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2 John

May 18, 2009

Background

I. Introduction II John 1-3

II. Emphasize Loving God II John 4-6

III. Watch Out for Deceivers II John 7-11

IV. I’ll be Back II John 12-13

Background:

This short letter from the Apostle John is very much a condensed version of
I John. It emphasizes two themes; Love God and Watch for Deceivers. In so doing,
it brings the critical doctrine of the Incarnation of Christ to our attention.
We must not waver in our belief and knowledge that Jesus is the Son of God,
the Christ, Messiah, and the Lord God. He is fully God, Divine and in human
flesh at the same time here on earth. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and
born of the virgin Mary. Many “liberal” theologians today deny the
virgin birth, saying it is not critical to the Christian faith. According to
II John, they couldn’t be more wrong. To deny the virgin birth is to deny the
Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Questions concerning ones belief in the Incarnation of Christ Jesus should be
at the top of your list when choosing a church and a pastor. If they waver in
their answer, are wishy-washy, refuse to take a strong stand, discount the importance
of the question/doctrine, or act stunned that you should ask such a question,
immediately look elsewhere. This is not the only area you should question but
it is the first question you should raise. It is critical.

This letter is directed to a specific unnamed church and its’ members. I would
speculate that it might be one of the churches mentioned in The Revelation chapters
2-3. It could be directed at any one of those churches or somewhere else. If
it is to one of the seven church of Revelation, I would guess it to be Thyatira
because of their love and faith and the fact that they love even more. If so,
Jezebel would be one of the deceivers. And she seems to be a different kind
of a deceiver than is mentioned in this second letter of John but still anti-Christ
in nature. Sardis and Philadelphia are also possibilities.

Which church this letter was written to is not important. But the message
is!

Introduction                                                                                       II John 1-3

The elder [John] is writing to the “chosen lady”, a church [see
verse 13], and her children [congregation]. It is also written to all believers
who know the truth. The true identification of this congregation is probably
due to the persecution that was taking place during this time against all Christians.
It also enabled the letter to be shared with other churches in that it’s specific
message is also a general message important to all believers.

What is truth? It is in us, we know it, it lives in us, it is eternal, and
we love it. It is Jesus Christ. It is the Gospel. It is His Word. It is the
triune God. It is the Love of God and our Love of God.

This congregation is well known because of its’ love of the Truth. Its’ influence
goes beyond the local congregation. Our Love for God ought to be well known
by the consistency and constancy of our love for others and our love for the
gospel. It should reach beyond our local sphere of influence so as to stretch
beyond natural borders and be an encouragement to others.

John does not wish grace, mercy, and peace on this congregation. Rather he
says they already have it in truth and love. Grace, mercy, and peace are inseparable
from truth and love. Truth and love; the Word and Christ, means we possess grace,
mercy, and peace. As we grow in our knowledge of grace, mercy, and peace, we
grow in truth and love. It’s a never ending circle that gets bigger and bigger.

Emphasize Loving God                                                                    II John 4-6

John was glad to see that “some” of the members of this church were
walking in truth [with God] according to His commandments. These are not new
commandments. They specifically are Christ’s summary of the Ten Commandments
which was “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength,
and mind”. We are to “deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow
Him”. We are to “love our neighbors as ourselves”. Walking in
Truth means we love God, deny self, follow His will, and serve in His Kingdom.
In bringing love and truth to others we bring the grace, mercy, and peace of
God.

John asks they emphasize this truth so that all in their congregation would
walk in love. He wishes all would be mature in Christ and in Truth.

Watch Out for Deceivers                                                                     II John 7-11

Deceivers abound who do not acknowledge the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. They
are anti-Christs. They do not believe Jesus is the Son of God. They so not believe
He was without sin [blemish] so he could not pay the penalty for our sins. This
doctrine is key to receiving eternal life. It determines if you have God [Holy
Spirit] abiding in your heart or not. You can not be a true Christian and deny
the Incarnation. You may have the external actions and words but you can not
have the internal joy and hope of salvation.

We are not to have fellowship with anyone who denies the Incarnation. We are
not to give them credibility for knowing the Truth. Again, Christ is concerned
with the purity of His message, the gospel.

So, how pure is the Church today. Do we preach the Incarnation? Is it emphasized?
Do we take this Doctrine for granted? I don’t think we preach it or emphasize
it enough. We preach Jesus Christ as the Son of God and we preach Jesus as human
flesh but how often to we preach Him as both God and man? We adhere to the doctrine
but we deal with it in parts and not the whole. I think there is room for improvement
so as to keep people from being misled and or falling away from the Truth. We
must be very careful to not “water down” the full meaning of this
Doctrine.

I’ll be Back                                                                                             II John 12-13

John has more to say and promises to visit them, to encourage them and to
bring them joy. According to verse 4 John was there recently observing their
faith in action but didn’t have time to discuss the importance of the Incarnation
of Jesus Christ to their faith. So he writes this letter to warn them and to
guide them before he returns to minister to them.

He greets them from a “sister” congregation. It is probably in the
same region and familiar to the ones receiving this letter. It is, no doubt,
where John is writing this letter.

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