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. 2 John 6
The purpose of this short book is to describe the essentials of the personal walk of the Believer. The setting is a time when many deceivers are present. These individuals do not acknowledge the truth (2 John 7).
The key issue of this personal walk is that love equals obedience to God’s commands. We can rediscover this truth in the Gospel of John.
John 14:15: “If you love me, you will obey what I command.”
John 14:21: “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me.”
John 14:31: “But the world must learn that I love the Father and I do exactly what my Father has commanded me.”
*To truly love God, we must obey Him. Jesus set the example for us.
The greatest commandment is recorded in Matthew 22:37-39: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like the first, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
Oswald Chambers says, “The work of obedience is the evidence that the nature of God is in me. God’s revelation of Himself to me is influenced by my character, not by God’s character. It is through the discipline of obedience that I get to the place were Abraham was, and I see who God is.”
#Application: When we are obedient to God, we suddenly understand what God is showing us. His nature is opened up to us!
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. 2 John 9
Perseverance is NOT optional in God’s plan. We are expected to continue in His light. If we do not persevere, we are in the dark and against God’s way. As we discovered in 1 John, there is no gray zone. We are either for God or against Him.
Oswald Chambers says, “we are not designed with a great capacity for God, but sin, our own individuality, and wrong thinking keep us from getting to Him.” God’s plan runs right through our natural life. We must make sure that we not stand against Him by saying I can’t or I won’t do something. The ultimate goal is to have our spirit united with the Lord as one. This is a process and we must correctly press on as God directs. The lack of perseverance toward this ultimate goal is not optional. “Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scoring the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2.
In our passage today, John was cautioning his readers against deceivers who were speaking another gospel. Remember that if a person is not speaking of Christ, then he is against God.
It gave me great joy to have some brothers come and tell about your faithfulness to the truth and how you continue to walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. 3 John 3,4
“Walking in Truth”
The ultimate goal as we rediscovered in 2 John is to press on toward being united as “one with the Lord” and with His purposes being ours. Walking in the truth is continuing in this process of allowing God to mold and shape us to this ultimate goal. It’s our decision. We must confess our sin, align our goals with His, and correct wrong thinking to achieve this as a life goal. Deviation from this path delays or ultimately prevents us from being united with Him.
It’s not easy and it takes constant attention to detail. God sets truth in front of us, but does not force us to comply. That’s our decision. Remember that the ultimate goal is the best for us and it is achievable. It’s God’s perfect plan for us!
As our vision crystallizes toward this ultimate goal, we want our friends and loved ones to proceed along this “path of righteousness.”
# Make it your goal that you continue to learn from God’s word and continue to walk in the truth.
Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God. 3 John 11
God is good; Satan is evil. THERE IS NO MIDDLE GROUND.
Psalm 97:10: “Let those who love the Lord hate evil.”
Psalm 101:4: “Men of perverse heart shall be far from me; I will have nothing to do with evil.”
Proverbs 8:13: “To fear the Lord is to hate evil.”
Proverbs 10:23: “A fool finds pleasure in evil conduct.”
Be careful – do not be fooled. Evil is rampant in the world and it is often cleverly disguised. We are reminded in Ephesians 6: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12).
Be on the alert and do not dabble in evil. All evil is under girded by Satan’s plan for the world: darkness and godlessness. A person who is a “Believer” has the Holy Spirit within him. Such a person cannot practice evil. But we can be fooled and commit sin. The key is to FLEE FROM EVIL.
1 Timothy 6:11:“But you, man of God, flee from all of this.”
James 4:7: “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. Jude 3
The theme of the book of Jude is to urge his readers to contend for the faith. The reason for this theme is that apostates (deceivers) had slipped in among them secretly. They are described as “godless men, who change the grace of our God into license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ as our only Sovereign and Lord.” Jude 4
The critical issue is that we were purchased at a tremendous price: The Death of God’s Only Son. We should not take this lightly. Living under grace is not a license to sin. Paul said in Romans 6:1-2, “What shall we say then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin, how can we live in it any longer!”
Oswald Chambers states it in the following way: “The only basis on which God can forgive us is the tremendous tragedy of the cross of Christ. We should never take the forgiveness of sin, the gift of the Holy Spirit and our sanctification in simple faith and then forget the enormous cost to God that made all this ours.”
#Thank God for this gift – contend for it. It is a precious gift.