Walking in Truth and Love

 

Sunday Sept. 29, 2013   Phone: 570.829.5216
Pastor David Miklas e-mail pdmikBBM@aol.com
Message: Book of IJohn #19 Text: 2JN 1-13 

Walking in Truth and Love

 

Introduction: In the Word of God, the Holy Spirit directed the writing of a number of books which contain only one brief but powerful chapter.

 

In the Old Testament Obadiah is the shortest book with 21 verses.

In the New Testament there are four one chapter books – Philemon, Jude and the twin letters of II and III John.

II John is the shortest book in the New Testament when written in the English language.

However by word count in the original Greek, III John is actually the shortest book in the New Testament.

 

If a title is assigned to II John it could read, "WALK IN TRUTH AND LOVE." Another title could read, "BE ALERT! THERE ARE MANY FALSE TEACHERS IN THE WORLD." II John lays down the essentials of the personal walk of a believer in his day when he writes in verse 7 "many deceivers are entered into the world."

 

John had concern for a godly woman known as the “elect lady.” He did not want her to permit any false teacher or teaching to come into her home or into the church.

 

It has been well said, "As goes the home, so goes the church, and as goes the church so goes the nation!" The family is a strategic target in Satan's war against truth. Now, before we examine the text, let me give you a brief overview of II John.

 

I. An elect lady and her children are mentioned: In verse 1 we read, “The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth;” Bible scholars believe this "elect lady" was a Christian woman who, along with her children, had opened her home for meetings of the church. The Greek word for lady is "kuria," a common name in those days.

 

II. Three key words are mentioned in this letter.

 

There is the word "TRUTH" used 5 times in verses 1,2,3,4,

There is the word "LOVE" used 3 times, in verses 1, 3, 5.

There is the word "WALKING" used in verse 4, and the word “WALK" used in verse 6.

 

When the word "TRUTH" is used, that refers to the entire embodiment of God's Word. In John 17:17, Jesus prayed for his disciples, “Sanctify them through thy truth, thy word is truth." Literally, ALL truth is God's truth. The entire Word of God is TRUTH.

 

God has revealed TRUTH in the person of His Son, who is the living TRUTH

God has revealed truth in the pages of His Word, which is the written TRUTH.

 

The word “LOVE” is the same Greek word "AGAPE" used 51 times in the epistle of I John. The love of God had so captivated John that it became the central theme of his ministry. AGAPE LOVE is the most profound love given to man-kind and demonstrated at Calvary.

 

III. There is a simple outline for II John. The points are easily remembered, they all begin with the letter "C."

 

A. This elect lady is COMMENDED by the Apostle, in verses 1-4 we read,

 

 

“The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth; (2) For the truth's sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us for ever. (3) Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love. (4) I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father.”

 

Again notice verse 4, "I rejoice greatly that I found thy children walking in truth." This is a tremendous testimonial to a Christian home, in which children practice the written TRUTH in their lives.

 

As a Christian parent, you have a responsibility to teach and train your children with the eternal Word of God. As a Christian grandparent, you have a divine mandate to live this written TRUTH before your grand-children.

 

Please allow me to encourage parents and grandparents to follow these four practical principles:

 

1. Take time to teach your children or grandchildren the Word of God. Thank God for Sunday school and its teachers. Thank God for Junior Church workers, nursery workers and those who help in all the children’s ministries as they teach your children the Word of God. But the major responsibility for instruction of the Word of God in your children's lives is DAD and MOM!

 

Parents, daily place God's eternal truth before your children.

Parents, daily read the Word of God with them, and read the Word of God to them.

Parents, daily encourage them out of the Word of God.

Parents, daily instruct them from the Word of God.

Parents, daily practice the Word of God before them.

Parents, bring your children with you to the house of God to hear the Word of God preached.

 

If you are a grandparent, encourage both your adult children and your grandchildren to study the  Word of God.

 

2. Commit your children or grandchildren to the Lord. Daily pray for them. Let them know you are their prayer partners.

 

3. Rest on the promises of God, like the one found in Proverbs 22:6, where we read, "Train up a child in the way he should go and, when he is old, he will not depart from it."  The words “train up” mean to “create a taste for the things of God.” By the way, mom and dad, you must walk in that way in front of them, if they are to know the truth and the ways of God.

 

4. Practice the TALK and WALK of God’s Word before your children. If points one and two are in place, and you are practicing the talk and walking the walk of a Christian before them, then one day, I believe God will take over where you have left off. As they grow older and depart from your home, they too will continue to TALK the TALK and WALK the WALK of a Christian.

 

Someone said, "We must not only learn the truth with our minds, but we must also love the truth in our hearts and live the truth by our walk."

 

It is extremely important for parents to teach their children to love the truth. I wonder, if John was writing about you and your family could he say, "I rejoice greatly that I found thy children and thy grandchildren walking in truth."

 

B. This elect lady is COMMANDED by the Apostle, in verses 5-6 we read,

 

“And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. (6) And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.”

 

This lady was commanded to walk in TRUTH and to walk in LOVE. It is important that we do not separate these two great words.

 

To practice TRUTH WITHOUT LOVE leads to LEGALISM.

To practice LOVE WITHOUT TRUTH leads to LIBERALISM.

 

Today, this is a major problem we face in "Modern Christian Movements."

 

Their idea: Let us for the sake of unity, set aside doctrinal truth for the practice of love.

Their theme: Let us walk together for the sake of love, regardless of our faith and practice.

 

The Apostle Paul combines these two words in Ephesians 4:15 where he said, "But, speaking the TRUTH in LOVE, may grow up into him in all things, who is the head, even Christ." Be very careful. Not all religious teachings that claim to be "Christian" are true. To John, there was a great difference, in fact, a deadly difference, between truth and error; and he would not tolerate error.

 

C. This elect lady is CAUTIONED by the Apostle, in verses 7-11 to look out for the deceivers.

 

“For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. (8) Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. (9) Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. (10) If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: (11) For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.”

 

Paul warned us in I Timothy 4:1, "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly that, in the latter times, some shall depart from the faith,  giving heed to seducing spirits (Satanic deception) and doctrines of devils,"

 

The Apostle Paul also warned us in II Timothy 4:3-4, "For the time will come when they (the people) will not endure sound doctrine but, after their own lusts, shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away  their ears from the TRUTH, and shall be turned unto fables.

 

Jude warns us in Jude 3-4 "To earnestly contend for the faith…for there are certain men crept in unawares…ungodly men, turning the grace of God…and denying the only Lord God."

 

John warns us I John 4:1-3, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. (2) Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: (3) And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.”

 

Let me pause and be very clear. We live in a culture that is exploding religiously, with literally hundreds of religious organizations and movements. On the surface, you might think this is wonderful news.

 

Therefore, does it make a difference what you believe? Yes! It makes all the difference in the world. You and I are living in crisis days politically, economically, internationally and religiously.

 

It is important to be able to discern right from wrong.

It is important to be able to discern truth from error.

It is important to be able to detect books that are promoting truth mixed with error.

It is important to be able to discern true ministers of the gospel from those who are apostates, even nationally known leaders and radio personalities.

It is important to realize not every church organization or mission group or college that once stood for and taught the truth is still standing for that truth today.

It is important to realize that religions like Mormonism, and Islam are not Christian in nature. Their God is not the same as our God.

 

I have said all this because even good preachers of the gospel, and many of God's people, are joining hands with everybody, even those who do not believe in the inerrancy of scripture and in the Deity of Jesus Christ, as well as those who do not defend the absolute authority of God's Word. It is obvious to me that:

 

The Christian faith stands and falls on the doctrine of the deity of Jesus Christ and the absolute truth of and the inerrancy of the Word of God.

 

At times, you may not agree with how we do things in this church, but you will have to agree to the Glory of God that the "Whole Counsel of God,” the eternal, forever-settled Word is preached and taught here.

 

In verse 8 we again read, “Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.” John is saying don't give up the truths that God the Holy Spirit has placed in your souls.

 

That's why I have for years said, "I am married to the Word of God. If an organization or ministry or college or mission board drifts away from this truth, then I no longer associate with them or co-operate with them."

 

In verses 9-11 we again read, “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. (10) If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: (11) For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.”

 

Here John is saying don't let these false teachers enter into your house or into your ministry. In other passages we read:

 

From Romans 16:17 we are to "avoid them."

From I Timothy 6:3-5 "from such” we are to “withdraw thyself."

From II Timothy 3:2-5 “from such we are to “turn away."

From II John 10-11 we are to “receive him not into your house, or bid him Godspeed.”

 

Years ago, I determined that I would live and die by the Word of God. I have taken to heart Jude 3-4 "To earnestly contend for the faith." However, during my 47 year career:

 

I have watched changes take place in Bible colleges, seminaries, mission boards, evangelists, Bible teachers and preachers. What has hurt the most, has been watching the changes come to churches and organizations of which I have been a part.

 

I have had to walk away from colleges, churches, and para-church ministries I once belonged to and even endorsed. It has grieved me to turn from friends and missionaries that have compromised and changed in their position, association or doctrinal conviction.

 

In some cases they have not altered the fundamentals of the faith, but have co-operated to become more comfortable with modernists and evangelicals, rather than fundamentalists. To stand as we do is not easy. But we must stand if we are going "to earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints."

 

Now for the balance of this message, I want to center attention on verses 5-6:

 

“And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. (6) And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.”

 

Here is the point, “True Christianity always brings about love among the brethren.” John has spent much time on this basic commandment of Christianity, which he first heard Jesus say to His disciples in John 13:34-35, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. (35) By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”

 

 

Christ's unique plan for non-Christians to come to know of His love is through Christian’s proper relationship with one another. God will become visible to the unbeliever, when in the presence of a believer who can sincerely say “I LOVE MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN CHRIST.” It's not your belief, but your love that communicates to the unsaved world the reality of your faith in Christ.

 

They don't care about your Confession of Faith.

They don't care how much you know about the Bible.

They don't care how much time you spend in church.

They don't care how much time you spend in prayer.

 

God's love was PROVED at the cross and is PROCLAIMED in the Word of God. But here we have something deeper. Fantastic as it may seem, God's love is not MADE PERFECT in angels, but in sinners like you and me saved by grace.

 

The unsaved neighbors want to see Christianity with skin on it.

They unsaved neighbors want to see if you are for real.

 

We are to continually and habitually "love one another." For a believer this is a way of life. Sixteen times this phrase "love one another" is used in the New Testament.

 

How then do we show real Christian love? Let me caution you here. "Words are cheap and easy to utter. It's relatively easy to say, I love you, and I will do anything for you. But sometimes it is harder to prove in action.” The Word of God clearly suggests 10 ways you and I can build into our lives and subsequently into this church a "LOVING CARING MINISTRY between us and before the world, to prove Jesus is for real."

 

First: Romans 12:10 "DEVOTED TO ONE ANOTHER."

Second: Romans 12:10 "HONOR ONE ANOTHER."

Third: Galatians 5:13 "SERVE ONE ANOTHER."

Fourth: Colossians 5:13 "COMFORT ONE ANOTHER."

Firth: Romans 15:7, "ACCEPT ONE ANOTHER."

Sixth: I Thessalonians 5:11 "ENCOURAGE ONE ANOTHER."

Seventh: Romans 15:14, "COUNSEL ONE ANOTHER."

Eight: Galatians 6:1-5 "BEAR ONE ANOTHER’S BURDENS."

Ninth: Ephesians 4:2-3 "PUT UP WITH ONE ANOTHER."

Tenth: Ephesians 4:30-31, "FORGIVE ONE ANOTHER."

 

Now as we draw this sermon to a close, please turn to the 13th Chapter of I Corinthians. We call this the love chapter, in which the word for charity is the Greek word "Agape". Here we have this type of love described in verses 4-8.

 

“Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, (5) Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; (6) Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; (7) Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. (8) Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.”

 

Now listen to this alternate version of verses 4-8.

 

If I refuse to suffer long under your dislike, I don't love you.

If I am not kind to you, I don't love you.

If I am jealous over good things that happen to you, I don't love you.

If I brag and make myself look bigger than you, I don't love you.

If I behave arrogantly, like you don't exist, I don't love you.

If I don't care when my behavior hurts you, I don't love you.

If I always want my way, I don't love you.

If I keep track of the wrongs you do against me, I don't love you.

If I am happy when you hurt, I don't love you.

If I don't give you the benefit of the doubt, I don't love you.

If I am not optimistic that in spite of everything, some day you will stop hurting me, I don't love you.

THE MORE WE LOVE GOD PROPERLY, THE MORE WE WILL LOVE OTHERS RIGHTFULLY! Faith and hope are important, but our love for God is shown in our obedience to God's Word and in our testimony to the world that a Christian’s love is for real.

 

 John was commending this “elect lady” for her walk in truth and love. Would you and your family be commended for the same? Could this sentence honestly be written to you? "I rejoice greatly that I found thy children walking in TRUTH and LOVE." Can you sing?

 

I am so glad that my Father in heaven

Tells of His LOVE in the Book He has given;

Wonderful things in the Bible I see –

This is the dearest that Jesus LOVES me.

I am so glad that Jesus love me,

Jesus loves me, Jesus loves me;

I am so glad that Jesus loves me, Jesus loves even me.

 

If you cannot say "Jesus loves even me," at this very moment, bow your head and look up to heaven and say, "Dear Jesus, I now receive you as my Saviour, save me as you promised in your Word. "

 

*******************************************************************

If God has spoken to your heart after reading the sermon, “Walking in Truth and Love,” then right now talk to God about what He has spoken to you.

 

Do you have the assurance that one day you will go to heaven? If you have no assurance that you know Jesus Christ, then I trust you will decide to accept Him as your personal Savior. The Bible tells us in

 

Acts 16:31, “…Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved…”

Romans 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

 

This prayer is here for those who need to ask Jesus to be their personal Savior: “I do want to go to Heaven. I know I am a sinner, and I do believe Jesus Christ died for me. I realize I cannot buy this great salvation, nor can I earn it. Knowing Jesus died on the cross and arose from the grave to pay my sin debt and to purchase my salvation, I do now trust Him as my Savior, and from this moment on I am completely depending on Him for my salvation.”

 

If you made the decision to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, please let me know. Please send an e-mail to pdmikBBM@aol.com and I will send you some literature that will help you in your Christian life.

 

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In His Amazing Grace,

Pastor<br /><br /><br />
David Miklas
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