Love and Truth not one or the other
In this day and age of tolerance and relativistic truth, the Bible seems to be making more
of a line in the sand than ever before. The subjective philosophies of the world bristle against its claim of authoritative truth. Consequently, believers need to remember that it is the Gospel which is supposed to be objectionable and confrontational, and not the believer’s tactics, demeanor or personality. The Gospel by nature is designed to be offensive because it reveals people’s sin to them but also provides the cure. Believers on the other hand are to reveal God’s love through their lives along with telling people of the solution to their sin and their need of salvation. When people know that you love them and truly care, they will be more apt to listen to your words that they are lost in sin and to your answers. This short book of 2 John can best be summed up by the Apostle Paul who says “What matters is faith expressing itself in Love.” The object of faith is in God’s Truth and is expressed by loving others. If we truly love others, we will tell them God’s truth. These two things, Living in love and remaining in God’s truth is what John is promoting here.
Love and Truth
2 John 1 The elder, To the chosen lady and her children, whom I love in the truth—and not I only, but also all who know the truth— 2 because of the truth, which lives in us and will be with us forever: 3 Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth and love. 4 It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as the Father commanded us. 5 And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another. 6 And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.
7 Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. 8 Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. 9 Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take him into your house or welcome him. 11 Anyone who welcomes him shares in his wicked work. 12 I have much to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete. 13 The children of your chosen sister send their greetings.
As we ponder God’s character from the above passage, I wonder if God would answer our trademark question below in the following way…
Who are you Lord?
I AM Love incarnate. I AM The Truth. I love you so much that I not only tell you the truth about your sin condition but that I did something about it. Without me you are lost. That is the truth and I have told you in my Word because I love you. If you believe my message and receive it, you are placed “in me”; then you have both my truth and my love placed within you freely. This is where your job starts; share my truth and love with all you encounter. Tell them of my love and their need for my forgiveness so that I can have a relationship with them too. I love you so much that I left heaven and died for you. I love you so much I took your place in hell. I love you so much I have opened the door to heaven and offer you the gift of eternal life so you can be with me.
I AM the Christ – God incarnate, Savior, Redeemer, promised Deliverer, future judge, king of kings, Son of God and Son of Man, Immanuel – God with us, all summed up in the name Jesus. I was worshiped by the angels in heaven and by men while I walked on earth. Only I AM worthy of all praise, glory, power, and worship both now and forever more. He who acknowledges me before men will be acknowledged by me before my Father in heaven. All men will bow down and worship me and confess that I AM The Lord. Anyone who does not is under the control of Satan, is a deceiver and a liar. There is only one God in heaven and that God is me, I AM the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end. I AM he who was, and is, and is to come. Do you know me? That is the truth of the Gospel.
To Love others is to love God
Obeying his command to love others is proof to God that you love him. Thus, loving others is by definition how we love God. And loving others is to be done in deed and truth not just in word and tongue. By loving others we are giving God’s love and care to them. People know that God loves them when believers love them where it really matters in meeting their practical, physical and emotional needs. So in essence, we love God by loving others and God loves others through us when we love them.
To believe that Jesus is God come to earth is to have life
People try to deny that Jesus is God. They say that he is the son of God but that is all. The Deity of Christ is the most crucial factor of the Gospel, and without it, you have no salvation. Only God can save you. Only God could live the perfect life to be the perfect substitution fulfilling the perfect law of God on man’s behalf. Only the perfect blood of God himself could satisfy his perfect demands of the payment of sin. Only God could become man and hold the title of “The Christ” to do all of this. Consequently, If Jesus is not Almighty God, equals with the Father to you; your salvation is not enough. The Jews who knew exactly who Jesus was claiming to be; because on more than one occasion, they tried to kill him for it and eventually did have him crucified by Pilate for those very claims of Deity. Thus Jesus is not some goody two shoes who lived an exemplary life for us to follow but rather claimed to be God incarnate and you either believe him (and live), or not (to your own peril).
Friends don’t let friends go to hell
There are not too many better ways for true believers to stand out in the proverbial crowd than when they love with genuine Agape love to those around them. Jesus said so much when he said “all men will know you are my disciples by your love for one another.” And “Love one another as I have loved you.” Society expects love, but it is a love without truth. However, John warns believers that God’s Love is based on His truth, not some emotional mumbo jumbo like the world deems love as depicted in songs “What the world needs now, is love sweet love.” Or “All you need is love.” As mentioned in previous posts, Christian love is not a means to salvation and forgiveness but rather our reasonable response to it. Like the verse says “We love because he first loved us”, and “He who has been forgiven little loves little”. Christian love warns people who are in danger of eternal lostness. It is not love to let someone careen down the path to destruction, but challenges them with truth. It is not love to knowingly let you do wrong. That is like letting those you love drive a vehicle while drunk. You would do what you could to stop them. Sometimes they thank you and sometimes they resent you for it. Regardless, you tell them the truth in love. So too, friends don’t let friends go to hell without telling them the truth.
That is all for 2 John,