2 John. Forum Discussion

Love God and keep His commandments

There are five books in the bible that consist of only (1) chapter: Obadiah, Philemon, 2 John, 3 John and Jude.

Today we will review one of them, 2 John. Tomorrow, Lord willing, we will review another.

All three of John’s epistles were written either at the same time or relatively close to one another. Historians point to A.D. 90 as the year that all three epistles were written. Before we move on to John’s second epistle, we will review what John wrote in his first epistle.

1 JOHN 1 – God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all.

Key points for this chapter include:
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  • Verse 5: “God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.”
  • Verse 6: “If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.”
  • Verse 7: “But if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.”
  • Verses 8-10: “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.”

1 JOHN 2 – We show our love to God by keeping His commandments.

John drives home the point that if we love God, we will keep His commandments:

  • Verse 3: “By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.”
  • Verse 4: “The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”
  • Verse 5: “But whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected.”
  • Verse 6: “The one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.”

1 JOHN 3 – Hope.

John is writing about the hope that believers have concerning the return of Jesus. The Bible says that when Jesus returns, “We will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself just as He is pure.”

The Bible is full of encouraging scriptures about hope, including:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” - Jeremiah 29:11.

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” - Romans 15:13.

“Rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer.” - Romans 12:12.

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” - Hebrews 11:1.

“For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees?  But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.” - Romans 8:24-25.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” - 1 Peter 1:3.

“For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” - Romans 15:4.

“And now, Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you.” - Psalm 39:7.

1 JOHN 4 – Testing the spirits to see if they are from God.

John writes:

“But test the spirits to see whether they are from God.”

He is telling us to search the scriptures to make sure that what we feel agrees with the scriptures – or at least does not contradict them. The Holy Spirit and the scriptures go hand in hand. It is important to check our feelings to make sure they do not contradict scripture. We cannot simply do what feels right blindly without consulting God’s Word. As it says in Proverbs 14:12:

“There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.”

It is of great comfort to know that God has given us both the Bible (His inspired word) and the Holy Spirit to help us navigate our way through life. As we seek to know our Creator better and to serve Him, it is important to know what His word says, and to allow the Spirit to work in us as our “Helper”.

1 JOHN 5 – God’s commandments are not burdensome.

John reinforces the importance of keeping God’s commandments. He writes:

  • “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments.” – Verse 2
  • “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.” – Verse 3

Now that we have reviewed the key themes from 1 John, we will move onto John’s second epistle.

2 JOHN – Love God and keep His commandments.

2 John seems to repeat a lot of the same doctrine found in John’s other letters of the New Testament. In this letter, John refers to himself as, “The elder” and refers to his audience as, “The chosen lady and her children.” There is some discussion as to whether John is writing this letter to an actual lady and her children, or if these terms refer to a sister church.

In any case, the message remains the same:

  • Love God.
  • Demonstrate our love by following His commandments.
  • Beware of and avoid false teachers.

The importance of these (3) messages is evidenced by how many times they are repeated throughout the bible. Let us take a deeper look at each one.

  1. “Love God.” It is extremely important to God that we love Him. He commands it! In Mathew 22:36-40, Jesus is asked what the greatest commandment is. He responded, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment.  The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” If we do not have love for God and love for each other, we are failing at what Jesus said are the two most important commandments in the entire bible.
  2. “Demonstrate our love by following His commandments.” When it comes to our love for God, our love is much more than just a feeling that we have. Our love should be strong enough that we act on it. When we love God, we are thirsty to learn more about Him. As we learn more about God, our love should compel us to put what we have learned into action. Our faith does not mean anything unless it leads to something. “Even so faith, if it has not works, is dead, being alone.” – James 2:17.
  3. “Beware of and avoid false teachers.” The subject of false teachers comes up repeatedly in the bible. The threat is real. God warns us to be on the lookout for these false teachers and to remain faithful in our studies so that we are not easily deceived.

2 John has only 13 verses. Its message is powerful and concise.

  • Love God.
  • Demonstrate our love by following His commandments.
  • Beware of and avoid false teachers.

Thank you for joining us today. Please join us again tomorrow for a 1-day study on the book of 3 John. May God’s blessings be upon you until then. Amen

Comments

Michael

We abide in His teachings by studying to learn what He commands us to do, and then turning our faith into works that glorify God.

The word abide means it is part of our everyday fabric, we wake up thinking about His teachings, and we go to bed thinking about His teachings.

As we mature, we should challenge ourselves to sin less and study more.

Reply
Donna

By reviewing scripture daily we can be a reminded of the words of Christ and ask the Holy Spirit to lead us to live by these words everyday

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