You do not have God

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

Everyone who goes on ahead and does not remain in the teaching of Christ does not have God. The one who remains in this teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house and do not give him any greeting, because the person who gives him a greeting shares in his evil deeds. 2 John 1.9-11

If you have ever had friends that were faithful to the Lord, but have left the truth behind and followed other teachings, this passage calls for some serious reflection. Somehow we seem to get the idea that if we go on ahead and add things to make the gospel more “attractive” to people, God will be pleased. After all, the changes that we tweaked have brought more people into the fold.

John, the apostle who wrote this letter, could not disagree more. When we add things, we do not remain in the teaching of Christ. If you do not remain in the teaching of Christ, you do not have God.

The rest of the message is also hard for us. If someone comes to your house, even that long-time friend that has fallen away, and does not bring this teaching, I should not receive this person or even greet them. By greeting him, I share in his evil deeds. It sounds so hard, even cruel, to our ears. But John has more wisdom that we have. If we reject the friendship that was once precious to us, perhaps it will cause them to stop and think about what they are doing and repent before it is eternally too late.

#risingjoy #2-John #doctrine

Better reject it

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

Everyone who goes on ahead and does not remain in the teaching of Christ does not have God. The one who remains in this teaching has both the Father and the Son. 2 John 1.9

Is it important what I believe? Is one line of thought as good as any other? So long as I say I am a Christian, then I am good, aren’t I? According to the apostle John, it is very important what I believe and to whom I give my support. If I do not remain in the teaching of Christ, I do not have God. The Bible talks of not adding to the word and not taking away from the word. Moses passed this principle to the Israelites when they were about to enter the promised land in Deuteronomy 4.2. John repeats the same principle in Revelation 22.18-19. It is a principle that many today ignore or try to pass off as not important. But what about creativity? If it goes outside of what the word of God has said, I had better reject it. Who am I to tell God how he should be worshiped? John in the verses following, 2 John 10-11, goes a step further. I should not receive in my home or greet someone who does not bring the teaching of Jesus. John says that I will share in his evil deeds. Did you catch that? Not only is the person who teaches something different considered to be evil, but also the one who receives him. Much damage may be done if I am perceived as accepting the person who is no longer faithful to the gospel message. However, the one who remains in Christ’s teaching has both the Father and the Son. Think about it. I want to remain in Christ where we have it all!

#risingjoy #2-John #teaching

VOTD: 2 John 12 “Face to face”

“Though I have many other things to write to you, I do not want to do so with paper and ink, but I hope to come visit you and speak face to face, so that our joy may be complete.”

2 John 12

The phrase is literally “mouth to mouth.” Some things are best communicated in person.

What are the spiritual benefits of physically being present together?

#2-john, #presence, #votd

Beware of Deceivers (2 John 7-11)

Christians need to know what we believe and why about our salvation and our doctrine. A Christian who knows why he or she is “saved” will most likely not fall away from the “faith once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). That one will be able to ascertain the teachings of the Bible when it us preached or taught. They will be able to spot false teaching and false teachers more readily.

The Apostle John speaks of this in 2 John 7-11 in his short letter to the Elect Lady and her children. He stresses the need to stand on guard against false teachers.

The word Deceiver refers to a wanderer. John had in mind those who went out as missionaries spreading error. The devil has his ministers and missionaries also (2 Cor. 11:14-15). John says tat he has a whole lot of them (2 John 7; cf I John 4:1).

Hospitality is one of the themes of 2 John; but there are limits. John MacArthur writes, “Since Satan comes as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:13-15), believers must be on guard against error by having an intimate acquaintance with the Truth.”

One of the marks of a false teacher or a cult is that they do not accept, believe, and teach about the Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is, for example, an “angel,” as the Jehovah’s Witnesses believe (the archangel Michael), a created being. To the Mormon’s he is the “spirit brother” of Lucifer, not eternal, but created and conceived just you and I were.

2 John 8 calls for a self-examination in the life of the believer. The Word of God continually admonishes us to look to ourselves or examine ourselves regarding our faith and spiritual matters. In fact, on a weekly basis, we are to examine ourselves before partaking of the Lord’s Supper.

Because Christianity is a here and now religion, we must be found living out our faith on a daily basis. We must abide in the faith. Abide implies a continual walking in the faith. If you follow that scripturally prescribed path, you will be grounded in the faith and will not fall for false teaching.

Larry Miles, May 19, 2011

#2-john, #false-teaching

The Products of Truth (2nd John 4-6)

Christianity is a religion of action. We take what the Bible teaches and put it into practice in our lives. We make application to and from God’s Word in our daily lives. If we are truly living for the Lord a change in our lifestyle must be evident. Others, Christians and non-Christians alike must be able to ascertain that difference. We must be found “practicing what we preach (believe).

One of the words used for the Christian’s life is the word “walk.” Walking denotes that we are making progress. In the spiritual realm it denotes growing in Jesus. All of us grow up in Christ differently. What the Lord desires is spiritual growth.

The Apostle John writes about spiritual growth in 2 John 4-6 where he stresses “walking in Christ’s commandments.” He says that there must be evidences of our conversion that is visible to others.

John rejoiced greatly when he found some of the “Elect Lady’s” children walking in the way of truth. This shows that these folks were growing in Christ and were active in His service.

John MacArthur writes, “The word ‘walking’ has reference to continual walking in the truth, i.e., making obedience to the truth a habit in one’s life.”

The Word of God continually tells parents that it is their responsibility to teach the Bible principles to their children. It also exhorts all Christians to study and obey God”s Word and to teach others about the importance of the Scriptures.

In 2 John 5 we read John’s words ofcommendation to the way the Elect Lady had raised her children. She had led them in the way if truth. But they had to continue to walk in truth even when they were outside her influence.

This is the passage where John talks in verse 6 about making the Christian life a continued way of love, establishing habits that will last us eternally and enable us to live for Him in all situations we come across.

I John 5:2-3 reads as follows: “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous.”  So, let’s always strive to “grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus!” Let’s be found as a people who look to God”s Word for our guidance and always be living for Him!

-Larry Miles, May 18, 2011

#2-john, #christian-living, #christian-service, #scripture, #truth

Lessons From 2 John

The Passion of the Truth (2 John 1-3)

The word “truth” is one of the Apostle John’s favorite words. It is used 27 times in the Gospel of John; 10 times in I John; 5 times in 2 John and 5 times in 3 John.

John had a passion for the truth. The word “passion” simply refers to string feelings or emotions. John  had a passion or great love for truth. Of course, this was transferred to those who loved truth as he did. He loved the truth and hated every false way (Psalm 119:138). He loved those who loved truth and hated those who didn’t (Psalm 139:21-22).

In 2 John we have the account of the “Elect Lady.” This is either referring to an individual or to the Church. It is my view that it is an individual or it could refer to both.

John had a great love or this sister and her children because they loved the truth as he did. He loved them because of the common love they shared.

We must love the truth of the Scriptures. We must, as God told Joshua back in Joshua 1 not only to read the Word of God, but to study it, meditate upon it, and live in it and be able to share it with others. Let’s make it a practice to regularly read and study God’s Word.

-Larry Miles, May 18, 2011

#2-john, #christian-living, #christian-service, #scripture, #truth

Good translation of a Bible verse: NAB in 2 John 9

On the Nudge asking for a good translation, I’d mentioned this earlier, but I like the New American Bible’s rendering of 2 John 9: “Anyone who is so ‘progressive’ as not to remain in the teaching of the Christ does not have God; whoever remains in the teaching has the Father and the Son.”

The word “progressive” is in quotes, apparently, to indicate that the Gnostics believed that they had a superior and higher teaching that went beyond the crude teachings of the Christians. Makes a good point for the original context, and a good application for our situation today.

#2-john, #english-bible, #progressives