Summary: Discipleship is a life-long process …it is not a sprint to be over with quick. Are we willing to invest in the truth and live rightly in order that we would be able to teach others?
Living in the Truth
- 2 John is John’s second letter sent to Christians near Ephesus, in Asia
-- It is a letter of encouragement to Christians then, and now
-- It has one primary emphasis: We have a need to obey God’s commands
- John also touches on false teachers and heresy (often in his writings)
-- Based on the tone, it is obviously highly personal to someone well known
- Read 2 John 1-13
∆ Point 1 – Greetings!
- John opens this letter with a salutation that seems very personal and close
-- Lots of discussion as to whether this is a family member or a church
-- EX: Calling the church a “she” would make this fit (like a ship)
-- There is a huge lack of personal greeting (see 3 John 1) in this letter
- Also, the word chosen does not normally apply to one person
-- We are all chosen as God’s people (term of summation; generalized)
-- It also suggests that this is a well-known entity within Christian circles
-- APP: No clear answer … my view: this is to a church that he knows well
- So, John is writing to a church he knows, to a people he cares deeply about
-- Their relationship is founded on truth (v1); and the truth is found only in God
-- John 14:6, “Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
- Additionally, love is based on truth – it is not propped up by lies and agendas
-- The truth is eternal, it is never-ending, and in that we find love and comfort
-- So to this church, to these people that he cared about, his message is simple:
-- v3, “Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth and love.”
- IMP: What an incredible wish that you could offer one another today!
- Challenge: If we lived more like this, and truly desired this … how much different would the world that surrounds us our world be?
- TRANS: From his greeting, John gets to the heart of the letter …
∆ Point 2 – Discipleship Matters
- Honest question: How do you feel when others around you succeed?
- When people that we mentor are walking in the truth, we should find joy
-- It starts of course with us actually mentoring other people (ex: “War Room”)
-- And from that when they succeed, we can rejoice and celebrate as well
- John celebrates those around him who are obeying God’s commands (v4)
-- He finds great joy that they are walking in the truth of God’s word
-- Do we find the same joy in those that we pour into and disciple?
- His reminding us of love here is critical for us to see (v5)
-- We need to love one another, willingly, because of what we have been given
-- Christ willingly loved us (to the point of death), which we should do as well
- RE: John heard these words for himself: John 15:12-13, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
-- APP: To John, this is a personal command, a central command of ministry
- Love is demonstrated through real world obedience (v6)
-- That we would obey and honor the One who has given all for us is critical
-- We must be willing to demonstrate this to those around us; for God’s glory
- Everything God has given us is to protect us … not to bring us harm
- When we walk in obedience to Him, we are honoring Him in everything
-- There is a link between love and obedience … and John brings that out here
- TRANS: So why is this reminder important, again, for the church?
∆ Point 3 – Follow the Truth
- There are, and will continue to be, deceivers who go out into the world (v7)
-- Their motives are simple: To distract you from God and look on them/yourself
- These people deny that Jesus has come in the flesh; so they deny God
-- It’s not just the Pharisees, but those who try to make God into what He isn’t
-- EX: “If you don’t share this post then you do not love God …”
-- Normally followed by bible verse out of context: “if you are ashamed of me...”
- While that example is relevant to today; it was happening then as well
-- John calls those who deny the Christ, and who He is, antichrists (against God)