Fairmont First Baptist Church
Hold Fast: Truth and Love
  • He Keeps Me Singing
  • What a Friend We Have in Jesus
      • 2 John 1–6CSB

  • Intro

    “Hold Fast”
    Naval term
    Master and Commander movie
    Holding on when the ship is being pitched around.
    As we get tossed around on the stormy seas of life, what do we hold on to?
    I hope that we can all agree that the Truth is important.
    I know that i bang on about the truth a lot
    It’s because it is important and i see too much in our culture that it’s not valued.
    If there is no Truth, no objective Truth, then nothing in knowable.
    There is no root for order or morality or even salvation
    Growing in our culture
    inevitably leads to a deep nihilism and despondency
    This isn’t just out in culture (which totally affect us) but in the Church too
    This is why I keep banging on about Truth: without there is nothing.
    But Love is important too
    After all Loving God and Loving Others is the greatest commandment.
    People will act like the Truth and Love are at odds with one another.
    “If you love me you’ll let me live *my* truth.”
    The only way to “love” someone is to let them continue in error.
    “Is it loving to tell people they are going to hell for not following Jesus”
    We can err too far one way or the other.
    Truth without Love
    Love with out Truth
    Can’t really have one without the other.
    This is what we are going to be looking at this week and next.
    2 John 1–6 CSB
    The elder: 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. 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.

    Intro of the letter

    It is likely that the 3 Johanine letters were probably a three letter packet letter written and sent at the same time.
    Couple of reasons to think this:
    They are tied thematically
    Talking about the same stuff
    2 and 3 John are pretty unassuming
    They are each addressed to different people/groups
    3 John is a letter of recommendation of Demetrius from the elder to Giaus
    They guy carrying these letters is on the up and up.
    2 John is to be read almost as a letter of introduction to 1 John
    Meant to be read to the whole church
    1 John isn’t really a letter, more like a exhortation, a written sermon.
    Note there is little in 1 John that looks like a letter, as opposed to 2&3 John or Paul’s letters.
    One of the questions we should always ask about scripture is “What does this say to the original intended audience?”
    Question of Context.
    Context here for 2 John is that it is, or least maybe, an introduction to 1 John, meaning themes that we see in 2 John are going to be expanded in 1 John.
    Also, from 1 John we know that there is a growing problem with false teaching, in particular the beginnings of Gnosticism.
    Gnosticism was obsessed with secret knowledge
    Also, it saw the created world has irredeemably and all “fleshy” things as bad and totally corrupt.
    Meaning there wasn’t much emphasis on living in light os God’s design in the here and now, but a great emphasis only on believing the right stuff

    Text itself

    The first half of John’s letter centers around two key words: love and truth.
    They each appear 5 times in these three verses.
    They are inseparable, and even the salutation at the beginning (the part of any letter we often skip over) tells us this.
    Whether the “lady chosen by God” and “her children” refers to an individual person or is representative of a local or the global church, the term “lady chosen by God” is one of endearment and respect.
    The greeting in verses 1 and 2 intimately connects love and truth: John loves them “in the truth,” meaning that his love is not based merely on momentary feelings but on the truth that God has, through Christ, made us one people.
    He makes this communal idea even clearer when he notes that not only does he love them, but all others who “know the truth” do as well.
    The foundation of our relationship is not common interests or shared goals but the truth that Christ has made us one.
    Have you ever been asked to describe yourself in three words, or even in just one?
    A question like this is often used in job interviews, in icebreakers for small groups, or at orientations for academic or church programs.
    We want to learn about each other in a quick way, and so we ask everyone to boil down their most important qualities and characteristics into a few words.
    If you were to describe yourself as “joyful,” “honest,” and “hard-working,” you would not be saying that you never faltered in any of these characteristics.
    There are days you feel lazy, mornings that bring frustration and stress instead of joy, and sticky situations where you find yourself telling a lie.
    But when we say that Jesus is truth, we aren’t saying that he is pretty truthful or even perfectly truthful.
    Danny Akin, president of SEBTS says this: “John’s interest in truth is not so much philosophical as it is spiritual and personal. Truth is that which is embodied in Jesus Christ (John 14:6), who he is and what he has done”
    John 14:6 CSB
    Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
    Verse 4 praises some believers for “walking in the truth,” describing believers’ relationship to truth as more than mere mental ascent to certain truths.
    Walking in the truth means that it is something that has to be lived out in the here and now.
    We should carry the truth of our faith with us each day.
    Its not something we leave on the counter at home
    “Phone Wallet Keys”
    Litany of things that we can’t leave the house without
    Added masks and hand sanitizer
    But our faith and the Truth that undergirds it, needs to be the number one thing we make sure we don’t the house without each day.
    Verse 5 makes an important argument that many of us might miss. 2 John 5
    2 John 5 CSB
    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.
    He makes a point to clarify that this command to love one another is not a new command. “It was a reminder to keep on walking in obedience to God’s truth by continuing to ‘love one another’ (cf. 1 John 2:3-9; 3:14-18, 23; 4:7, 11, 20-21).
    1 John 2:3–9 CSB
    This is how we know that we know him: if we keep his commands. The one who says, “I have come to know him,” and yet doesn’t keep his commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps his word, truly in him the love of God is made complete. This is how we know we are in him: The one who says he remains in him should walk just as he walked. Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old command that you have had from the beginning. The old command is the word you have heard. Yet I am writing you a new command, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. The one who says he is in the light but hates his brother or sister is in the darkness until now.
    This was an important thing to remember, since false teachers were encouraging the readers to depart from the truth they were hearing (v. 6)” (Thomas Constable, Notes on 2 John [Sonic Light, 2017], 7).

    Truth and Love are most clearly united in Jesus

    One of the things that we haven’t talked about is who wrote these letters. Who is this “elder?”
    Same one that wrote the Gospel and Revelation.
    Longest living of the Apostles
    Wrote a lot of his stuff later than the others
    Meaning that he is writing into somewhat different context in the church and culture
    emergence of gnosticism and heresy.
    At least in his gospel and in his letters, John is very concerned about this rising uncertainty about the Truth and about who God is.
    We know that John links the triune Godhead and especially Jesus to love
    John 3:16-17
    John 3:16–17 CSB
    For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
    1 John 4:7-12
    1 John 4:7–12 CSB
    Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love. God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his one and only Son into the world so that we might live through him. Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, if God loved us in this way, we also must love one another. No one has ever seen God. If we love one another, God remains in us and his love is made complete in us.
    But John also links the Godhead and Jesus to Truth
    John 1:1-5
    John 1:1–5 CSB
    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were created through him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. That light shines in the darkness, and yet the darkness did not overcome it.
    John 14:6
    John 14:6 CSB
    Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
    If Truth and Love are unified in Christ, they need to be unified in us.
    Ephesians 4:15
    Ephesians 4:15 CSB
    But speaking the truth in love, let us grow in every way into him who is the head—Christ.
    Our actions and words should be characterized by the inseparable commands to walk in truth and in love.
      • John 14:6CSB

      • 2 John 5CSB

      • John 3:16–17CSB

      • 1 John 4:7–12CSB

      • John 1:1–5CSB

      • John 14:6CSB

      • Ephesians 4:15CSB

  • Lord, I'm Coming Home

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