Walk in Love and Truth!
2 John 4-11
Stephen Caswell © 1999
Walk in Love and Truth / /
During an interview, a former network news anchorman said that a " doctrinaire person cannot be a good news reporter.
He then defined a doctrinaire person as someone who has deep convictions of absolute truths in the areas of politics or religion.
If he meant that a reporter should present the truth in an objective manner, unaffected by personal biases, I would agree.
But if he meant in a more general sense that we must not bring convictions of right and wrong to discussions of politics and religion, I would strongly disagree.
After all, none of us would have political or religious freedom were it not for men and women who had convictions for which they were willing to die.
As Christians we need to know the truth and live by it.
Because of this, we may be called narrow, or extreme, but it doesn't matter.
It is because our forefathers stood up for the truth that we are here today.
/John wrote to the church and encouraged them.
They had been practicing the truth./
But then he warned them about false teachers who were deceiving some of the brethren.
/So John encouraged them to stand up for the truth!/
Today we need to heed this same warning lest we too fall into error.
John tells them two things to do.
Practice the Truth
2. Protect the Truth
*The first thing John says to do is to:* I. Practice The Truth
*2 John 4* says this: /I rejoiced greatly that I have found some of your children walking in truth, as we received commandment from the Father.
/John's Applause// -/ He praises them, /for walking in the truth/.
John rejoiced when he found some of the brethren walking in the truth.
He was pleased that they were living the way that they should.
John uses the term /walking/ to describe how they were living.
Life is like a journey to a far away land.
Such a journey is made up of many steps.
The Bible says Christians are to walk in a manner worthy of the gospel.
Each step we take in our lives should be in obedience to the truth.
Christians should live differently to the world.
They must live holy lives, speaking truthfully.
They must be honest and have integrity.
Prisoners Escaping in World War II
The French resistance helped allied pilots and escaped prisoners get to safety during World War II.
They knew where and when the enemy soldiers patrolled near the borders.
These French Guides led the allied soldiers safely past the border.
Without the guides the soldiers could step on land mines or be recaptured by the enemy.
It was of vital importance to obey the guide and follow in his steps.
In the same way Christians are strangers in hostile territory.
If we want escape the clutches of the enemy then we need to follow the guide book.
We need to follow in the steps of the Lord Jesus Christ
*1 John 2:6 *says: / He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked/
But the sad part of this verse is that not /all/ were walking in the truth.
For John says /some/ were walking in the truth.
So obviously some weren't.
Some were disobedient to the word of God.
Perhaps they had been deceived by false teachers who had come amongst them.
Some were living as if they didn't belong to Christ.
They lived like people in the world.
The following warning comes from the book, *Pilgrims Progress*.
/Come hither, you that walk along the way,/
/See how the pilgrims fare that go astray:/
/They're caught into an entangling net,/
/Because they did good counsel forget:/
/It is true, they were rescued, but yet you see, /
/They are scourged by boots: let this your caution be.
Nevertheless John praises the faithful ones for their shinning example.
It doesn't matter if others go astray, God expects us to remain faithful.
/John's Appeal //-/ He pleads with them to continue to walk in love.
*2 John 5-6* says this: /And now I plead with you, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment to you, but that which we have had from the beginning: that we love one another.
This is love, that we walk according to His commandments.
This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it./
Most conservative commentators believe that the elect lady is a reference to a house church.
Peter uses a feminine title to describe the Church at Babylon.
The Church is referred to as the bride of Christ in Ephesians 5:23 ff.
No matter how we look at this letter it was probably written to a house church.
John is addressing a number of believers in this letter.
Love in Action
A young man sent a love letter to his girlfriend.
It read " Darling, I'd climb the highest mountain, sail the widest ocean, cross the hottest desert just to see you.
P. S. - I'll be over Saturday night if it doesn't rain.
His love was all talk, no action.
Unlike this young man, John wants believers to have a love that is not just words.
He wants them to have a love that is active.
He doesn't want them to glory in past achievements and do nothing in the present.
So after praising them for walking in the truth he encourages them to continue this way.
/What is involved in loving one another and walking in love?/ /Can you command love?/ John says that this commandment we have had from the beginning.
This commandment was as old as the gospel itself and was not new.
Jesus Christ exemplified what it means to love one another.
He told us to love one another as He loved us.
Jesus Christ chose*/ to serve others./*
He showed that His love for us was more than just feelings by */reaching out to people in need/*.
He demonstrated it in a life of service for others.
This of course was */exemplified in His death on the cross.
*Therefore, To love means to choose to act on behalf of others.
*To love means to treat people the way God treats us.
To love means to put others first.
To love means to serve.
Jesus said that the two great commandments were to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love our neighbour as ourselves.
Therefore when we love our fellowman we are fulfilling the commandments.
To walk in His commandments is to love one another.