Certainly by this point you have hit some roadblocks in your Inductive Bible Study, either through some particular difficulty that has presented itself in your studies or just plain exhaustion. So let’s work through a segment together to give you some motivation. 3 John is a small book with great features – It consists of seven short paragraphs and is only a single segment of thought.
The first thing you would want to do is note all your observations on your segment chart.
So after charting the segment you can begin to ask questions about the observations that you’ve made.Remember you want to ask questions about the observations that you’ve made in order to catch what the author is trying to focus your attention on.
- What is truth?
- What does it mean to testify?
- What does it mean to accept or receive?
- What is the opposite of accepting or receiving? What does that imply
- What are the causation? the Substantiations?
- What is being contrasted in paragraph 6?
- What idea does the author seem to be communicating by use of the terms?
- How is atmosphere being used? What does that imply?
- What does John seem to be focusing attention on?
These are some core questions that you would want to consider. After these you can get more specific with each paragraph. Paragraph #1 —
- Who is writing?
- What does John call himself? What does that imply?
- What is an Elder? What is significant about John referring to himself as The elder?
- Who is John writing to?
- What does the name Gaius mean? is there any significance to that?
- What does he say about Gaius? What does that imply?
- What can we determine about their relationship at the very least?
- What is love? What is truth? What does it mean to love someone in truth?
- What is the opposite of loving someone in truth?
- How is John describing his relationship with Gaius? What is significant about that?
Now after answering those questions, you might be able to make some personal application or wait until you have a more comprehensive understanding of the entire letter. If you had to ask application questions now, you might ask about your own relationships. Paragraph #2 —
- What does he call Gaius? What is significant about that?
- What does pray mean?
- Is John actually praying this or not?
- What does John want in Gaius’ life?
- What is prosperity?
- What does ‘all respects’ indicate?
- What kind of prosperity does John want for Gaius?
- What is good health?
- What is the Soul?
- What would it mean for a soul to prosper?
- What is the interior comparison(just as)? What is significant about that?
- What is john saying is already happening in Gaius life?
- What is the major substantiation in verse 3?
- What was john very glad about?
- What is the difference in verb tenses between verse 2 & 3? Implication?
- Who came to John?
- What did they testify of?
- What does John clarify as ‘Gaius’ truth?’
- What does it mean to walk in truth?
- What would be the opposite of walking in truth? What is the implication?
- How does John describe Gaius?
- What is John’s greatest Joy? What is significant about that?
- What is Joy?
- What does ‘my children’ imply?
You might ask some application questions at this point about your own source of Joy and your own walk with Christ. Paragraph #3 —
- What does John call Gaius?
- What’s can be determined concerning John’s relationship with Gaius at this point?
- How does John describe Gaius’ actions?
- Who are Gaius’ actions benefiting?
- What would ‘accomplish’ indicate?
- Who are the brethren?
- Who are strangers?
- Who testified according to verse 6?
- What did they testify of?
- Who did they testify to?
- How does John say Gaius will ‘do well?’
- What does ‘sending them on their way in a manner worthy of God’ indicate?
- What is the major substantiation(For) in verse 7?
- What is being Substantiated?
- Who went out?
- For what did they go out?
- From where did they go out?
- What did they that went out accept from the gentiles?
- What does that imply?
- Who are the gentiles?
- What’s significant about the two groups of people in this paragraph? What’s implied?
- What is the major causation(Therefore) in verse 8?
- Who ought we to support?
- Who is the ‘we’ being spoken of?
- What does the word support imply?
- What men is John speaking of?
- What is the interior causation in verse 8?
- What is significant about there being two causations in verse 8? Implication?
- What is a fellow worker?
- What does ‘fellow-worker with the truth indicate?
- Who is the dominate character spoken of in this paragraph?
- What kind of testimony does Gaius have in the church?
- What kind of example does Gaius set outside the church according to paragraphs 1 – 3?
At this point if you felt the need to make application it might be connected to the example you set in and out of the church. You might scrutinize the contribution that you are presently making in your local church.
Paragraph 4 —
- What does John say that he did in verse 9?
- What is the contrast in verse 9?
- Who is this 4th paragraph about?
- Who was the 3rd paragraph about?
- What did diotrophes not accept?
- What is significant about Diotrophes rejection?
- Who was John to this group of people?
- Who is being rejected by diotrophes?
- What does Diotrohes love?What is the implication?
- What is the major Causation(For this reason)?
- What does John plan to call attention to?
- What would calling ‘attantion to his deeds’ be?
- What is unjust accusation?
- What is Diotrophes accusing with?
- Who is Diotrophes unjustly accusing?
- What is he not satisfied with? What’s implied?
- Who does he not receive?What is the implication?
- What would receiving mean?
- Who does he forbid?
- What is he forbidding? What is the implication?
- Who does he put out of the church
- What would putting someone out of the church indicate? What is significant about that?
- So what was that cause and effect? What does that imply?
- What is significant about Diotrophes actions causing verse?10?
- What’s significant about paragraph 3 & 4?
You might ask application questions concerning your own ability to receive from other Christians. You might ask about your own pride and love of preeminence? You might as about your reaction to being less than preeminent.
Paragraph 5 Questions —
- What does John call Gaius in this paragraph?
- What is significant about John calling Gaius this again?
- Does every paragraph begin this way? What’s significant about that?
- Are there any paragraphs that differ?
- Who does John exhort Gaius to imitate?
- What is Gaius encouraged to imitate?
- What does it mean to imitate?
- What is Gaius being cautioned against?
- Of who is the one who does good?
- What does it meant to be of God
- What does it mean to not be of God?
- What does doing evil indicate?
- What would ‘not having seen God’ indicate?
- What is John contrasting?
- What kind of testimony has Demetrius received? What’s implied?
- Who has Demetris received a good testimony from?
- What would ‘receiving a good testimony’ mean?
- What is John adding? What is John adding to?
- What would that addition imply?
- What does Gaius know about John’s testimony? What’s implied?
- What does Gaius know?
- Who is this paragraph about? Who is it addressed to? What’s implied?
So at this point you might ask application questions like: What kind of testimony that you have in the church? Who am I following? Am I being discipled? Who is following me? Who am I discipling? What kind of people are following me?
Lets go ahead and join the last 2 paragraphs together to conserve space.
Paragraph # 6 Questions —
- What is the interior contrast? What does that imply?
- What does John want to do?
- What does John not want to do? What does that imply?
- What is John contrasting in verse 14?
- What is implied by Johns preference to communicate in person?
- What is Peace?
- What does it mean ‘to greet?’ What is implied?
Now comes the biggest question: After looking at the segment chart, ask yourself about where the author might be trying to focus your attention. Pay particular attention to the atmosphere in 3 John. The atmosphere is revealing a lot. You might even want to start questions somewhere other than paragraph #1.
Well I think that gives you a good basis to start from. There are many more questions you would probably want to ask, and by all means you should. These questions are simply to get you out of the gate. I hope that these are a bit helpful to you and maybe give you a bit of motivation to continue studying Inductively?
Well take care and give my love to the family.