2 John 1 Truth & Love

by | Oct 17, 2023 | 2 John, New Testament

I. Opening Greeting Vs. 1-3

A. The Author & The Recipient V. 1a

1. The Elder- John speaks of himself
2. The elect lady and her children– Either a Christian woman, or a church.

a. New Testament writers often spoke of the church in terms of a bride.
b. 2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:25–27, 31, 32; Revelation 21:2, 9; 22:17

3. It may have been a church that met in the home of a prominent Christian woman

B. Loving In Truth Vs. 1b-3

1. V. 1– John consistently talks about love and truth being joined together.
2. There is a huge sentiment among many people that want some kind of loving spirituality, but who do not believe that any absolute truth is needed.

a. They insist that only love is important in things spiritual.
b. They’re unwilling to agree that absolute truth is needed in matters of faith

3. The Beatles sang about this- “All You Need Is Love”.

a. The Beatles mentioned nothing of truth, which is what many espouse.

4. The highest love must include truth. Truth must include love.

a. A spiritual life cannot just have love, for without truth, there is no moral compass. Love makes decisions based upon truth. Truth (God’s truth) will lead us to rightly love others.
b. Love cannot be left to sentiment. Truth cannot be proclaimed unlovingly.
c. Truth enables one to love appropriately. Love enables one to speak truth appropriately. Love & truth must exist together in order to treat people in the best way possible. Lovingly apply truth, truthfully apply love.
d. Oswald Sanders-Truth w/o love is brutality, love w/o truth is hypocrisy.

5. V. 2 John says that they love in truth because the truth was abiding in them.

a. Truth abides in the Christian heart. It lives and is settled there.
b. Truth about God, heaven, hell, Jesus, man’s need for God, etc.
c. We can love people according to what we think is true about them, or according to what God says is true about them. Love & truth co-existing.
d. The truth that abides in a Christian’s mind is not acquired by human effort or ability, but is divinely given to the surrendered Christian.

i. Compare with 1 John 5:9
ii. 1 Corinthians 2:14-16 14But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. 16For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

6. V.3 These blessings come equally from God the father & God the Son.

a. They will come with love, and they will come with truth.

II. Walking In Truth Vs. 4-11

A. Walking In Truth & Love Vs. 4-6

1. V. 4- John sounds pleasantly surprised to have found some obedient Christians.

a. Walking- a purposeful decision, not an accidental action.
b. Christians are to purposefully decide to walk in obedience to God.

2. V. 5– John reiterates the command, apparently for some who were not walking in love according to truth.

a. John pleads, because walking in love is a conscious choice at some point.
b. There may be times when we love w/o thinking; others require choice.

B. Responding To Deceivers Vs. 7-11

1. V. 7- Interesting that John called for them to walk in love because of deceivers.
2. V. 7- This was the particular heresy that was being spread. Gnosticism.

a. If Jesus didn’t come in the flesh, there is no Christianity.
b. Christianity is based upon a physical Jesus dying a physical death for the sins of the world. A ghost/phantom can’t die as a sacrifice for your sins.
c. Matthew 26:27, 28 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. (Jesus’ shed blood paid for our sins)
d. Any alteration of the Biblical Jesus is from a deceiver (deceived) or an anti-christ spirit, which means against, opposed to, or a substitute Jesus.

3. V. 8Look to yourselves- Keep a watchful eye on yourself re. who Jesus is

a. If we are deceived about Jesus, we can lose the fullness of reward we might have otherwise had. We won’t serve or love according to truth. Not a matter of losing salvation, but of losing reward. Salvation is the gift of God, but rewards for faithful service are something we earn.
(Eph. 2:8; Rev. 3:11; 1 Cor. 3:15)

4. V. 9– To be wrong about Jesus is to not know God the Son or God the Father.

a. People don’t want “doctrine”. Doctrine is simply teaching about Jesus.
b. We are to abide in the doctrine, the truth re. Jesus

5. V. 10, 11- The early church was expected to financially support traveling teachers and welcome them into their homes. John said not to support false teachers, for to support them would mean, in a sense, to join them, and be guilty as well.

a. The doctrine that John referred to was the humanity/physicality of Jesus.
b. We are not to support false teachers in any way.
c. They were not to welcome them as teachers, or allow them unintentional endorsement or referral.

III. Closing Statements Vs. 12, 13

1. V. 12– John could have written more, but some conversations need to take place in person. His goal was that they would share mutual joy because of the truth re. Jesus.
2. V. 13-The sister church that John was with sent their greetings to this church.