2 JOHN - "LOVING TRUTH" Print E-mail

2 JOHN – “Loving Truth”

Tuesday Morning Bible Study

January 22, 2019, the Year of Our Lord

Pastor Carolyn Sissom

 

The book of 2 John points us to the truth and encourages us to hold it fast and never let it go.  It is the “Living Truth” --- Jesus Christ is the “Living Truth.”  The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth.

 

Truth generates love, and love will always be faithful to the truth.  To love God is to love his truth and cherish it to our hearts.

 

Because of the shortness of this letter, I am going to take the luxury of using both the Passion Translation and the New King James Versions.

 

2 Jn. 1-3: The Elder, to the elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth, and not only I, but also all those who have known the truth.  Because of the truth which abides in us and will be with us forever.  Grace, mercy, and peace will be yours from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love. (NKJV)

 

This is the only time in Scripture the expression the Son of the Father is used.  Jesus is described in the Gospel of John as the only begotten Son.   The incarnation is the very foundation of Christianity and the purpose of John writing this letter.

 

 

2 Jn. 1-3:  From the elder to God’s chosen woman and her children.  I love you all as those who are in the truth.  And I’m not the only one, for all who come to know the truth share my love for you; because of the living truth that has a permanent home in us and will be with us forever.   God our Father and Jesus Christ, his Son, will release to us overflowing grace, mercy, and peace, filled with true love.   (PT)

 

We could stop right here and soak in this verse for days until our soul, spirit and body is permeated in this truth and revelation of overflowing grace, mercy and peace, filled with true love.

 

Do we know how to love?  Truly love is indefinable.  I have written at least twenty sermons on love.  More books and songs have been written about love than we can count.  Yet the subtle and simple purity of love escapes most people.

 

The LORD showed me a vision of a book many years ago:  Faith is Fact; Hope is a Certainty and Love is a Reality.  It was written by me.  So some place in my inner being I have discovered the key of the reality of love.  Yet, I never find the words to paint the picture of the reality.   Perhaps within me is a writer yet to emerge who will find and write the words to describe the indescribable.  Perhaps we can only live love and never be able to express it completely in words or song.

 

John says keeping the commandments of the New Testament is proof of genuine love. (Vs. 6).  

 

1 Co. 13:1-7:

 

If I were to speak with eloquences in earth’s many languages, and in the heavenly tongues of angels, yet I didn’t express myself with love, my words would be reduced to the hollow sound of nothing more than a clanging cymbal.  If I were to have the gift of prophecy with a profound understanding of God’s hidden secrets, and if I possessed unending supernatural knowledge, and if I had the greatest gift of faith that could move mountains, but have never learned to love, then I am nothing.  If were to be so generous as to give away everything I owned to feed the poor, and to offer my body to be burned as a martyr, without the pure motive of love, I would gain nothing of value.  

 

Love is patient.

Love is kind to all.

Love is not jealous.

Love does not envy.

Love does not boast.

Love does not act rudely

Love does not seek its own

Love is not provoked.

Love thinks no evil.

Does not rejoice in iniquity

Rejoices in the truth

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things.

Love never fails.

 

My love cannot be contingent on the measure of love someone has for me.  Christ’s love is unconditional.  We are designed to love unconditionally.  Does that mean that we allow the people in our lives to walk all over us, NO!  Love does not act rudely and Love is not provoked.  Love requires that we set healthy boundaries to keep other people respectful and respecting.

 

Codependency is false love.  This is the fallacy of trying to control interior feelings by controlling people, things, and events on the outside.  To the codependent, control or the lack of it is central to every aspect of life.

 

The codependent may be addicted to another person and has become so elaborately enmeshed in the other person that the sense of self-personal identity is severely restricted, or crowded out by that other person’s identity and problems.

 

They can be like vacuum cleaners gone wild, drawing to themselves not just another person, but also chemicals (alcohol or drugs) or things-money, food, sexuality, work.  They struggle relentlessly to fill the great emotional vacuum within themselves.” 

 

As Christians we know that God is love.  Therefore love is divine and humans are not capable of producing anything divine unless we are empowered by God.  Jesus is light, life and love.

 

God our Father and Jesus Christ, his Son, will release to us overflowing grace, mercy, and peace, filled with true love.

 

When we experience this love, there is no emotional vacuum within us.  We are content, filled with joy, peace, and well being.

 

I must be a faithful teacher and address the controversial salutation of “The Elder to the elect lady and her children.”    Since the interpretation is controversial, I choose to teach my persuasion. (“To the chosen lady, a lady chosen by God.  To the elect Kyria = Lady…Kyria being the Greek equivalent of Martha,) I am persuaded the wor  children means the members of the church.   All those who know the truth agree with John and love the local church.  John is speaking to a church body and this whole address to the church of any century is of surpassing beauty. 

 

2 Jn. 4-6:  I rejoiced greatly that I have found some of your children walking in truth, as we received commandment from the Father.  And now I plead with you, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment to you, but that which we have had from the beginning that we love one another.  This is love that we walk according to His commandments.  This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it.  (N.K.J.V.)

 

2 Jn. 4-6: I was delighted and filled with joy when I learned that your children are consistently living in the truth, just as we have received the command from the Father.  Dearest woman, I have a request to make of you.  It is not a new commandment but a repetition of the one we have had from the beginning; that we constantly love one another.  This love means living in obedience to whatever God commands us.  For to walk in love toward one another is the unifying commandment we’ve heard from the beginning. (P.T.)

 

Just as you heard from the beginning, love should be the rule of life.

 

Seducing spirits and deceivers denied the incarnation.  Today, they are denying the bodily, fleshing resurrection of Jesus as well as the incarnation. 

 

2 Jn. 7-8: Many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh.  This is a deceiver and an antichrist.  Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward. (N.K.J.V.)

 

2 Jn. 7-8:  Numerous deceivers have surfaced from among us and gone out into the world, people who will not acknowledge Jesus Christ coming as a man.  These deceivers are antichrists!  Be on your guard so that you do not lose all that we have diligently worked for but receive a full reward.

 

In our study of heaven from the book, My Time In Heaven, Richard Sigmund describes a rewards department in heaven.  “This is where records are kept of the rewards that we do not receive on earth for some reason or other.  An example would be the reward for giving to others or almsgiving to the Lord.  Because of the love and compassion we have in our hearts, we give to the greater need.  What we give here, we will receive back in Heaven.”

 

“…I believe that the good things you make happen to others on earth will happen to you in heaven.  In this one building---in this one room---were the intentions of God for the works of one man and how God was going to bless him.  The building reflected the fact that God desires to bless us even more than we desire to receive from Him.”

 

Heb. 10:35: Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.

 

1 Co. 9:17:  For if I do this willingly, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have been entrusted with a stewardship.

 

Christians are warned to meet required conditions for blessing in order not to lose rewards.

 

1 Co. 3: 14-15:  If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward.  If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

 

John says anyone who sins and does not remain in the truth does not have God.  He who does not sin and who remains in the truth has both the Father and the Son.  This warns of the possibility of backsliding, losing rewards, as well as losing God and Christ.

 

John is saying love of God is a safe guard against error.  The more that loves flows through us as we honor God’s commands, the more we are kept from deception.  Our unity, produced by love, enables us to recognize and resist false teachers.

 

2 Jn. 1:9-10:  Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does mot have God.  He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.  If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.  (N.K.J.V.)

 

2 Jn. 1: 9-10: Anyone who wanders away and does not remain faithful to the teaching of Christ has no relationship with God.  But those who remain in the teaching of Christ have a wonderful relationship with both the Father and the Son.  So if anyone comes into your fellowship claiming to be a true believer yet doesn’t bring this teaching, you are not to consider him as a fellow believer, nor should you welcome him into your homes.  For if you welcome him as a believer, you will be partnering with him in his evil agenda.

 

Hospitality was a cultural virtue then as it is now.  When we get into 3 John, we will witness the virtue of hospitality of Christians. 

 

This is a hard scripture for those of us who are evangelical and always extending Christ to the lost.  It will require wisdom and grace as well as mercy to walk circumspect with this word.  He is warning against false teachers, not the lost.

 

Finis J. Dake:  “If any man poses as an apostle or Christian teacher and does not teach the true doctrine of Christ---the incarnation, the death, burial and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ, do not receive him or give him entertainment in your home.  Do not even bid him God speed.  If you do you are a partaker of his evil deeds and will be punished with him for the same sins.”

 

John punched home the truth that the love of the fellowship cannot be extended to those who oppose Jesus Christ.  John was not making a ministerial judgment.  Those in the fellowship abide in the doctrine of Messiah and have both the father and the Son. 

 

Powerful truths surround these verses.  It goes beyond being condemned by what one condones.  To “enter in” with those presenting another Jesus would be to lose all the disciples have worked for and fail at receiving a full reward. 

 

To greet someone of this order will bring down the judgment God has reserved for them on oneself.  To share in “his evil deeds” is as simple as inviting them to enter one’s home.

 

Many deceivers have been invited through mass media into the homes of countless families and without one bleep of protest are allowed to continue preaching error and false doctrine.  How many have approved through offerings and philanthropic support thus engendering whole movements and waves of these spiritual clones across the world?  John said there were many.

 

2 Jn. 12-13: Having many things to write to you, I did not wish to do so with paper and ink, but I hope to come to you and speak face to face, that our joy may be full.  The children of your elect sister greet you.  Amen. (N.K.J.V.)

 

2 Jn. 12-13: Although I have many more subjects I’d like to discuss with you, I’d rather not include them in this letter.  But I look forward to coming to visit and speaking with you face-to-face-for being together will complete our joy!  The children of your sister, whom God has chosen, send you their loving greetings. Amen.

 

It is a time of great joy when our brothers and sisters in Christ come to visit with us.  Let us always receive them with joy.

 

Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries Church

www.eastgateministries.com

Scripture from N.K.J.V. and P.T.

 
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