Thursday, September 7, 2023

Walk in Truth and Love

Thursday, September 7, 2023

Walk in Truth and Love – 2 John  - Submitted by Kay Crumley


What is truthThere is much discussion about truth and what makes something trueSome opinions state that truth is relative, what is true for one may not be true for anotherHowever, as Christians there is one Truth, God’s Word is Truth (Psalm 119:160)To walk in truth is to be obedient to His Word, to trust fully in His teachings.    Love is defined as an intense feeling or attraction in the Oxford dictionary. Love is not just an emotion.  The Biblical definition is that God is Love (1 John 4:8)He loves His creation unconditionally and eternallyThe way we are to love is described in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 as being patient, kind, not arrogant or boastful and rejoicing in truth2 John directs us to walk in truth and love and gives guidance of how that can be put into action. 


The author of 2 John is identified by most scholars as John the son of Zebedee who wrote the fourth GospelIn that book he describes himself as the on Jesus lovedHe had an intimate relationship with Jesus while He was on earthJohn is writing to a church he started in 2 JohnThe entire book is only 13 verses long. It’s a brief but important letter to the believers who need a message from him about some dangerous teachings that can harm their church. 


2 John vs 3-6 3 Grace, mercy, and peacewill be with us from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Sonof the Father, in truth and love. 4 I was very glad to find some of your children walking in truth,in keeping with a command we have received from the Father.5  So now I ask you, dear lady—not as if I were writing you a new command, but one we have had from the beginning—that we love one another.6 This is love:that we walk according to his commands.This is the command as you have heard it from the beginning: that you walk in love. 

John referred to the Church in verse 1 as the elect lady, the church being the bride of Christ, and her children, the congregationWe will experience grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Son as we remain in, walk in truth and loveWe walk in His truth by living in accordance with His Word.  John was glad to know that some were following the commandments he had taughtPerhaps he was referring to Jesus’s answer when asked which the greatest commandment was and He answered in Mark 12:30-31 30 Lovethe Lord your Godwith all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind,and with all your strength.  31 The second is,Love your neighboras yourself There is no other commandgreater than these.” Love God first, put Him first in all things, all decisions we make must be tested against the authority of His WordWill that bring honor and glory to HimSecondly, love others as you love yourselfHow will my actions impact those in my family, my friends, my church familyJohn was pleased that some were following that commandment, to walk in His Love. We can’t be “walking in the truth” if we don’t “walk in love.”  We love others when we seek their well-being, that which God desires for them. 


But there is a warning in the following verses, one that we should pay attention to in our church as well.   

2 John vs 7-11 7 Many deceivers have gone out into the world; they do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh.This is the deceiver and the antichrist.8 Watch yourselves so that you don’t lose what we have worked for, but that you may receive a full reward.9 Anyone who does not remain in Christ’s teachingbut goes beyond it does not have God.The one who remainsin that teaching, this one has both the Fatherand the Son.10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receivehim into your home, and do not greet him;11 for the one who greets him sharesin his evil works. 

There were false teachers who wanted to infiltrate the church by teaching that Jesus had never come to earth in the fleshThose who teach messages that do not align with the Word of God are antichristsAn antichrist applies to those who oppose and replace ChristThese are ‘little’ antichrists who appear before the tribulationThey are active today and we must be vigilant to identify false teachersWe risk receiving His full reward if we don’t remain in Christ’s teachingWe cannot be close to Jesus Christ without being close to His teachingJust as you cannot maintain intimacy with your friends or relatives who you visit infrequently, you cannot be intimate with God unless you remain in His Word dailyWe must abide in, live in His WordThat takes more than just reading a verse, it requires studying to know His precepts and then applying them to our daily livesJohn instructed that church to prevent false teachers from coming into their church and spreading lies as if it were truthEarly churches were held in the homes of the believersJohn isn’t telling them to avoid any contact with unbelievers, that would mean not evangelizing the lostHe is warning them to prevent them from allowing them to teach untruth to the church.  


John ends his letter by encouraging them that he planned to visit them in personFace-to-face ministry is the most effective way to share the gospelHe also shared greetings from another sister churchAs we walk in the Truth of His Word we can share His Love with others. We are different from the world because of our Love (John 13:35). 

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