“I rejoiced greatly to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as we were commanded by the Father” (2 John 1:4).
In John’s letter to an elect lady and her children (the church), he reminded Christians of two commands. First, the Father commands Christians to walk in the truth. Second, the Father commands Christians to walk in love. John wrote that the Father had always commanded people to love one another—this was no new command. Then, he explained that Christian love involved “walking” or “living according to” the truth and the Father’s commandments (which God revealed in the Bible). When Christians sincerely love God and one another by living according to the truth and commands of God, they treat others rightly. Like a good parent, John rejoiced greatly when he saw his spiritual children living truthfully in love.
As their spiritual parent, John also expressed concern that though they were walking in truth and love, they might become misled. He wrote that many deceivers had gone out into the world. These deceivers taught false things about God and Christ; for example, some denied that Jesus had come into the world in the flesh as a real human being. John wanted Christians to abide in the teachings of Jesus and not add to or subtract from them or believe and trust anyone who misrepresented what the Bible taught. Indeed, John warned that if a believer greeted a false teacher or received him into their house, then they took part in his “wicked works.” Practicing obedience to the Bible’s teachings can help us avoid being misled and sinning; especially if we will remember that the Father will never command anyone to do anything contrary to His commands in the Bible.
- Reread 2 Thessalonians 3:1, how might the church and world be different if every Christian’s first prayer request each day was the same as Paul’s?
- Reread 2 Thessalonians 3:5, what did Paul pray for the Thessalonians? How might that prayer be answered in your life?
- How are Christians supposed to live (walk) and why should they live (walk) that way?
- According to John, what are some characteristics of a deceiver?
- What are some of the things people are doing when they welcome a deceiver into their home or church?