Monday, August 27, 2018

Reading Through Second John

Letters WrightI am continuing through the general epistles in this year’s devotional read through of the New Testament, in the Second Letter of John, accompanied by The Early Christian Letters For Everyone by N.T. Wright. The main point of 2nd John is that love and truth must go together. The truth of the gospel defines what real love is. I am posting from my reading in the New Testament accompanied by various commentaries on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and welcome comments and discussion on my Facebook page. I am using the Logos version of the book. As usual my comments are in black and quotes from the book are in blue.

After a brief greeting John jumps right into the main theme of his letter. When the truth of God lives in us, the true love of God will come out in our words and actions. Love must be based on the truth of God, committed to the truth of the Gospel and always expressed with self-giving service. Love must be directed by the commands of God and and motivated by the desire to obey and please God. Daily life is directed by God's truth as we love in a way that obeys God's commands and follows Jesus' loving example. Truth and error  are recognized correctly as you build your life around the word of God and listen to His Spirit. Then you will know that you have relationship with the right Jesus. 

Truth, for John, is something that goes down deep and spreads out wide. It is what happens when humans, redeemed in the Messiah and renewed by the spirit, think, speak and act in a way which corresponds to God’s plan to renew the whole creation – and, indeed, which sets that renewal forward in whatever way they are called to do. 175, 2 John 1-6

Because faithfulness to the truth of the gospel is so important, love resists and exposes false teachers who deny and oppose Christ. There are many false teachers in the world who deny the truth and present a false Jesus and deny the full humanity of Christ. So, believers must be discerning to recognize and oppose false teaching. In fact, anyone who supports, encourages or in any way helps spread false teaching becomes a partner in its evil. Integrating truth and love will ultimately result in the true joy of fellowship.

God’s love in the flesh, in Jesus, is the source and framework for God’s love coming in human flesh in those who follow Jesus. That is how the two halves of this little letter belong so closely together. Anything that waters down this truth is not to be ‘tolerated’. 178-179, 2 John 7-13

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