But now we have a happier contrast, and that is Demetrius with Diotrephes.  John has severely castigated the proud, tyrannical Diotrephes, threatening to remember his wicked deeds when he comes, an unquestionable intimation that he would deliver him to Satan, even as Paul did with the offenders in the Ephesian church.  But Demetrius was of quite another spirit.  Tares had been sown among the wheat, but God’s true people were indeed bearing good fruit.  Demetrius had a good report of all, meaning that he was highly commended by all the sound brethren who either attended or visited the church; yea, “and of the truth itself.”  Demetrius’ godly life so squared with the truth of the Gospel, that the very truth could do nothing but commend him.  Here indeed was an Israelite in whom was no guile.  His godly reputation is one which every Christian ought to covet.  It is well if we have the good opinion of our brethren in Christ; it is better if we are commended by the very truth of God, which smiles upon the holy and frowns upon the blameworthy.

 

John himself, the holy apostle, also gave his testimony to the Christian goodness of Demetrius.  As one of Christ’s delegates, he could forthrightly add, “And ye know that our record is true.”  He was a man who had spoken and written under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, and in fact was doing so now.  I do not say that it was impossible for he, as an apostle, to sin or err, but as one of the Lord’s chosen delegates he was supernaturally protected from bearing false testimony regarding the truth of the Gospel, particularly when penning an inspired letter.

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