All through 1 John, John has emphasized love for the brethren and abiding in God’s truth. First, and foremost, we learn that Jesus is the Incarnate Word come to earth to show us the Father. In Ephesians 4, Paul instructs us to speak the truth in love, and grow to up into all aspects like Christ.
In 2 John, he addresses the importance of truth in not being persuaded to accept falsehoods, but remain true to the gospel. John warns us that even though we are to love the brethren, we must be careful about receiving false teachers.
The author of this study, John Stott, asks, “In your dealings with others, would you say you emphasize love or truth?” How do you integrate love to those that may have questionable truths?
From reading verses 1-4, what do you see as the importance of truth for John?
John Stott asks these questions, “What happens in our relationships when truth outweighs love? What happens if love outweighs truth.”
In verse 4, John says that he has great joy in seeing believers walk in the truth. What does it mean to walk in the truth?
What are the dangers of the many deceivers in verses 7-9? What does John’s caution in verse 8 — “Don’t lose what you’ve accomplished” — mean in our Christian life?
Even though John says that we should love other believers, what does his caution of refusing hospitality to those who bring false teaching mean for your home, and for the church?
What does John’s closing in verses 12-13 reveal about his relationship with the chosen lady (verse 1) and the believers in that body?
In conclusion, Stott says, “The fellowship of the local church is created by truth and exhibited in love. Each qualifies the other. On the one hand, our love is not to be so blind as to ignore the views and conduct of others. Truth should make our love discriminating. John sees nothing inconsistent in adding to his command to love one another (verse 5) — a clear instruction about the refusal of fellowship to false teachers who are deceivers and anti-christ in verse 11. Our love for others is not to undermine our loyalty to the truth. On the other hand, we must not champion the truth in a harsh, or bitter, spirit. Christian fellowship should be marked equally by love and truth.”
Please contact me with any questions.
— Pastor John