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Title: Getting Your Bearing Straight

Bearing: A very good word to look at as a Christian

1. Navigational bearing - calculation of direction or geographic position: the location or
direction of movement of somebody or something, calculated using a map or compass
a. we have to make sure that we are going the right direction in life.
• To find or get your bearings
• to learn exactly where you are and in which direction you should proceed
• to become familiar with a new environment
How many of you have ever gotten gone to a new area and can’t seem to get your bearings?
Get off the plane, wake up in a new place, etc..

2. Architectural Bearing – support for beam: Load bearing a support for a beam or girder
Designed to support structural weight: a bearing wall.

How many of you have ever been involved with a construction remodel – moving walls?
How many of you want to know that you are going in the right direction?

Text: 3 John: 1-12

The elder, To my dear friend Gaius, whom I love in the truth.
Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as
your soul is getting along well. 3It gave me great joy to have some brothers come and tell about
your faithfulness to the truth and how you continue to walk in the truth. 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, even though they are strangers to you. 6They have told the church
about your love. You will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of 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 men so that we may work together for the truth.
I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will have nothing to do with us.
So if I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, gossiping maliciously about us. Not
satisfied with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers. He also stops those who want to do so
and puts them out of the church.
Dear 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.

John distinguishes himself as the Elder – a mature Christian leader. This letter was written by John
to express thanks to a believer named Gaius for his support in the ministry and his contribution to
the church.
How do we get to be a John, or a Paul / a mature contributing leader?
By being in the church for 20 years? You can be saved 20 years, but only be a year mature!

2 types of Christians outlined here

1. Those who live for, support and encourage the work of the ministry (a good testimony)
2. Those who oppose and discourage the work of the ministry (a bad testimony)

The obvious question to ask arises: which one am I?

As a group of men, when we hear the list of attributes that John is commending, in this disciple
named Gaius
• Faithfulness in the truth
• walking in the truth
• Service to strangers who are working for the truth
• Giving to support the work of the ministry
As compared to “MANLY ACTIVITIES” these qualities can sound a little sissy la la.
• Ultimate Fighting
• Sports
• Hot Rods
• Hunting, fishing, camping
• Tools
Many times, I think men read passages or hear passages like this and think, “surely God doesn’t
need me? My wife could do all that stuff way better than me”.

I want us to put this passage into perspective spiritually

We’d probably pay more attention to this type of scripture if it read like this:

Lieutenant commander, This is General John the beloved speaking, I have just heard from the field
officers that you are positioned on the battlefield and are faithfully executing your duties. You have
done well in fortifying and giving rest to the troops (even those not within your squadron). The
brigades who’ve left your outpost have informed the command center of how your care has enabled
them to complete their assignments. We have dispatched an elite special OPS unit into your sector
and you are instructed to make sure that each soldier is equipped with the gear necessary from
your personnel armory, so that they may fortify our field position. Beware of the Officer Diotrophes
has gone AWOL because he wanted the position of commander; he has committed treason and is
now aiding the enemy and has compromised our position. He is actively trying to push back our
offensive but I will deal with him myself when I arrive!

WE ARE IN A SPIRITUAL WAR! Did you hear me soldier!


In the NT we cannot necessarily see following Jesus example (to love our enemy, forgiveness,
etc…) as fighting a spiritual war. It is much easier to put into perspective by looking at examples in
OT principles and then looking at them in light of the love of Christ!
In the OT we see the patriarchs, kings and prophets fighting battles to take physical ground.

In the OT order to become a Warrior in the kings service, you went into training as an armor-bearer.

I. Armor-bearers: Being a support to the work of God. In the O.T. the term referred to one who
bears’s another’s armor. We’ve all heard the term squire – Medieval counterpart – Squire
(Baccalaris – bachelor) – A Knight in training, ranking next below a knight in feudal hierarchy.

One of the most famous armor-bearers of Bible History was the young David who entered the
service of Saul as the king's armor-bearer

READ - 1 Samuel 16: 7, 14-23 – Before becoming a King, David was first an armor-bearer to the
1. Skillful in playing
2. Mighty Man of Valor – courageous
3. A man of war - valiant David had a good testimony
4. Prudent in matters – Careful (like Gaius)
5. Handsome – Well Groomed – self respect
6. Anointed – spiritual
The armor bearer’s responsibilities: These attributes would have been important to one who
represented the King

• Must have a deep respect for the leader – an acceptance of their way of doing things
• Ability to instinctively understand their leaders next move.
• Representing the leader’s character correctly.
• Staying alert – awaking his leader if danger arose.
• Helping his leader to stand against all foes
• Carries and handles his leader’s weapon’s resourcefully
• Moves quickly alongside the leader through the thick of the battle
• Repels attacks for his leader
• Opposes and routes his leaders enemies swiftly and forcefully
• Keeps one eye on the leader and one on the enemy at all times, anticipating the moves of
• Trust and obedience of the leader without hesitation – one false move could cause
irrevocable damage.
• Carries out the plan of his leader successfully
• Assist in all activities and undertakings – he’s always learning from his leader
• Prepares and cares for his leaders belongings - shining armor – making his leader look good
• not out to take the credit for the victories
• Taking special care in selection and preparation of supplies for the campaign
• Brings to attention every detail – two eyes are better than one
• Develops an eye for detail – does things the way he’s taught
• Shares the dreams, goals and victories of the leader.

It is obvious that a biblical armor bearer was much more than a hired hand.

To illustrate that armor-bearers were at least as brave and skillful as their commanders, Saul's son
Jonathan and his armor-bearer alone successfully battled a much larger Philistine force:

"And his armor-bearer said to him, "Do all that your mind inclines to; behold, I am with you, as
is your mind so is mine." "Then said Jonathan, "Behold, we will cross over to the men, and we will
show ourselves to them. If they say to us, 'Wait until we come to you,' then we will stand still in our
place, and we will not go up to them. But if they say, 'Come up to us,' then we will go up; for The
Lord has given them into our hand. And this shall be the sign to us." "So both of them showed
themselves to the garrison of the Philistines; and the Philistines said, "Look, Hebrews are coming
out of the holes where they have hid themselves." And the men of the garrison hailed Jonathan and
his armor-bearer, and said, "Come up to us, and we will show you a thing." "And Jonathan said to
his armor-bearer, "Come up after me; for The Lord has given them into the hand of Israel."
"Then Jonathan climbed up on his hands and feet, and his armor-bearer after him. And they
fell before Jonathan, and his armor-bearer killed them after him; and that first slaughter, which
Jonathan and his armor-bearer made, was of about twenty men within as it were half a furrow's
length in an acre of land." (1 Samuel 14:7-14 RSV)

This man that John wrote about Gaius – Illustrated a NT armor bearer, He was a disciple.
He had to have the qualities of an apostle to be effective.

1. Faithful
2. Supporter – financial aid to those fighting the good fight
3. Good testimony
4. Hospitable – Receiving strangers for the sake of the cause
5. He demonstrated that he had the confidence of his Leader – He was defending the Name of
Jesus by his actions and supporting those who did so.
6. He carried out the plan of Jesus Christ. He carried and handled arms well (finances)

We need more MEN who will rise up and support and defend the cause of their leader. We
have many ministries that are in operation that the leaders are weary and without support.

I dare to say that if you are not supporting the work of the ministry then you are probably hindering

II.. Tale Bearer – Devastates, Instigates– gossiping maliciously ( I know this doesn’t happen here at
HCW) preeminence – wanting to pass up John? Hebrew = Talebearer = a gossip or busy body = I
Thess 3: 6-11 – when a man has too much time on his hands there is too much thinking going on.
• Everyone has a “God given” desire to advance in life
• If we’re not working to grow up in the things of God (learning, being discipled, etc..) then
we’re probably wording to get ahead. Talking about the leader’s mistakes all the time,
pointing out insufficiencies or better ways to do things.
• A busy body = periergos = a meddler, a sorcerer – someone who meddles in the affairs of
others. Trying to control people. If we have to look good at the expense of others looking bad
then we need to get our bearing straight.
• Self Promoting - Loves to be first - Only does things when their name will be elevated.
Choosing involvements that have some benefit to us personally. We must examine our
• Refuses to welcome the brothers
• Stops those who do so and puts them out of the church.
We need to get our bearings straight

There a few more bearer’s in the church that aren’t listed in this text that I think it is important to talk

III. Pall Bearer – A lot of times in church we are too caught up with our own affairs – not involved -
carrying around the dead

Luke 9: 57-61 Jesus –follow me “first let me go and bury my parent – Let the dead bury the dead -
one who puts his hand to the plow and then looks back isn’t worthy.”

We need to get our bearings straight

IV. Yogi Bearer- Hibernates - Hey boo boo – The church is a picnic

IV. Ring Bearer – Procreates - Only in the church for one reason. 2 Timothy 3: 1-6 – We see this
type of We need to get our bearing straight!

We need to get our bearings straight

What can we do to get back on track?
What can we do to be a support to our leaders and our pastor?

1. Start small – but start

a. Maybe help clean or set up the church
b. Help where you see a need
2. Give $, Pay tithes, offerings, give to missions and evangelists.
3. Keep a good testimony – live as you are living for Christ every day and like people are
watching you (because they are)
4. End gossip when you hear it – just walk away
5. Protect your leader – Your salvation and life of your family depends on the outcome of this
fight, we are fighting together, you cannot win this war on your own.