Selfish Ambition (3rd John #5)

Selfish ambition (vs 9)

  • …who loveth to have the preeminence…
    • Diotrephes loves to be the only influence (vs 9).
    • Diotrephes is a self promoting man.
    • He doesn’t care about the truth, he cares about himself.
    • He believes himself to be superior. He is entitled.
    • This can be spiritual ambition. In Diotrephes’ case it is for sure because he’s doing this in a church. What we mean is that the ambitions don’t even have to be bad. But when it becomes a vehicle of selfishness, it is.
  • …receiveth us not…
  • His problem is not that he preaches heresy, but that he practices heresy.
  • KJ Bible believing churches that split. There is so much hatred and bitterness and everyone goes away “believing the Bible”
  • The independent baptist stand is a creed no different than Roman Catholicism. The creed becomes the important thing, not the behavior.
  • Lost is the irony
    • What’s lost in proud people is the sense of irony. As this proud person goes around thinking he’s deceiving others, what’s lost on him is how he’s being deceived. The irony of his situation is foreign to him.
    • As Diotrephes goes around promoting himself to be the leadership, the ironic question is what will you be the leader of when you’ve destroyed all the good people?

Sinful acts

  • Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds…
  • Identify the troublemaker and deal with him or avoid him.
  • Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
  • Prating
    • Diotrephes talks a lot, but his words are of little value.
    • Speaking evil of brethren in order to magnify himself. And because he feels his ministry is endangered by the apostle John.
  • Persecuting
    • Diotrephes is not content to bad mouth good men, but forbids good men because they are a threat to him.
    • Not only does he forbid good men, he forbids anyone who would have John or other good men come there.

Simple answer

  • Follow good, not evil.
  • No doubt Diotrephes thought he was in the right, blinded by his own ambition, and would defend his position as the Biblical position until it ruined many peoples’ lives.
  • If your position causes you to have a bad spirit. You need to step back, FOLLOW GOOD, NOT EVIL and reconsider where you’re standing.
  • You might say, Well, just follow the KJ Bible! But if your idea of following the Bible leads you to hatred for people, and a demand that other people recognize your greatness in spite of other people. Step back, FOLLOW GOOD, and reassess whatever you’re calling Bible belief.