Looking for the Truth

April 12, 2019 Preacher: Gareth Franks Series: Letters of John - Knowing, Walking & Living the Truth

Topic: Christian Living Scripture: 2 John 1:9–13

Home Group Study - Sermon Date: 12 April 2019

Text: 2 John 9-13

Opening Discussion: If you’ve never had a computer virus you might be tempted to write it all off as a load of people panicking over nothing. How much damage can a virus really cause? Do hackers really steal data and identities and wreck computers? What has been your experience? Share your story.


2 John deals with the same problem as 1 John. Like computer viruses and the Trojan horse, similar tactics have been and are still being used by Satan to infiltrate and damage the church of Jesus Christ. False teachers influenced by the beginnings of Gnostic philosophies were threatening the church. Last week we looked at verse 5-9. In these verses John is teaching that the church must be on guard to the deceptive nature of false teachers. We need to be discerning, and the only way we can do that effectively is by knowing what is true. By abiding in Jesus Christ, who is truth personified.

The strategic difference between 1 John & 2 John is that while 1 John has no specific individual or church specified to whom it was addressed, 2 John has a local group or house-church in mind. This house church that was hospitable. The church was gracious. And so they were vulnerable. The false teachers were going from house to house among John’s congregations, seeking to make converts, and taking advantage of Christian hospitality to advance their cause. So John writes this letter as a warning and to establish the limits of our loving. We love in the truth. We love within the confines of the truth. And we stay loyal to the truth.

Investigation & Interpretation:


  • 2 John 1-13
  1. What does it mean to “not abide in the teaching of Christ”? v.9
  2. According to verse 9, what is evidence of a saving faith?
  3. What should our welcome be to false teachers who deliberately deceive about the doctrine of the person of Jesus Christ? v.10 (…refer to KJV)
  4. What should our welcome be to believers who have different doctrine than we do, but on relatively minor points? v.10
  5. What should our welcome be to unbelievers? v.10
  6. Conversely, what kinds of people should we offer ready hospitality to? v.10
  7. Why should we not receive false teachers into our homes, or greet them?  v.11
  8. What would our welcome of such false teachers indicate to them and others?  v.11
  9. How is joy connected to corporate worship? v.12
  10. How is “fullness of joy” related to the “knowledge of truth”? v.12 (c.f. Jer.15;16)


How must I change?

  •  Is there a Truth to be believed?

John Stott makes this statement in his commentary on 2 John 11, “If John’s instruction still seems harsh, it is perhaps because his concern for the glory of the Son and the good of men’s souls is greater than ours, and because ‘the tolerance on which we pride ourselves’ is in reality an ‘indifference to truth’”. What tolerated indifferences to truth could he be thinking about here that do not bring glory to the Son?

  • Is there an Attitude to be fostered?

John teaches us in the closing verses that fulfilled joy in the Christian life is inextricably connected not only to communion with God, but also to Christian fellowship. Why do you suppose that some professing believers do not want to become active, committed members of a church?

  • Is there a Behavior to be changed?

“The wonder of the good news which the gospel brings to us must never be allowed through false teaching to lose its power and effectiveness!” What is the wonder of the good news which the gospel brings to us? Discuss some false teaching you have heard that waters down the good news of the gospel.  


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.

We cannot afford to be indifferent to the truth. It’s the truth that sets us free, not our opinions or philosophies, not our emotions, not our experiences…but the truth! Together as a church we need to be loyal to the gospel truth. Together as a church we need to be defending the gospel truth. Together as a church we need to be proclaiming the gospel. Because the GOSPEL is THE only Hope this world has and WE have. “So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." John 8:31-32


Prayer Points:  

  1. Pray that with the help of the Holy Spirit, NLC will walk in the truth, while loving like Christ.
  2. Pray that we would be discerning and wise, washing ourselves with the water of the Word.
  3. Pray that we would never allow the wonder of the gospel to lose its power and effectiveness.

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

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A Bad Example

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