Loving in the Truth

April 5, 2019 Preacher: Gareth Franks Series: Letters of John - Knowing, Walking & Living the Truth

Topic: Christian Living Scripture: 2 John 1:5–9

Two weeks back we started our study in the second letter of John. As we saw the week before last, the apostle John was very concerned about ‘truth’. He uses the word TRUTH five times in 2 John 1-4. His main concern was false teachers who were traveling around, posing as Christians, but denying fundamental truths about the person and work of Christ. In our text today, John calls them deceivers and antichrists (v. 7). The danger was that the churches might welcome these men into their midst and provide hospitality for them and invite a whole bunch of pain and problems upon themselves.

This letter is basically a warning to the church. He was encouraging them to show love and hospitality but also warning them to be discerning without being discriminating. And the only way they and us are going to be able to distinguish that is when you know the truth.

1. Love One Another (5-6). 

“And now I ask you, dear lady—not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but the one we have had from the beginning—that we love one another. 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.” 2 John 5-6 

2. Be On Guard (v7). 

“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.”        2 John 1:7 

3. Abide in Christ (v8-9). 

 “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.” 2 John 1:8-9 

Sound biblical doctrine is not a dirty word. It’s not something we need to be afraid of. It IS something we very much NEED! It may not be the popular thing or the easy thing, but it is the necessary thing! Swapping sound doctrine for popularity is a bad idea. Conviction disappears and with it courage is gone and credibility is out the window. Trying to be relevant the church becomes absolutely irrelevant. Os Guinness well known and respected Christian author said, "So called believers become kissing Judases who pretend to embrace Jesus even as they betray Him." And so we have to be loyal to the truth. The truth moves ahead only in the hands of those who passionately hate error.

So John says that the church must be on guard to the deceptive nature of false teaching. We must be on guard for ourselves, to abide in the teaching of Christ. Being part of a biblical healthy church protects you and your family against the lies and deception of the devil.

John Piper said once that, “Deception works because it makes shame look glorious, and ugly look pretty, and folly look wise, and suicidal ways look life-giving, and sadness look like gladness. Deception works because we think we’ll be happier if we turn away from Christ and embrace sin.”

We live in a world of lies. The devil is called the ‘father of lies’, and devotes his existence to keep the whole of humanity in a thick black dark cloud of deception so the truth of God cannot be seen. Believers, on the other hand, those of us who know God live in the light of the truth. Truth characterizes us because the truth is so essential to spiritual life, so necessary for salvation, sanctification, because it is so critical to the effectiveness of our testimony. And because Scripture repeatedly warns about deception and warns about deceivers and calls for us to protect the truth passionately, we need to give great attention to the truth. We are to guard the truth. We are to uphold the truth. We are to defend the truth. And we are to proclaim the truth.

Truth is the basis of our fellowship. We join with those who are in the truth, we separate from those who are outside the truth. Don’t entertain false teachers! Don’t let them defraud you of your prize. Don't let them undo the work God has begun. Don't let them tamper with the sanctifying process. Be like Paul who said in Philippians 3:9  “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.”  The only way you will know Christ more, is by learning of his character, by learning sound doctrine. The only way you will continue to grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, is by learning and applying the scriptures.

Lets pray that the Spirit of God will help us to do that!

More in Letters of John - Knowing, Walking & Living the Truth

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