August 1: Truth & Love

Read 2 John 1-13

The second letter from the apostle John is written to “the elect lady.” This is most likely referring to a local church rather than to a literal woman since John uses the plural form to speak to his audience.[1] John also personifies the Church as a bride or woman in other writings (See Rev. 21:2, 9; 22:17).

The two buzzwords of this small book are “truth” and “love.” The first two verses explain that we both love and know the truth “because of the truth that abides in us and will be with us forever.” This is the Holy Spirit; the Spirit of Truth.[2] Look at the similarity to what John records Jesus saying in his Gospel, “He will give you another Advocate to help you and be with you foreverthe Spirit of truth…He lives with you and will be in you” (italics added).

In this letter, John insists that truth and love are inseparable! We must demonstrate love, but not at truth’s expense. We must demonstrate truth, but not at love’s expense.

Again, look at the similarity of  John 14:15 and 2 John 6. Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” John echoes this in verse 6, “And this is love: that we walk in obedience to His commands.” Our true love is demonstrated by our unforced obedience to Christ’s truth!

John wants these believers to soak themselves in God’s truth because at this time there were “deceivers” among them. He wanted them to be prepared with discernment. There were people who claimed to be Christians and yet denied that Jesus came in the flesh (verse 7). Known as “Docetism,” this heresy claimed that Jesus was an illusion; that He only seemed to be a physical man and thus only seemed to suffer and die on the cross.[3]

It was common practice for church members to house traveling preachers out of hospitality.[4] Therefore, John appeals to his readers not to be supporters of these false teachers by providing them lodging.

So,

  1. The Holy Spirit empowers us to love and enlightens us with truth. Is He in you? If so, do you allow Him to work in and through you?
  1. Truth and love cannot be separated.  In what ways have you demonstrated truth at love’s expense? In what ways have you demonstrated love at truth’s expense?
  1. We must be armed with truth so that we can shoo away Satan’s false teachers!

Nathan Harley

 

[1] Robert W. Yarbrough, “2 John Notes,” ESV Study Bible

[2] Earl D. Radmacher, Ronald B. Allen, and H. W. House. Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Commentary.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

About harleynd

I completed my second year at Grace College in Winona Lake, Indiana this year where I will earn my Bachelor of Arts in Intercultural Studies and Biblical Studies in May 2015. This summer I am at home working at Grace Church in Wooster, Ohio as Spiritual Growth/Grace Groups Intern.
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1 Response to August 1: Truth & Love

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