Thursday, June 13, 2013

2 John 1-4 The Truth that empowers the Christian Walk

2 John 1:1 The elder to the chosen lady and her children, whom I love in truth; and not only I, but also all who know the truth.

In yesterday's post we undertook the effort to explain from the scriptures what John meant by the term "walking".  At the end of the post we discovered from scripture that walking with the Lord has to do with the manner, the motives, the means and the main purpose of Christian living: the pleasure and glory of God in Jesus Christ. In today's post we want to understand from John's second letter what enables a Christian to maintain the Christian walk.

The Truth of God's Word empowers the Christian walk
The key verse of 2 John is verse 4 - "I was very glad to find some of your children walking in truth, just as we have received commandment to do from the Father."  Whenever John speaks of the truth, he is referring to the words of scripture. (Psalm 19:7-13; John 17:17; 2 Timothy 3:16-17)  Biblical truth is the concrete of the Christian walk. What is it about Biblical truth that prompts John to highlight it's significance five times in just four verses?  The following observations will demonstrate why Biblical truth alone can enable Christian's to consistently walk with the Lord.  God's truth in these verses has the following six traits:

1. Eternal Truth  2 John 1,2b
These people to whom John wrote to are  referred to as "the chosen lady".  God's act of "electing" His people unto salvation is described in roughly 100 places in God's Word.  Only God could plan salvation wherein there is no contradiction between His Sovereign Grace and human responsibility to believe.  Ephesians 1:4-5 describes God's electing of His people is based entirely upon His Choice to love each believer, whom He saw in Christ in His mind, before the foundation of the world.  The Baptist Faith and Message 2000 explains God's electing purpose of grace: "Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. It is consistent with the free agency of man, and comprehends all the means in connection with the end."  The truth upon which the Christian bases their Christian walk extends back into eternity past.  John then writes in 2 John 2 of how this same truth is that "which abides in us and will be with us forever".  Therefore the truth upon which the believer basis their continued walk of faith is not only rooted in Eternity past, but also Eternity future.  

2. Loving Truth  2 John 1
The Christian is able to walk with the Lord due to eternal truth, but notice also another trait of this truth: it is a lovable truth.  John states that the people to whom he writes are those "whom I love in the truth".  Should not the truth of God's Word impact us in such a way as to stir us up unto love and good deeds? Only with one another, gathered together around the truth of God's Word, can we walk in such a way as to promote love for the truth and within it. (Hebrews 10:24-25)

3. Knowable Truth 2 John 1
By being eternal truth and loving truth, the truth of God that enables the Christian to consistently walk with God grants knowledge of God - i.e it is knowable truth.  To "know the truth" as stated by God refers to knowing it be first hand experience.  The only way you and I can know God is through His Word and the increasing awareness of the Holy Spirit's indwelling power and Presence in our lives.  To "know" God isn't merely head knowledge, but also heart knowledge as well.  Both the head and heart are necessary to "know" the truth.

4. Abiding Truth 2 John 2
This fourth trait of the truth that motivates the Christian walk gives the believer continual power to live.  The fact that the truth of God is that which "abides" or "sticks with us" indicates what is needed to walk with God.  Every morning I try to have oatmeal for breakfast, because I know that oatmeal will "stick with me" until lunch. Candy won't do it nor cake, but wholesome food.  God's Word alone is sufficient as God's truth, since it is about the Savior Jesus Christ Who is The Truth.

5. Christ's Truth 2 John 3
The reason why the truth of God is necessary for the Christian's walk is due to the source from whence it comes - Jesus Christ.  It is He, in conjunction with God the Father, Who dispenses by His Spirit the necessary strength for Godly living "in truth and love".  

6. Livable Truth 2 John 4
Because John's readers were relying upon eternal, loving, knowable, abiding and Christ sourced truth, they thus were able to live the Christian life.  The truth of the Christian life is that with Spirit's power and His truth, the Christian can walk it out.  No wonder John wrote: "I was very glad to find some of your children walking in truth, just as we have received commandment to do from the Father."