Principles for living in Christ
2 John 1:13
Introduction: There are two opinions as to who the Apostle John wrote this little epistle (letter) to.
The words elder, pastor, and bishop, at virtually identical and refer to ordained and God called spiritual leaders in a local church who lead and had the oversight of the congregation. They refer to the different aspects of the ministry of a pastor.
Peter instructs the elders: “The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;” (1 Peter 5:1-2)
Paul instructs the church: “Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren; . . . Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.” (1 Timothy 5:1, 19)
The word pastor refers to his position as Christ’s under-shepherd caring for the Lord’s flock.
Paul explains to a church that God gives them “pastor-teachers”: “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:” (Ephesians 4:12-13)
The title bishop is a more formal title and refers to the authority that God gives a pastor in taking the oversight of a local church. In light of their responsibility for oversight of a church Paul in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:7-9 explains the qualifications for a bishop.
Some purport this means the letter is addressed to a particular lady and her family. Others, as myself, believe that the reference is to a local church and its members.
1. In Verse 5 John reiterates the command to love one another and states this is what was taught from the beginning. This has a larger scope that just one lady and her children.
2. In verse 7 John warns of deceivers who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh state these persons are antichrists and deceivers. This warning better applies to a congregation which has a diversity of members in different stages of maturity who could be deceived.
3. Verse 8 states “look to yourselves.” In other word John was cautioning them not to lose the reward for the work that they had done. Again this would be more appropriately a statement made to a congregation.
4. In verse 4 John commends the “children” of walking in truth. This is the same statement he makes in 3 John 4 which is addressed to a church, not an individual.
5. Verse 9 warns that if one abides not in the doctrine of Christ that person does not have God. In every congregation there can be those who are faithful and who believe God and His doctrinal truth. There also can be those that do not. Again the this is a impersonal statement and seem to better fit the whole membership of a local church.
6. Verse 10 instructs to not allow anyone who does not hold to this doctrine (that which they received from John) to enter their house and not bid them God speed. This could refer to a family or to a church. We know that Christians gave hospitably to visiting missionaries, and preachers.
Often we Bible believing Baptist are accused of wrong doing or not caring because we practice biblical separation from false teachers, church, and worldliness. John certainly taught this doctrine and commanded them to applying it.
7. Verse 13 seems to be referring to a sister congregation.
8. In 3 John which is addressed to an individual John mentions he mentions Gaius’ health. That would be normal if 2 John is written to a particular lady, but not to a congregation.
9. The omission of a name for the “lady” is very impersonal and adds evidence this epistle is to a congregation.
I am not talking about the many attacks on Christians and the Bible today from outside our churches. That has always been the norm the world has always attacked and persecuted Christians. The devil has relentlessly sought to destroy God’s work and he will until the Second Coming when Jesus will cast him into the bottomless pit as Revelation 20:3 records.
This may be hard to understand, but In times of persecution Christians have in the past grown closer to the Lord and committed even unto death. However, apostasy refers to those who hold the name of God and yet do not believe or follow His word.
Paul rightly advises believers to “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:2)
Only God’s truth saves, instructs, and blesses the believer. Mixing the world’s human wisdom and logic and putting it in place of or ahead of biblical doctrine destroys an individual and a congregation.
The growing apostasy has begun and is continuing in the modern emerging churches who ignore or degrade truth. That is the greatest danger to sound doctrine and a church remaining faith to the Lord and His truth. The greatet threat comes from within. I could tell you of incidences in every church I have pastored over the past thirty years that there were threats that came from within. Often immature and unskilled members applying human wisdon and logic would urge me to compromise godly principles for many reasons. I am sure each one thought their ideas were good, but they had no understanding that what they proposed would compromise sound doctrine. This is when the pastor, who is responsible to the Lord exercised his authority as a bishop. Sadly, being popular, appeasing some who criticize is today more important to many pastors than “Earnestly, contending for the faith.” (Jude 3) Some left the church....because they were not of us, meaning they did not hold to or relish sound doctrine. Yet, I sort to explain to the congregation what the issues were and I have never had a church split. The true child of God when he hears God's truth accepts and supports it.
John wrote in 1 John 2:19 "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us."
Paul knew the tactics of the deceiver and explained why he stood and refused to bow to compromise. “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 11:2)
God instructed through Paul “God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.” (Romans 3:4)
Manmade religions are not of God and the Lord has not part in them.
It was taught by the Lord Jesus Himself. Matthew 22:36-40. “And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” (Matthew 22:39)
John records Jesus saying “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John 13:34-35)
“For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?” (Matthew 5:46)
The fruit of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit produces love in the child of God. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,” (Galatians 5:22)
“Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:” (1 Peter 1:22)
READ 1 John 4:7-21.
“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.” (1 John 4:7)
Satan has his servants to whom he sends forth...”who have entered the world.” These deceivers are the antichrists of John’s day and ours.
2. Think what this phrase means. All men born on earth come in the flesh. So this phrase applied to Jesus Christ has a far greater meaning.
These deceivers deny the deity of Jesus Christ. They deny the Trinity and the truth that God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are One God. Not three gods, but one.
Jesus if God’s “Only Begotten Son.” The title is found only six times in the New Testament.
Modern translations of the Bible change “only Begotten Son” to simply “only son.” This is a gross error.
The Greek word for "only begotten" is monogenes, the very form of which clearly denotes "only generated." As monotheism connotes only one God and monosyllable means a word of only one syllable, so monogenes means only one genesis or only one generated--or, more simply, only begotten. It does not mean "one," or even "one and only." It does not mean “only created.”
Angels are often called the “sons of God.” Adam was called a son of God. Fallen angels and even Satan is called a son because they are created beings.
1 John 3:1-2 says “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. “
John 1:1-3, 14 explains who Jesus the Messiah is.
Micah 5:2 “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” Note the verse says “shall come forth.” It does not say or imply Jesus was created.
Note what John revealed “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.’ (John 1:18)
Jesus was in the bosom of the father even while on earth manifesting the Father.
John 10:30 Jesus said that “I am my Father are One.” The Jews took up stones to kill him because His statement was clear....He said he was God.
Jesus in His prayer of John 17 proclaimed His eternality.
John 17:5 “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.”
John 17:24 “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.”
The angel proclaimed to Mary "Fear not . . . that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God" (Luke 1:30,35).
At Jesus’ birth the angel declared “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” (Matthew 1:23)
Any church, cult, denomination, religion that denies Jesus is God, “incarnate” meaning He came in the flesh, is of the devil and as John declared a deceiver and an antichrist.
2. If you do not understand a biblical teaching shouldn’t you investigate and learn the truth?
Paul in Galatians 1:6-9 denounce this church for turning from the truth to a false Gospel.
It is happening now and did in the earlier churches. The Bible college I went to was an Independent and Fundamental school. Now it is a new evangelical school that has compromised God’s word repeatedly. It no longer even calls itself a Bible college or seminary. It was Piedmont Bible College, then Piedmont Baptist College and now Piedmont International University.
Other once sound schools have done the same thing. Northland Baptist College is also now Northland International University. What is baffling his these schools is they proclaim they have not changed?! Yet, they have and it is obvious to even the naive.
Churches who once identified themselves a Baptist now are community churches or some other generic name. How many preachers have turned from the Lord. How many who attended Bible believing churches have joined false churches and cults.
What a tragic and sad day it will be when they stand before the Lord and their sin exposed before Him they claimed to serve.
2. This is the heart of all false teaches in whatever group they might be. Some prophet, preacher, pastor, teacher presents himself as having special revelation from God, some special incite that other does not have, some twist that makes the special and superior to others. BEWARE. THAT IS THE MARK OF THE DECEIVER, AN ANTICHRIST.
2. Did you see the TV reporters who filmed church leaders, priests, and pastors marrying same sex couples here in Utah last week. Does not the Bible clearly address in no uncertain terms the sin of sodomy? The with their robs and smiling faces degraded God’s word.
Many signs said LOVE equals LOVE. Yet God instituted marriage between a man and woman. He has not changed that truth...that immutable doctrine.
The first person to respond said I was a Protestant ‘nut-job”.....for BLANK sure.”
Another said “I know what you mean. I have looked at this site before and think it is quite strict.”
2. The Lord is offering those in rebellion against God in the last days of the seven year Tribulation His grace and warning the earth to come out of Babylon the world and ungodly system that has seduced the word. Come out God says and subsequently not have partake of the rebellious sins of Babylon.
READ 2 Corinthians 6:14-18. Note verse “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:17-18)
1. Commends the believer for walking in the truth.
2. Commands the believer to love one another.
3. Warns the believer of deceivers and antichrists.
4. Commends believer to self examination and guardianship.
5. Commands us to be biblically separated.
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