JOHN’SLETTER Tothe Chosen Lady Lesson 12 for the 19th of September, 2009
The elder, to the chosen lady and her children, whom I love in the truth —and not I only, but also all who know the truth Who are the chosen lady and her children to whom John wrote?
“The epistles of John breathe the spirit of love. It seems as if he wrote with a pen dipped in love. But when he came in contact with those who were breaking the law of God, yet claiming that they were living without sin, he did not hesitate to warn them of their fearful deception. Writing to a helper in the gospel work, a woman of good repute and wide influence, he said: «Many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh»” E.G.W. (The Acts of the Apostles, cp. 54, pg. 554) John wrote to a female co-worker who presided at a church. Her children are the members of the church where she worked.
THEGREETING grace mercy peace “Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father's Son, will be with us in truth and love” (2 John, 3) In this greeting, the main points of the letter are mentioned: Love (new commandment) and truth (doctrine)
WATCHOUT 1. Staying in love. “And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another. And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love” (2 John, 5-6) The first antidote to the problems of the church that John points out is LOVE, which moves us to keep the commandments. If they are faithfully observed, these commandments result in practical demonstrations of love to our neighbours fellow men.
“Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist… Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son” (2 John, 7, 9) John points out the perseverance in the doctrine of Christ as a solution for this problem. WATCHOUT 2. The danger of deceivers.
Doctrine is the teachings given personally by the Master, and the teachings of the apostles are its continuation. The term "Whoever transgresses" means “Anyone who runs ahead” (i.e., anyone who goes beyond the teachings of Christ) It is good to move forward, but only in the doctrine of our Saviour. Anyone who tries to go where Christ doesn’t lead him, is out of His reach, and doesn’t remain in the doctrine taught by Jesus.
We must remain in the doctrine that Christ taught and believed, instead of getting lost in philosophical speculations or following fake sparkles of satanic tricks. This is the only way to guarantee a saving relationship with the Father.
WATCHOUT 3. Dealing with false teachers. “If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take him into your house or welcome him. Anyone who welcomes him shares in his wicked work” (2 John, 10-11)
Welcoming a preacher who teaches false doctrines publicly to the church or putting him up, looks like the church –or the brother who puts him up- agrees about those teachings. Because of that, John says that we mustn’t welcome those who don’t follow the doctrine of Christ. Then, brothers will avoid corrupting their selves with heretical doctrines and heretics could admit their error and will have the opportunity to repent.
THEFAREWELL “I have much to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete. The children of your chosen sister send their greetings” (2 John, 12-13) Because of the size of the papyrus sheet, John only writes the most urgent points he wants to teach. He hopes to discuss the other points personally, in a deeper way.