Episode #236. Today we’ll read 2 John chapter 1 together. John draws a distinction between truth and deception.
Joy: You’re listening to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Episode #236. Today we’ll read 2 John chapter 1 together: John draws a distinction between truth and deception.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast. I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me as we simply read God’s word together. Some things require discipline and sometimes that’s just not easy to muster by yourself, no matter how badly you want to do it or how much you know you should. It’s just easier to do it with a friend. So refill your coffee or tea, get comfortable in your favorite chair and follow along as I read aloud. I’m so glad you’re here!
The next three days will be interesting and a little different. Each of the next three books is made up only of one chapter. So, let’s dive into the second letter of John.
You’ll notice right off that 2 John parallels some of what John talked about in his first letter. John is consistently on his guard with Gnostism and other false teachers. Heresy is a funny thing. That’s funny weird, not funny ha-ha. Biblica.com talks about how when the Gospel was being spread, preachers would travel and stay in the homes of believers. (Hmmm…not so different from today.) But false teachers did the same thing. It is suggested that John had stayed in the home of a lady and her children from a local church. When he later writes this letter, he warns her (and the other readers of this letter) to be careful who they listen to.
Of course, this is an excellent warning for us today as well. And an admonition – yes, I’m going to repeat myself – that we must know what the Word says in order to discern truth.
2 John 1
To the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth — and not only I, but also all who know the truth — because of the truth that remains in us and will be with us forever.
Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.
Truth and Deception
I was very glad to find some of your children walking in truth, in keeping with a command we have received from the Father. So now I ask you, dear lady — not as if I were writing you a new command, but one we have had from the beginning — that we love one another. This is love: that we walk according to his commands. This is the command as you have heard it from the beginning: that you walk in love.
Many deceivers have gone out into the world; they do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch yourselves so that you don’t lose what we have worked for, but that you may receive a full reward. Anyone who does not remain in Christ’s teaching but goes beyond it does not have God. The one who remains in that teaching, this one has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your home, and do not greet him; for the one who greets him shares in his evil works.
Though I have many things to write to you, I don’t want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to come to you and talk face to face so that our joy may be complete.
The children of your elect sister send you greetings.
Again, this letter is a summary of topics already discussed in 1st John, but it is addressed to a different church. The main topics written about by John are “love one another” and “beware of false teachers.”
First though, let’s define some terminology the author uses in this letter. “The Elder” is John himself and is a common term for leaders in the church. Next, you’ll find varying interpretations of ‘the lady and her children’. John MacArthur and, as before, Biblica.com, says that this should be understood literally. There is no mysterious symbolism meant by “the lady and her children.” It’s just a lady and her children that showed hospitality to John in his travels.
However, the NIV study notes say, “the elect lady and her children” describe the church to whom John is writing and its members. And at the end when John refers to “the children of your elect sister”, he is talking about his own church body. It is suggested that these terms of endearment were extensively used among early Christians. I’ll let you decide.
Moving on. Apparently, John had been visited by some members of the church he is writing to, and he found them to be true in their faith. John appeals to the church members to love one another and explains exactly what he means by love: it is when we walk according to the commands of Christ.
This is a very important distinction for us to make in the 21st Century too. After all, we have taken the term “love” and turned it into a romantic feeling, just as a young bride might have for her groom. But John is addressing the church body and he is telling us that if we love one another, we will build each other up in Christ; we will take care of one another; we will live our lives according to the teachings of Christ; and we will share the Gospel with others. It is much more about our actions in Christ than it is about a gushy feeling we have about one another.
Never Give it a Foothold
John also warns us not to receive false teachers into our homes. If we do, we are sharing in the evil perpetuated by the false teachers. We should never give it a foothold. Our pastor at Lake Don Pedro Baptist takes this command very seriously. He never allows a guest speaker to come to our church unless he knows in advance that the speaker follows the true teachings of Christ. If he does not know, he will pass on the speaker rather than take a chance that our church body will be exposed to false teaching. It is a comfort to know that he is such a careful shepherd of his flock. I hope yours is too. Let’s pray.
Precious Father, how encouraging it is that you have given us so many careful shepherds of your word. There are so many false teachers in the world and we are grateful that we have a source of genuine truth in Your word. Protect us from evil people who would corrupt Your word for their own gain; help us to be clever as foxes when it comes to these people. Guard our hearts and minds. Amen.
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray God will grow in you what has been planted and watered here. In this time of unprecedented struggle worldwide, we can look to God for guidance and comfort. Be sensitive to those in your circle of influence who need a word of encouragement and invite them to join us. If you like this show, it would be great if you give it a five-star review. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you right here tomorrow. Be well!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
Bible Study Resources
- CSB Study Bible – Hardcover or Kindle!
- The Bible Project’s Bible Basics – Free!
- Every Bible You Could Ever Want!
- The Bible Hub – Free!
- Bible Study Tools – Free!
- The Bible Project– Free!
- Want to use your tablet for Bible reading? Consider Kindle .
- I love Audible! Try it for free!
- Want it? FaithGear has it!
- Wear your faith! Christian Strong
- Bet Hannon Business Websites designed and maintains my website.
- Title of song used in the podcast is 3 Joys & the Truth, by Daniel O’Connor
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. That means if you purchase anything, I may get a small commission. This does not cost you anything and it helps offset the costs of the podcast. Thank you in advance.
View my Broadcast License.