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2 John

 

  • 2John 1:1 The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth; 
  • 2Jo 1:2 For the truth's sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us forever. 

John here reminds us of something we easily forget. To love one another in the Lord. Not the love the world calls love but the pure undefiled love that the Holy Spirit sheds abroad in our hearts. We can build up this love or reject this love. We can allow ourselves to yield to the love the Holy Spirit places within us after we have received Jesus Christ into our lives. We have the power to choose whether to allow a spirit of bitterness and hate to overcome us or to yield to the Holy Spirit God gives to us at our conversion. 

The reason I believe this is because of God's commandments. Why would God command something and then not give us the ability to do the commandments? 

  • 2Jo 1:3 Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.

Here we see plainly that there is a God who is the Father and there is a Son who is the Lord Jesus Christ. Both are deity and both are God. To deny the deity of the Son is to deny one's salvation. Unless we believe in Jesus, we can't be saved. To believe in Him is to believe who He is and where He came from and where He returned. Since we know that Jesus died, we must believe that He also was raised from the dead and is now at the right hand of the Father. 

God gave us the Holy Spirit as a witness to confirm the written word or the word someone preaches. He did not leave us alone and without proof of His existence. When we are born again by the spirit of God, we do not receive a dry outward religion but an inward witness of the Holy Spirit that the word is true and is no lie. As Abraham believed God and it was counted to him as righteousness, we believe God and the one God sent to save us from sin, Jesus Christ. 

  • 2Jo 1:4 I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father. 

This would be a trait of all godly ministers of the gospel. They would rejoice to see believers walking in truth and would be grieved to see anyone lost or going into apostasy. This rejoicing would be present even if those walking in truth would not benefit the minister in any way. 

  • 2Jo 1:5 And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. 
  • 2Jo 1:6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it. 

I wonder if the reason John emphasized this commandment to love so much was that he saw what was to happen in just a few years after the death of the apostles. Perhaps he saw the future where those that claimed to be the true church began to persecute those that didn't go alone with changes that were commandments of men instead of commandments of God. Perhaps this change started in Ephesus, the church Jesus warned about that had lost its first love. Those that walk in love and in truth will keep the commandments of Jesus that are all through the New Testament. 

  • 2Jo 1:7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. 

False religions do not acknowledge that Jesus is the Son of God who came from heaven to become a man born of woman. They do not acknowledge that a person has to receive into their inner being, the spirit of God that causes one to be born again. There is a difference in being converted to a religion and being born again by the Holy Spirit. A big difference. One is where you change from a lost sinner to one lost in a religion of works or bondage and the other is where you change from a lost sinner to a saint of God with the kingdom of God dwelling within you. 

One is bondage and one is life. False religion sees Jesus only as a historical figure or a good man that taught good things. 

  • 2Jo 1:8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. 
  • 2Jo 1:9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. 

If we continually live in sin and break the commandments on purpose without ever repenting or turning from sin, we do not know God. If we know God, we will abide in the doctrine of Christ and both the Father and the Son is within us. The Holy Spirit will convict us if we sin. We should immediately desire to make it right with God. If we ignore the Holy Spirit's prompting, we eventually will become hardened to Him and we will become as one who has never been saved. 

  • 2Jo 1:10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him Godspeed: 

If any come to our homes to purposely bring us false doctrine we are not to invite them in or wish them God's blessing. We can be kind but we either warn them that they are not of the truth or we turn them away from our door. 

If we have a neighbor that does not believe the truth and believes a false doctrine, we can invite them in our homes for tea or other reasons but not to allow them to promote their false doctrine. Its only if they bring false doctrine that we do not invite them into our homes. 

  • 2Jo 1:11 For he that biddeth him Godspeed is partaker of his evil deeds. 

If we say, "God bless you, " to one that teaches falsely, we are agreeing with their doctrine. We should say, "May God open your eyes to the truth." Never is this an excuse to be unkind or physically harm anyone. We must use Jesus as an example of how to deal with unbelievers. 

  • 2Jo 1:12 Having many things to write unto you, I would not write with paper and ink: but I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face, that our joy may be full. 
  • 2Jo 1:13 The children of thy elect sister greet thee. Amen. 

So we see from John's writings that he emphasizes love but it is clear also that he does not want us to love false doctrine and put up with false doctrine. True doctrine though must be proven by the words of Jesus and not church tradition or doctrines of men. It must be clearly from the word. Most persecution that occurred during the middle ages was from those that wanted to stop the truth of the word from returning to the church and upsetting their control over people. It was not usually against true heretics that were against the word. Christ never gave us permission to use cruelty or physical harm any way. 

3 JOHN


 
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