, Ostervald, King James,...




[11] If we walk in Truth, it means that we walk in obedience to Truth. This is how we can prove that we know God. Gaius   lived a life where Christian truth was fully manifested. _cc781905-5cde- 3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_




[i] At the time, hospitality was often given to itinerant teachers (see Luke 9 :1-6; 10 :1-2). The prohibition here does not consist in closing the door to the ignorant; it does not mean that believers should refuse to invite non-believers – even those who belong to a sect or a false religion – to join them. This would make it difficult, if not impossible, for them to communicate the truth to them. The idea is that believers should refrain from taking into their homes to care for itinerant false teachers, who would like to stay under their roof, which would lead to believe that they adhere to their teachings and that they give them credence IMPACT. Christian Publications Inc., 2008. p 906]


[ii] The apostle is so named, either out of modesty (compare 1 Pierre 5.1), or because of his great age. Perhaps the Churches of Asia, where he then lived, themselves gave him this title out of tender respect.


[iii] The country so named in the NT was then a Roman province. The ancient kingdom of Philip II and Alexander the Great, alluded to in the OT apocryphal books (1Ma 1:1 6:2 8:5,2Ma 8:20, Add._cc781905-5cde- 3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_Est 6:10,14), had been missing for about two centuries. After the victory of the Roman consul L. Paul-Émile over King Perseus at the battle of Pydna (168 BC), Macedonia was first divided into four districts enjoying a certain administrative independence_cc781905-5cde -3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_; but soon, following the revolt of Andriscus, supposed son of Perseus, the praetor Metellus had reduced the country to a Roman province (148 BC). Greece soon suffered the same fate, two years later, under the name of Achaia, the consul L. Mummius having destroyed Corinth (146). At the time of the empire, Macedonia was a province first senatorial, then imperial (under Tiberius), finally again senatorial (under Claudius), which included, in addition to the region of ancient Macedonia, different parts of Illyria, Epirus and Thessaly ; it extended to the east as far as the river Nestus which separated it from Thrace, touched to the north-west, to the mountains of Scardus, to the west to the Adriatic Sea, to the south to the province of Achaia and to the Aegean Sea. Thessaloniki was its capital, where the proconsul resided (the full title of the governor of an imperial province was : legatus Augusti pro Proetore)_cc781905-5cde-3194- bb3b-136bad5cf58d_; the main cities were Pella, Pelagonia and the following, named in NT : Philippi, Neapolis, Amphipolis, Apollonia and Berea.


[iv] To have a clearer idea about happiness according to God, we invite you to taste this interesting article written by Mauley Colas. Link :


[v] This same word is used in the following six passages : Acts 26 :29; 27:29; Romans 9:3; 2 Corinthians 13:7.9; Jacques 5 :16 to express the idea of praying or the intensity of a strong and sincere desire.


[vi] It would here apply to any intended plan or objective(s). This would include success in business, happiness in domestic relations, or prosperity in all engagements and transactions in which a Christian might legally engage. This shows that it is right to wish that our friends succeed in the work of their hands and in their life projects.


[vii] But it is common, under all circumstances, to wish our friends health and prosperity; and that is as proper as it is common, if we do not give it a higher degree of pre-eminence than the welfare of the soul.


[viii] When Governor Pilate asked Jesus this question: “ What is truth? ” (John 18_cc781905-5cde-3194- bb3b-136bad5cf58d_:38). It is up to Jesus to answer, well before the question, to the verse 37: Whoever is of the truth listens to my voice. So, it can well be seen that Jesus had already answered Pilate's question even before he posed it[viii]. For, this declaration only confirmed that he himself was the truth as he decreed : I am the way and the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14 :6)


[ix] This new spiritual birth is very well elaborated in the article written by the author Mauley Colas which is entitled : "THE HAPPINESS OF BEING POOR 'IN SPIRIT'", www. [On line]. Available at: 


[x] Countless explanations have been offered as to the nature of the thorn in Paul's body: incessant temptations, stubborn adversaries, chronic illnesses (sight problems, malaria, migraines, seizures), speech. Nobody knows for sure, but it was probably a physical disorder.


[xi] The apostle does not exclude other men from our beneficence, since he recommends, on the contrary, positively to do good to all. But as each man must first take care of his own, (1 Timothée 5.8) it is natural for the Christian to focus his attention mainly on his suffering brothers, especially more than these can hardly expect the benevolence of the world which loves what is its own (John 15.18; John 15.19).



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