February 14 – Letters of John : 2 John

Read 2 John

As you will find out, the book of 2 John is all about truth. Circle “truth” in the first few verses and see just how many times it is used! As with any word in the Bible, if it’s repeated, it’s important. John is writing to a body of believers that are struggling with endorsement. How do they know what’s true? Who can they trust? In our 21st century world today, there are many 2 John principles that we can pull from this book!

First off, verse 1 speaks to the objectivity of truth.

  • In what way does the Bible speak to how truth is something that can be known?
  • What does 1 John have to say about this topic? (check out 1 John 5:13)

Secondly, truth is what unites us as a church!

  • Why do you think it is so important for the basis of what we do as a church to be rooted in truth?
  • What are some possible consequences of non-truth in the context of a local church?

In verses 5-6, John reverts back to the command to love one another.

  • What would you say is the relationship between truth and love?
  • When was a time where, through love, you experienced truth? Was there a time that someone tried to share truth with you without love?

Next, verse 7 speaks to the standard by which we can measure truth. When something you hear or read doesn’t square up with what God’s Word says, it doesn’t matter how many experts believe it…it’s still false.

  • Describe a time you had to determine something’s validity by checking the Bible.

Lastly, John concludes his second book/letter by describing that truth separates us from supporting everyone. He is actually quite blunt in how he says to deal with false teachers and those who compromise truth.

  • How do these final verses increase your urgency to be on the alert for false teaching?

It’s very important to look back to verse 2 and John’s use of the word “forever”. At the end of the day, regardless of what happens, what’s said, what anybody thinks, truth will be victorious. Philippians 2 tells us that, no matter what, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord!

How are you going to hold fast to truth? In what way are you going to allow truth to saturate the way you talk to and influence people?

February 27: Truth and 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

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.