For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward. Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds. 2 John 1:7-11
On one level, being a Christian is pretty simple and can be summed up- 1) receive God’s love, and in return, 2) love God and love others. Its a life of freedom, not bondage. In this second epistle, the apostle John had to correct an emerging teaching that claimed Jesus didn’t come in a body of flesh. The Gnostic teachers were claiming that all flesh is evil and bad and the only thing that matters is the spirit. Ironically, they permitted fleshly living, so long as one could keep his spirit clean. Hmm, how does that work? It goes too far. We need to watch out today for erroneous teaching too. Five times John mentions ‘the truth’ in this short letter. Jesus said “you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free”. Anything else always leads to bondage. In his next letter, John will express his heartfelt satisfaction with the response of his readers “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” 3 John 1:4
Have I allowed teaching that ‘goes too far’ to become part of my thinking or lifestyle? Am I walking in the truth?
God, as this day begins- its my lovely wife’s birthday! I am grateful for her… may this day be a blessing and constant reminder to her of how much she is loved. As I encounter truth and falsehood, help me discern clearly between the two. For I desire to walk in the truth.