Summary: A sermon on the truth that is in Jesus and the balance between truth and love.
INTRO.: Children on a teeter-toter must be approximately the same weight or the device will not function because one over balances the other. It’s true in most of life, we must achieve a balance
It’s true in Christianity. There must be a balance between faith and works, between worship and witness, between (and this is John’s theme) love and truth.
Love is an extremely important part of the Christian life, and sometimes we allow it to cause us to compromise truth. However, love depends on truth to survive. Love will not survive on lies, deception, or compromise of the truth.
To walk in love with Jesus, one must walk in truth
I. Let’s look at the “good confession” incident in Matt. 16:13ff:
A. Men followed Jesus seeking the truth about Him:
1. They saw and heard marvelous things.
2. So marvelous many thought Him to be a prophet.
3. They sought truth to live by and saw Him as the teacher who might supply that truth.
B. God revealed the truth to them and it became the foundation of the Church and of their lives.
1. The truth is Jesus is God’s son and His mission is to die for the sins of the world.
2. Man’s wisdom is not the source of this truth. His ideas are mistaken.
3. Truth always originates from God. We only discover it when He is ready. He has invented it.
C. In fact, men tend to reject truth, as Peter did in v. 22.
1. Jesus says the source of such rejection is Satan. 23
2. Jesus calls in strongest terms for a commitment to the truth about Him. 24
3. There is nothing to lose by such a commitment. 25
4. Acting upon the truth will bring final victory. 27
II. In the eighth chapter of John, the Jews challenged Jesus about His identity and relation to the Father:
A. They asked “Who are you?’ 25
1. He tells them they will know Him when He has been sacrificed and raised. 28
2. They may not understand Him now, but the time is coming when all will be clear.
3. So, they must continue in His word to find truth and, through truth, freedom. 31, 32
B. We must also continue in His Truth.
1. As there is truth by which sinners find salvation, there is truth by which Christians must live.
3. The promise of freedom from sin and death is ours only if we continue in His Word.
C. I heard a sermon on “Why Johnny Fell Out Of Bed.” The reason: he fell asleep too close to where he got in.
1. There is always a need for growth in the truth.
2. There’s more truth to learn, more freedom to pursue.
3. We can always improve the way we apply and use the truth we know.
III. Let’s consider the connection between love and truth:
A. John repeatedly connects them: vv. 3, 6, 10, III Jn. 1
1. The relationship between the two is the point of John’s epistle.
2. The problem was wandering teachers who taught falsehood and didn’t deserve hospitality.
3. In love, John is warning his readers to temper love with truth.
4. Christian love is not blind!
B. Christian truth teaches us how to love:
1. Love is not just an emotional passion that comes and goes.