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Spiritual Children

Philosophy View of Children

A person from the time of birth until he or she is an adult, or a son or daughter of any age.

Biblical View of Children

Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Psalm 127:3 NKJV

In fact, every human being born on earth has the opportunity to acquire God's divine qualities since we are his spirit offspring. Through Jesus Christ's atonement, we can reach a fullness of joy and become like our heavenly father.

For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Galatians 3:26-29 KJV

I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High. Psalm 82:6 KJV

The apostle John wrote this letter to a friend. Gaius, whom John Loved in the truth.

The elder unto the well-beloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth. 3 John 1:1 KJV

John expressed his joy upon hearing that Gaius was being faithful and living in truth.

According to 3rd John 1:3 he used almost the same words he had used in 2nd John 1:4, I could have no greater joy than to hear that my children live the truth.

For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth. 3 John1:3 KJV

I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father. 2nd John 1:4 KJV

This time, however, John wrote “my” children, not “your” children. Gaius was apparently one of John’s spiritual children, just as Timothy and Titus were Paul's true sons in the faith. These men were looking up to these leaders as their father figure.

Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord. 1st Timothy 1:2 KJV

To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour. Titus 1:4 KJV

Gaius’s is faithfulness was such a source of great encouragement to John that he wrote this letter. With pressures and persecution plaguing the Christian, one great source of encouragement continued to be hearing about the growth and testimony of various believers and spiritual children.

According to 3rd John1:3 Gaius was being faithful and true, and his life reflected it. 3rd John 1:5 said he was doing a good work for God by showing hospitality and travelling teachers. Although they were strangers to Gaius, he receive these teachers graciously. John compared Gaius to a man by the name of Diotrephes, whose name means "nourished by Jupiter" and who, in the first century, was a self-seeking troublemaker in an unidentified local church.

He excommunicated anybody who crossed him, demanded that others followed his lousy examples, loved to be in charge, and refused to accept the apostles into the churches. He also maliciously spread rumours against men of God. Diotrephes was characterised as being inhospitable and pugnacious in 2nd Timothy 3:2–3 and Mark 9:35 described him as “loved being in charge”. He was both refusing to welcome travelling teachers and telling others not to help them.

For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth 3rd John 1:3 KJV

Beloved, thou doest faithfully whatsoever thou doest to the brethren, and to strangers. 3rd John 1:5 KJV

This teaching, by a man who loved to be a leader and did not acknowledge the authority of the apostles, was hurting the believers. John was glad that Gaius had not been so influenced, but was instead following the teaching of the apostles, the truth. Gaius name means happy or one who rejoices, in the New Testament scriptures tells us that several men shared the name Gaius, and they were all involved in the ministry of the apostles in one way or the other.

The Epistle of 3rd John refers to Gaius as someone who had a passion for hospitality, a travelling preacher with good character, he was known for his faithfulness, his love and for walking in the truth. Gaius shone in his acts of service and John commended him. Gaius benefited from John’s encouragement, and others undoubtedly benefited from Gaius’s encouragement.

I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the pre-eminence among them, receiveth us not. 3rd John 1:9KJV

Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church. 3rd John 1:10 KJV

Perhaps there will come a time when another Christian’s needs requires your love and appreciation. Your hospitality and practical support could lift him or her up at their low point. It is possible that God would have you be a Gaius to a person. Nothing could bring your spiritual parents’ greater joy.

Men in the New Testament share the names Gaius Gaius of Corinth. Paul baptized a man named Gaius in Corinth--one of only two he baptized there (1 Corinthians 1:14). Later, toward the end of his third missionary journey, when Paul wrote his Epistle to the Romans, he was staying in Gaius’s home, and Gaius included his greetings to the church in Rome (Romans 16:23)

Gaius of Macedonia. One of Paul’s traveling companions during his third missionary journey was named Gaius. Luke identifies him as a Macedonian in (Acts 19:29) --Macedonia being a region in modern-day Greece. When a riot broke out in Ephesus, Gaius was one of the men seized by Demetrius and the other silversmiths. The mob dragged Gaius to the Ephesian theatre and would likely have done him violence, but for the intervention of the city clerk (Acts 19:35-41)

Gaius of Derbe. Another of Paul’s traveling companions on his third missionary journey was also named Gaius. Luke calls him “Gaius of Derbe” in Acts 20:4--Derbe being a city in Galatia in Asia Minor--to distinguish him from the Gaius mentioned in Acts 19. It seems this Gaius joined Paul’s group in Greece and stayed with him through his incursion into Asia (modern-day Turkey), sailing ahead of Paul, Silas, and Luke and waiting for them in Troas (Acts20:5)

Gaius, John’s friend. The Epistle of 3 John is addressed to a man named Gaius who was a member of an unnamed church that John had the oversight of (3 John 1:1). John calls this man a “dear friend” (verses 1, 2, and 11). Gaius is commended for his hospitality to traveling preachers of the gospel (verses 5, 6 and 8); for his faithfulness (verse 5); for his love (verse 6); and for his walking in the truth (verse 3). According to tradition this Gaius may be the one whom John appointed as bishop of Pergamum. May you continue to grow higher in Christ Jesus.


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