"THE SECOND EPISTLE OF JOHN"
Walking In Truth And Love 2 Jn 1:4-6
1. In his greeting to the "elect lady and her children", John wrote
that the grace, mercy, and love which proceeds from the Father and
the Son is in the sphere of "truth and love" - 2 Jn 1:3
2. In verses 4-6, he expands upon the theme of "truth and love",
doing so in the form of...
a. A commendation for walking in truth
b. An exhortation to love one another
3. In this study, let's examine this "commendation" and "exhortation",
seeking to glean whatever principles or lessons that we can from
[Beginning with John's...]
I. COMMENDATION FOR WALKING IN TRUTH 2 Jn 1:4
A. "I REJOICED GREATLY..."
1. Either by visiting or by receiving a report from others, John
came to know that some of the "elect lady's" children were
walking in the truth
2. This was a source of great joy to John, just as it was when he
heard the same thing about Gaius - cf. 3 Jn 1:3
3. As expressed to Gaius, there was no greater joy than hearing
about others walking in truth - cf. 3 Jn 1:4
4. What about the joy of hearing someone obeying the gospel?
a. As great as that might be, there is always the possibility
that one will not carry through with their initial
obedience to Christ
b. That realization can temper one's joy
c. But when time reveals that the person continues to walk in
truth, that removes the question of whether one will carry
through with their obedience to Christ
5. Thus a great source of joy in the Christian faith can be in
the follow up of new converts, as well as in the
evangelization of the lost
B. "...I HAVE FOUND SOME OF YOUR CHILDREN..."
1. Unfortunately, John could not say "all", but only "some"
2. This reminds us that even the best of parents may have erring
a. Despite the fact that this mother was so special she was
called "the elect lady"
b. Like Samuel, the prophet of God, she had some children who
were not faithful to the Lord - cf. 1 Sam 8:1-3
3. Whose fault is this?
a. Some might say that in view of Pr 22:6, an erring child is
always the parent's fault
b. However, such a view suggests a belief in "environmental predestination"
1) I.e., that if the parent provides the proper environment
in raising the child, there is no choice for the child
but to turn out a certain way
2) This would strip the child of any personal
responsibility, and lay the blame solely upon the
3) While the parent will bear some responsibility if no
effort is made to restrain the child in his sin, the
ultimate responsibility is the child's - cf. 1 Sam 3:11-13;
c. There is another view of Pr 22:6 ...
1) The literal rendering is "train up a child according to
his own way..."
2) I.e., according to his own temperament, aptitude, etc.
3) E.g., if he is mechanically inclined, don't try to make
him an office worker
4) This view recognizes that this verse, like much of
Proverbs, is giving practical advice on the raising of
children, and to realize that children are different and
should raised according to their particular disposition
5) Failure to recognize this results in a child being
forced to become something he is not, and he will not
likely remain in it
4. The fact remains that despite the best parenting, some
children simply choose to rebel against God
C. "...WALKING IN TRUTH, AS WE HAVE RECEIVED COMMANDMENT FROM THE
1. This expresses the idea of living in harmony with the truth
found in God's Word
2. Everything one does demonstrates a life that is governed by
3. Is this "legalism"? No! It is what it means to truly love
God - cf. 1 Jn 5:3; Jn 14:15; Jn 15:14
[So with great joy in his heart, John commends the elect lady and her
children for their walking in the truth.
But an emphasis on walking in truth without an equal emphasis on loving
one another can easily develop a harsh, impatient, and insensitive
disposition towards others, just as knowledge without love produces
arrogance cf. 1 Cor 8:1.
Therefore it should not surprise us to find John following his
commendation for walking in truth with an...]
II. EXHORTATION TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER 2 Jn 1:5-6
A. "AND NOW I PLEAD WITH YOU, LADY..."
1. The tone of John's entreaty suggests the seriousness of this
2. Certainly John stressed in his first epistle the importance of
this command to love one another - cf. 1 Jn 2:10; 1 Jn 3:14;
1 Jn 4:20-21
3. Therefore this is a commandment not to be taken lightly
B. "NOT AS THOUGH I WROTE A NEW COMMANDMENT..."
1. The commandment is not a new one
a. It did not originate from John
b. It is one which his readers had known since the beginning
of their Christian experience - cf. 1 Jn 2:7; Jn 3:11
2. It is the commandment given by Jesus Himself -
Jn 13:34-35; Jn 15:17
C. "THAT WE LOVE ONE ANOTHER"
1. The commandment given by Jesus is to love another
2. Especially according to the standard of love laid down by
Jesus in Jn 13:34
"as I have loved you, that you also love one another"
D. "THIS IS LOVE, THAT WE WALK ACCORDING TO HIS COMMANDMENTS"
1. Here we learn what best demonstrates that we truly love one
2. When I am keeping the commandments of God, I demonstrate true
love for my brethren! - cf. 1 Jn 5:2
3. I can claim brotherly love all day long, but unless I am
walking according to God's commandments my claim is
E. "THIS IS THE COMMANDMENT...YOU SHOULD WALK IN IT."
1. This sentence is simply reinforcing what John has been saying
a. The command to love is one we have had from the beginning
b. We should therefore keep this commanding by walking in love
2. Such repetition is often necessary...
a. For there is always a tendency to hear and not obey
b. The three "R's" of learning is "repetition, repetition,
1. With joy in his heart, John commends; with a pleading voice he
a. He commends them for walking in truth
b. He exhorts them to walk in love
2. There is ever a tendency to do one without the other...
a. Some hold to the truth, but do so without love; this breeds
b. Others are quick to display love, but neglect the truth; this
3. Both are wrong, and there is only one alternative: to walk in the
truth, and to walk in love!
May God help us always to do both faithfully!
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