For further study, read the articles in the section “General Epistles.”. This letter stresses the need to walk in the commandments of God. It could mean that the people respected him as amature man. 2 John 1-4 1 The Elder, To the elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth, and not only I, but also all those who have known the truth, 2 because of the truth which abides in … Certainly both are true. Truth is objective. Never miss a post! 514.). John commends those who were "walking in truth" and then tells us that this means keeping God's "commandments." Print subscriptions available in U.S., Canada and Europe, Article URL: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/bible/holy-bible/new-testament/general-epistles/2-john/, Historical Background of the New Testament Resources. How Should a Christian Deal With the Coronavirus Pandemic? In Chinese Buddhism, the Madhyamaka position is accepted and the two truths refer to two ontological truths. 2 John – Walking In the Truth “This epistle is more remarkable for the spirit of Christian love which it breathes than for anything else. It could meanthat the person was old. Here it means that the writer is a leader in the church. Truth is the necessary condition of unity and, as a result, the basis of hospitality. He says we can lose it all or we can receive it all; a full reward! The truth is being threatened by false teachers. “The very shortness of these two letters [2 John and 3 John] is the best guarantee of their genuineness. As Christians, we are to endeavor to actively walk in obedience to God’s commandments with our whole being, trusting in Him to help, support and mercifully forgive us upon repentance when we realize we have fallen short. Used by permission. As in his first two epistles, John continues to stress the importance of “the truth” and how he was filled with joy when he heard of those who “walk in the truth” . The basic message of Christianity is termed "the truth, " and believers know the truth, and can discern that no lie is of the truth ( 1 John 2:4 1 John 2:21). We must follow the truth and have love for God and one another in order to receive the blessings. The patriarchs of old “walked” with God. In fact, the next time you ask someone how they a To some, truth is subjective, the individual world of preference and opinion. Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life" - John 14:6 [See Hebrews 1:1-3] Conclusion One writer, who believes it is impossible to fall from grace, said these people were in danger of losing "part of the reward at the judgment seat of Christ." Yes! The false teacher must be shown that his teaching is unacceptable. The letter encourages them to continue walking in truth, in the love of God and love of one another. Busy, busy, busy. He is concerned over the influence of false teachers, using strong terms to reject their teachings. When we "know the truth" of what we are as brothers and sisters in Christ; when we "know the truth" of God's great love for us; when we "know the truth" of what it is to bear God's image as His offspring, then we will love one another as God has loved us. Andre van Belkum currently serves as the pastor of the Church of God, a Worldwide Association, in New Zealand and the Pacific region. John uses the word "truth" no less than four times in just the salutation. If it is true that the "elect lady" is a church, then "house" here could be the place where the saints assemble to worship. “He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He [Christ] walked” (1 John 2:6). In fact, it … (II JOHN 7-9). They said that that which was divine could not become material flesh. This is the commandment that you have heard from the beginning, that you should walk in it." The truth that originates with God is not a temporary, passing phenomenon, but is “the truth which abides in us and will be with us forever” (2 John 2). He loves them "in truth." And it is through the truth that true Christians are “sanctified” (John 17:19), which means “the setting apart of the believer for God” (Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words). If Jesus reigns on the throne of our hearts, then truth is the law of our lives. Reality exists of two levels, a relative level and an absolute level. “Such truth ‘will be with us forever’ because it comes from the ‘Spirit of Truth’ [which] will ‘be with you forever’ (John 14:16) and because its acceptance leads to eternal life” ( Expositor’s Bible Commentary, revised edition, p. “Truth” in 2 John 1-4 is technically metonymy, the use of an associated element to refer to a larger concept. Believers are to love in both deed and in truth (i.e., "truly" 1 John 3:18). The Bible states that God commanded Abraham to “walk before Me and be blameless” (Genesis 17:1). The particular false teachers of John's day were called "deceivers" and "antichrists." It has already been determined. One is that we are to walk in love and this means keeping the commandments of God. By Jon W. Quinn From Expository Files 1.8; August, 1994. This could mean one of two things: either he loves them sincerely or that he loves them as they both stand in the Lord's truth. Today many like to say, "It does not matter what you believe as long as you are sincere." If we love Him, we will keep His commandments. It is not what I wish were true or feel is true that determines what is true. There are three ways that we can use the word ‘*elder’. There are two main points which John makes in the letter. John uses the word "truth" no less than four times in just the salutation. John Was And Is Very Special; We Should Pay Attention To Everything He Wrote In This Letter; Yeshua Is The Life That Appeared; Encouragement To Have Fellowship With The Father And Son And True… Other New Testament writers agree: “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (James 1:22; see also Romans 2:13). “The letters we call 2 and 3 John are similar in words, style, ideas, and character to 1 John, and must have been written by the same author, who refers to himself simply as ‘the elder’” (Zondervan Illustrated Bible Dictionary, p. 754—see 2 John 1:1; 3 John 1:1). It makes us free. At any rate, Christians are prohibited from lending encouragement to false teachers. (2 Corinthians 4:10) When we compare His life to our own lives and see how enormously … Truth is simply telling it like it is. "Grace, mercy and peace will be with us, from God the Father, in truth and love..." (II JOHN 3). Abraham enthusiastically responded to God’s command. John is pleased to see that some believers are sticking to the truth, but this implies that others are not. First, truth corresponds to reality or “what is.” It is real. (II JOHN 1-3). Some say truth is a power play, a metanarrative constructed by the elite for the purpose of controlling the ignorant masses. In other words, it matches its object and is known by its referent. Get the latest blog posts from Life, Hope & Truth straight to your inbox. In these first two sections we discover something else. John refers to the "elect lady" as "you all." First, John says he loves the elect lady and her children. It cannot! As a result, he encouraged them to continue walking in the truth, thereby renouncing false teachers attempting to introduce beliefs contrary to the true doctrines Christ established in His Church. He highly commends Gaius' care and hospitality to his messengers whose mission was to take the Gospel from place to place, whether they were known to him or were strangers. (2 John 3–5) According to John, love plus truth equals an environment in which “grace, mercy and peace will be with us.” Regrettably, we often act as though grace, mercy, and peace depend on love minus truth. The world is back at it. (II JOHN 10,11). Doctrine does matter! Third John is the shortest book of the Bible: only 219 words (in its original Greek). In other words, they denied that Jesus was God in human flesh. DO NOT PARTICIPATE IN ANOTHER'S EVIL DEEDS "If anyone comes to you, and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds." Or perhaps Christians are being told not to allow a traveling false teacher a place to stay. John began this theme (in Chapter 2, Verse 18) on a rather negative note. "Just as you have heard from the beginning" John says. There is a difference of opinion on this point. Even among the rest of the early Christians, the number of those who had actually seen Jesus was dwindling down to only a few, and it would not be long until no one would be left from the generation which had witnessed the Savior. As Christians, we are to endeavor to actively walk in obedience to God’s commandments with our whole being, trusting in Him to help, support and mercifully forgive us upon repentance when we realize we have fallen short.In this short epistle of 13 verses, John uses the word “truth” five times and “love” four times. There is a reason for that. Fourth, The blessings of God; His grace, mercy and peace, will be with us "in truth and love." The truth dwells in the faithful Christian. John places a great deal of importance and emphasis on preserving the biblical truth within the Church. At the start of the letter, the writer calls himself the‘*elder’. Sign up to receive the week's latest articles, blog posts and updates. and when they don’t: When Christians walk in truth, joy abounds (3 Jn 4). Love is walking in God’s commandments (verses 4-6). “Most modern commentators, however, conclude that ‘the Elect Lady’ is a general reference to an entire congregation, so that ‘her children’ are the individual members of the congregation” (revised edition, pp. He became known as “the friend of God” (James 2:23; Isaiah 41:8), taking his rightful place among the biblical examples of living faith (Hebrews 11:8-10). Pastor John Miller begins a study through the Book of 2 John with an expository message titled “Walking in Truth” using 2 John 1:1-13 as his text. His word is true! However, these words are more like our southern expression "you all." 514.) 513-514). How foolish and prideful to tamper with the truth by seeking to alter the commandments of God to fit our own cultures and fads and opinions. Good morning and happy Monday. Read the Bible; Reading Plans ... 2 John 2. And notice something else, though it had been many years since Jesus had ascended back into heaven and the gospel began to be proclaimed on the day of Pentecost, the commandments were the same as when the twelve had stood up and preached the first gospel sermon proclaiming Jesus as the Christ. Everyone going to work, going to school, going somewhere. Truth is that which matches its object. Do not even wish them well in their work, because whatever encouragement or support we may give them will only serve to aid in the accomplishment of evil. The truth that originates with God is not a temporary, passing phenomenon, but is “the truth which abides in us and will be with us forever” (2 John 2). “Such truth ‘will be with us forever’ because it comes from the ‘Spirit of Truth’ [which] will ‘be with you forever’ (John 14:16) and because its acceptance leads to eternal life” (Expositor’s Bible Commentary, revised edition, p. He did not really die! . Here we observe that the expression which we are considering in 2:4b is applied by the inspired writer to US--i.e., to himself and his Christian readers. This demonstrates Abraham’s willingness to walk with God in truth. SALUTATION: A MATTER OF TRUTH "The elder to the chosen lady and her children, whom I love in truth; and not only I, but also all who know the truth, for the sake of the truth which abides in us and will be with us forever: Grace, mercy and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love." The Bible says, “Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws” (Genesis 26:5). . Hence, “truth” refers to a particular body of truth, not a particular singular truth, but also not to all truth. Others believe truth is a collective judgment, the product of cultural consensus, and still others flatly deny the concept of truth altogether. For example, the use of the plural personal pronoun in the Greek in verses 10 and 12. (II JOHN 1-3). And this is love, that we walk according to His  commandments. Old Testament incidents and examples have been recorded for our benefit (Romans 15:4; 16:26; 1 Corinthians 10:11). The truth is being threatened by false teachers. But John says nothing about losing a part of anything. 2 John 1:6, ESV: "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." John wrote to "the chosen lady." Truth refers to the basics or fundamentals of the faith that John has discussed in 1 John (sound belief in Christ, obedience, love), as well as the truths expressed in 2 John (e.g. They are so brief … that no one would have gone to the trouble of inventing them and of attaching them to the name of John. It contains scarcely anything that is not found in the preceding; and out of the thirteen verses there are at least eight which are found, either in so many words or in sentiment, precisely the same with those of the first epistle.” (Adam Clarke) The epistle (letter) called 2 John tells us it is from “the elder.”. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it” (2 John 4, 6). Both "truth" and "love" are important. Previously he pastored congregations in southern Africa, including South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi. 3. Truth will be with us forever. The book of 2 John is addressed to the “elect lady and her children.”. The context suggests that "the elect lady" is not a single person but a group of people. I JOHN 2:19). came into the world to “bear witness to the truth” (John 18:37). The apostle states: “Whoever transgresses and does not abide [continue, remain, endure] in the doctrine [teachings] of Christ does not have God. First, John says he loves the elect lady and her children. Notice what John says concerning the "truth." 2 John 1-3 So, What is the Truth? He referred to himself as "the elder" and is  certainly the last apostle living at the time. It shows itself through his or her deeds, thoughts and words. “First, it is unclear whether John is referring specifically to an individual or metaphorically to an entire congregation,” according to The Expositor’s Bible Commentary. It is not unusual for the Scripture to do so (EPHESIANS 5:22f; II CORINTHIANS 11:2; etc.). We must continue to abide in the teaching of Christ to maintain our relationship with Him and the Father. (II JOHN 4-6). The word “commandment(s)” is used four times; and the active verb “walk” or “walking,” three times. Take a Tour. Most scholars accept the long tradition that “the elder” mentioned in the opening verse was the elderly apostle John, as the writing reflects a voice of loving authority, and therefore suggests that the author is more than a local elder or member of the Church of God. John was concerned that the members were being deceived into rejecting the truth of God and replacing truth with human-devised dogmas. As a short letter, 2 John doesn’t develop any one topic too deeply. Greetings to the elect lady (verses 1-3). 2 John is being written to warn a “sister” congregation some distance away of the missionary efforts of the secessionist false teachers, and the dangers of wel… John “rejoiced greatly that I have found some of your children walking in truth, as we received commandment from the Father.” He also wrote, “This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. Jesus is real! For a quick link to all the other books of the Bible, see “Books of the Bible” on the Learning Center. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. John warns (4:2), “By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God” (see also, 2 John 7). In our English translations the Greek words "humas", "humin" are translated "you." Warning against religious deceivers (verses 7-11). All rights reserved. Watch yourselves, that you might not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward. For example, a teacher facing a class may say, “Now the only exit to this room is on the right.” It was "forever." This view that John is addressing a congregation is further supported by the fact that in some verses (6, 8, 10, 12) the plural is used when addressing the kuria, and therefore it is most likely a reference to a church rather than a specific person. By faithfully and steadfastly walking along this way, we are doing “those things that are pleasing in His sight” (1 John 3:22). Third John shows us what happens when people follow sound teaching . WALKING IN THE TRUTH "I was very glad to find some of your children walking in truth, just as we have received commandment from the Father. They have "gone out into the world" showing that they were once within the church (cf. Brief Summary: John is writing with his usual strong emphasis on truth to this much-loved brother in Christ, Gaius, a layman of some wealth and distinction in a city near Ephesus. These teachers were the antichrists. Of course, this does not mean that the Old Testament is not concerned with truth—merely that the New Testament has a special emphasis on the truth of Jesus. Presumably the Christian community to which he wrote knew who he was. God desires to communicate with us. Second, John says all who "know the truth" would have the same love for this church as he does. The second is a warning not to give encouragement to false teachers. Truth is also correspondent in nature. The real test of faith and love comes in the application. God's communication is consistent with His nature. John 14:16 And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate to be with you forever--2 Peter 1:12 Therefore I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are established in the truth you now have. If we push them aside substituting our own doctrines and practices, then we do not have God. Third, John says that the truth "abides in us" and that it will be with us "forever." In a prayer to His Father before His crucifixion, Jesus Christ stated, “Your word is truth,” a clear reference to the inspired Word of God—the Bible (John 17:17). God breathed is Word into existence - 2 Timothy 3:16; E. Jesus embodies truth - John 14:6. The Greek word for “lady” is kuria, which is a feminine form of the masculine kurios, which means “master” or “lord.”. You can imagine the esteem with which the early Christians would have viewed the last surviving apostle; one who had actually walked and talked with the Lord. 2. Our house sits very close to I-20 in SW Fort Worth and on busy mornings you can hear the hum of the highway. One element of this body of truth is that it is true. Believers are of the truth, which no doubt means that they belong to Jesus, who is the truth ( 1 John 3:19). God calls such people “liars” because the truth is not in them (1 John 2:4). How does God refer to individuals who claim “I know Him” but refuse to “walk” in His ways? We live in such a busy world. That is to say he loves the church (the elect lady) to which he is writing as a whole as well as the individual members (her children) who make it up. He wasn't really here! They lived and worked in the first century. New International Version Update. Truth and obedience. verses 4-6). Diotrephes. clear what our position should be regarding the enemies of the truth When two parties know the truth, love comes naturally. The Bible identifies truth as a quality intrinsic to the very nature of God. For example, in 1 John 1:8 we read: "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us" (italics added). This includes Enoch (Genesis 5:24) and Noah, who “was a just man … [and] walked with God” (Genesis 6:9). It appears that this is a personification of a church and not a literal lady. Where the first section emphasized the word "truth," this section elaborates. He talked about heresies, about perversions of the truth, about the distortions and counterfeits that will exist from time to time, in cycles, throughout history. There is a reason for that. In Second John, the elder ( 2 Jn 1) briefly explains the relationship between the three: Love and truth. All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version (© 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.). (John 1:14) So the truth is the life of Jesus – which is to be manifested in us. The reason for the great amount of attention given to truth, the commandments and obeying them is the very real danger which existed (and exists today) of being destroyed by a false teacher. WARNINGS ABOUT FALSE TEACHERS "For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. The Bible does not use the term  "antichrist" to refer to some future world leader. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son” (2 John 9, emphasis added throughout). A standard papyrus sheet measured ten by eight inches and the length of these letters would each take up almost exactly one sheet” (Barclay’s Daily Study Bible: The Letters of John and Jude, 1976, p. 127). This letter repeats many themes from John’s first letter, and Second John reflects these themes as well. And now I ask you, lady, not as writing to you a new commandment, but the one which we have had from the beginning, that we love one another. Some assume that this is a reference to a church congregation and its spiritual children, while others contend that it is a particular lady who was a member of the Church of God. John says, "and this is love, that we walk according to His commandments." They were denying that Jesus had come "in the flesh." Notice what John says concerning the "truth." Each localchurch had its leaders who were the ‘elders’. And to the enemies of truth; to those who mock it and desire it to disappear, we have this bit of bad news; the truth will be with us forever. D. God's Word is truth - John 17:17. To “walk” in truth before God means striving to follow and imitate the example Christ set: “He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked” (1 John 2:6). His body was an illusion! Just as in the Gospel of John the author does not explicitly identify himself with the Apostle John, so here he prefers the designation the elder. Walking in the Truth - 2 John Sermon by Pastor Todd Riley on August 5, 2018. Early Christians received the second epistle of John from the aged apostle in the latter quarter of the first century. If we go beyond the teaching, or doctrine of Christ, then we forfeit our relationship with God. Demetrius. John cautions "watch yourselves" because it would be possible to "lose what we have accomplished." This is the test and challenge confronting true Christians! The epistle called 3 John concerns three individuals, and in this letter the apostle John sends an essential message to each of them: Gaius. 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