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! We will develop points using an acrostic for W-A-L-K-I-N-G 2 John 1 Greeting 1 The elder to the elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth, and not only I, but also all who know the truth, 2 because of the truth that abides in us and will be with us forever: 3 Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ the Father's Son, in truth and love. Walking in Truth and Love 4 I rejoiced greatly to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as we were commanded by the Father. 5 And now I ask you, dear lady²not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but the one we have had from the beginning²that we love one another. 6 And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it. 7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist. 8 Watch yourselves, so that you may not lose what we have worked for, but may win a full reward. 9 Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, 11 for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works. Final Greetings 12 Though I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink. Instead I hope to come to you and talk face to face, so that our joy may be complete. 13 The children of your elect sister greet you. We are all starved for some face-to-face. V12 states that John wanted to speak face-to-face, ³... so that our joy may be complete.´ The word used here for joy means ³to be filled up with joy´. A literal translation of the expression face-to-face is ³mouth-to-mouth´, meaning a 1:1 dialogue. See also 1Cor 13, which says we will see him (Jesus) face-to-face.
All that we have worked for can be lost. 2John v8 tells us to watch ourselves so that we do not lose what we have worked for. Example Israelites lost ground in the OT. In Rev 3:11, we are told to hold fast to what we have so that no-one will take our crown. And in Luke 8, Satan can take away the harvest of the Word planted in us. Anything we work for, we can lose. We can lose ground, we can lose our crown, and we can lose our rewards. Matt 5:12 ³Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.´ 1 Cor 3:14 ³If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward.´ Mark 9:41 ³For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will by no means lose his reward.´ Luke 6:35 ³But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Rev 2:25 tells us to hold on until He comes! Heb 11:6 tells us that He rewards those who seek him. It is critically important to remember that we CANNOT lose our salvation because we did not work for it. Jesus did the work; we just receive it.
Listen with the ears of a chosen lady. In v1, John refers to himself as the ³elder´. The word used here is ³presbyteros´, which probably means leader, but can also mean ³the old man´ Note, John lived much longer that the other disciples, and this letter was written when he was old. The letter is addressed to the elect lady. ³Elect´ is the Greek word ³eklekte´, which means one who is chosen, selected. This is where we get the English word ³eclectic´, which means to choose from many different kinds. Our God is eclectic! He chooses us from many different people. In John 15:16 Jesus told his disciples ³You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit...´ We are chosen. We didn¶t just sneak in without God noticing! We are chosen. I, Adrienne, am chosen by Him. The word for ³lady´ in v1 is the Greek ³kyria´, which is the feminine form of ³kurios´, which means lord. This is not the same as Lord or LORD; lord, with lower case l, is a title of nobility, not of deity. Example - when Sarah referred to Abraham as lord, she was not calling him god. In v1, John uses the phrase, ³... whom I love in truth´. Consider the Samaritan woman in John 4. Jesus told her everything she ever did, and yet she was not devastated and shamed, but rather gained dignity from it. He told her the truth in love. Think of all the lies I have told and believed in order to be loved, and yet Jesus loves us in truth. No lies needed. In v3, John states that ³Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us...´ This is a promise, they will be with us. Note that mercy and peace follow from God¶s grace. We cannot experience mercy or have any peace without His grace.
In v4, John notes that he ³...rejoiced greatly to find some of your children walking in the truth...´ This is joy on steroids, abundant joy that infiltrates our entire being. The phrase here about finding some of your children should be thought of as ³running into them outside of church´; he doesn¶t mean that the rest of the children were not walking in truth, but rather, he saw a few of them and noted that they were walking in truth.
Keep the pace of true abiding. The idea here of Walking in love is similar to what we see in John 15, where we are told to abide in His love; walking = abiding! walk= Greek ³peripateo´. The ³peri´ portion of this means ³around´ (i.e. perimeter). to determine what abiding is, let¶s look at what it is NOT: y Abiding vs. standing still - in 2 Sam 7:6-7, God reminds David, who wants to build the LORD a temple, that He has not resided in a temple but instead, has always moved with them. And the OT tabernacle becomes the NT believer; he resides in me! In Ex 14:11-15, the Israelites are on the verge of crossing the Red Sea as they flee from Egypt, but they are lamenting. They tell Moses ³We want to go back (to Egypt)!´ Moses tells them to ³Stand still!´ But God tells Moses to ³Move forward!´ Abiding vs. moving backwards - Psalm 118:13 says ³I was pushed back, and about to fall, but the LORD helped me. If we let Satan push us back, we will lose ground and we will eventually fall. Psalm 44:5 (NIV) tells us that through God, we push back our enemies! We need to push back against Satan! Abiding vs. running ahead - 2John v. 9 tells us that ³Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God.´ Run ahead or go on ahead is the Greek ³proago´ from which we get ³proactive´. John makes a very strong statement here: if we are not abiding in the teachings of Christ we do not have God. Does this mean we have lost our salvation? No! It means that we never had it to begin with. Sadly, there are many people who think they have truly given their heart and lives to Jesus, and yet they have not. This is the ³say-the-prayer-and-keep-living-as-you-want´ syndrome. If there is not evidence of God¶s Spirit in us, we do not have the Spirit.
Abiding is moving ahead at God¶s pace, in His timing. Do we ³innovate´ ourselves out of Christ¶s teaching, convincing ourselves that we must have something new? 2Tim3 tells us that there will be a time when people will not tolerate sound teaching because they have an insatiable curiosity to hear something new. Matt 6:33 - this world is suffocating in itself! We need to be seeking Him and His kingdom, not the things of this world. God¶s truth has to make it all the way to our feet. We hear and read to get the truth in our head; from this we know the truth. We embrace and feel the truth in our heart, but then we have to walk it out, to make it real in our lives in our thoughts, actions, and deeds. This is the difference between head-faith and real life-faith. Beth mentioned a quote by Bengel which exemplifies this: ³Apply yourself totally to the text; apply the text totally to yourself.´
Invest your whole life into love. This is the command we are given. Walk in love. But we cannot even begin to do this if we lose sight of the fact that God loves us. See John 15. Jesus tells his disciples to abide in his love. Eph 5:1 tells us to get out there and walk like people who know they are loved by God. Truth without the love is just a fact. In John 2 we find orthodoxy. ortho = correct; doxa = truth, opinion, so orthodoxy = µcorrect truth¶. orthopraxy = correct practice. God gives us outrageous love and soul-delivering truth. In v.5-6 of 2John, John tells them that he is not giving them a new commandment; this is the commandment they have had from the beginning. Love one another! Often, we already know what we need to do. We don¶t have a knowledge gap; we have an obedience gap! Beth shared with us a list she found, which was compiled by Isaac Newton when he was 19. He came up with a list of 48 sins he had committed, ranging from the trivial and ridiculous, to the real truth, ³I have not loved you.´ That is honest soul searching«
Never forget the ploy to infiltrate. In 2John:10-11, we are warned against letting in heretical teachers. They are persuasive! And when we start listening to them, they start making sense. This does not mean we are not to be hospitable! 3John:5-8 tells us to show hospitality to those who are speaking truth. 2John:7 describes a counterfeit of Matt 28:17. Whereas Jesus gave His disciples the Great Commission, the enemy has his own commission to go and deceive the world. And one of the enemies most insiduous ploys is to tell people ³just say the prayer and then live however you want,´ but that is NOT genuine salvation. We are told there will be deceivers and charlatans - See 2Tim3. The difference between a liar and a deceiver is believability: we recognize when a liar is telling us a lie, but we believe a deceiver. We can be lied to, but we are deceived. Deceivers are often very sincere because they themselves have been deceived. Satan¶s deception has infiltrated the church, and will continue to do so. The deceivers are in our midst! v8 tells us we are to watch ourselves. We are not told to watch others - this would turn into legalism, but we are to watch ourselves. 2John:7 says there will be many deceivers. The Greek is ³polloi planoi´. ³planoi´ = wanderer, someone who has wandered from the truth.
Go out into the world, walking in what you know. Jesus came in the flesh as God; we flesh out the teaching of Christ and we walk it out in our lives through the teachings and love of Christ abiding in us. The deceivers are going out; we have to go out too. This is not the time to hunker down and shut ourselves off from the world.
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