Welcome Valley Bible Studies

Lesson 1: 3 John 1-2

3 John 1-2
The elder unto the well beloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth. Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.

Background Information

As with all the New Testament epistles, or letters, 3 John was written by a man whose writing was controlled by God. The man in this case was the Apostle John, one of Jesus’ original twelve disciples who also wrote the Gospel of John, 1 John, 2 John, and Revelation. John is believed to have been the only one of the twelve to die of old age. While he may have escaped death at the hands of Jesus’ enemies, we know from the book of Revelation that he was exiled for a time to a Mediterranean island called Patmos.

John identifies himself as an elder in verse 1. You can find more information on the meaning of this term in the Welcome Valley Bible Study for 2 John 1.

Related Scriptures
1 Kings 2:3
Psalm 1:1-3
Proverbs 30:8-9
Matthew 6:24-34 (Mammon refers to money.)
Philippians 4:10-19 (Notice Paul’s attitude toward material things. Also notice the promise of verse 19.)
1 Timothy 6:6-12
1 Timothy 6:17-19
James 2:1-9
1 John 3:18
2 John 1 (John begins another epistle in a similar fashion to this one.)


1. Consider 1 Timothy 6:8-12. a) Who faces dangerous temptations? b) Are those who seek earthly riches necessarily in the same class as those who posses them? c) Again, which group is in spiritual danger?

2. From the related Scriptures, does God place a high priority on earthly riches?

3. In what way does James 2 indicate that one can be rich without money?

4. Which of the related Scriptures suggest that God sometimes blesses those who are faithful with earthly riches?

5. a) From the related Scriptures, did the apostle Paul always have riches? b) Was the absence of riches in his life an indicator that things weren’t well for him spiritually?

6. In our text, what kind of prosperity did Gaius already have?

7. What kind of prosperity did John wish for him in addition to what he had?

8. Riches can be a source of temptation. Would it be good if we were to obtain riches before we were spiritually ready to deal with the temptation?

9. What limits might John’s desire for Gaius’ prosperity include?  

This study is in the public domain and may be copied and distributed freely.