Fairmont First Baptist Church
Hold Fast: Week 2
  • Walking in Sunlight, All of My Journey
  • Blessed Assurance
      • 2 John 7–13CSB

  • Intro

    Ever played the children’s game telephone?
    One person thinks of a phrase and whispers it to the first person
    Passed around
    At the end of the chain you see how close it is
    But there is always that person that intentionally tries to “spice it up” because they know that it’s “better” if they change things
    Sometimes the “truth” is like that, isn’t it?
    We think that it needs to be spiced up
    People can more into it
    Makes the story better
    so the fish grows from a decent size to something absurd to make a better story
    “Don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story”
    We are in the second and last week of a look at 2 John and what it says about holding fast to the truth.
    Last week we saw how Love and Truth are realted to one another and how you really can not have one with out the other.
    The week we are looking at the second half of 2 John and seeing that not only is Truth worth protecting, but also that that protection is something that happens in community.
    2 John 7–13 CSB
    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.

    Through the Text

    Reminder of where we were
    John was writing a series of letters to a congregation or a group of congregations
    1, 2, & 3 John.
    2 John is the introduction letter to the whole church, introducing the “letter” of 1 John to them (1 John isn’t really a letter)
    The first half of this letter (what we looked at last week) gives the theological truths that John wants to communicate, this second half gives the reason or event for this teaching.
    Here, the real goal behind the teaching is made explicit.
    There are teachers deceiving people, and John wants to make clear that “walking in the truth” is a necessary requirement for all believers, especially teachers.
    John wanted them to be obedient to God’s commands (vv. 4–6), while also resisting threats against truth.
    It’s almost like John gave the church a metric to evaluate teachers: if they stray from the truth, they will not love well; and if they don’t love well, they will stray from the truth.
    It’s incredibly important to note the main theological failing that John was addressing: “Many deceivers have gone out into the world; they do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh” (v. 7).
    In the context of a letter about the intimate connection between love and truth, it seems that he’s making a larger connection between those realities and the doctrine of the incarnation.
    “The incarnation was more than a mere incident, and more than a temporary and partial connection between the Logos and human nature. It was the permanent guarantee of the possibility of fellowship, and the chief means by which it is brought about” (A. E. Brooke, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Johannine Epistles [Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1912], 175).
    It is not insignificant that the means by which Christ made our fellowship together possible—our common life in love and in the truth—was by guaranteeing his fellowship with us in an incredible way.
    To claim that Jesus had not come in the flesh, and that believers don’t need common life, is against Christ, it is anti-Christ.
    We need one another just as assuredly as we need Jesus to have been in the flesh.
    Think back to the Telephone game
    John is warning against those people to do not remain in Christ’s teachings, but go beyond it does not have God.
    There are those that want to “spice up” the Gospel to make it more interesting, more compelling, or simply to enforce something that isn’t part of the Gospel.
    We also have to remember that in a fallen world, our communication of the gospel won’t always be perfect.
    We’ll misunderstand or misinterpret Scripture at times, and no one will get everything right. If we are trying to remain in Christ’s teaching we are ok.
    But those who intentionally add to the message aren’t walking in the truth and love that John instructs believers to walk in.
    Moving to verses 10 & 11.
    2 John 10-11
    2 John 10–11 CSB
    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.
    can be easily misunderstood if they aren’t read in the context of what was happening when John wrote this letter.
    “In the culture of John's day, philosophers and teachers relied on the people to whom they spoke for lodging and financial assistance (e.g., Acts 18:2-3; 21:7). John instructed his readers to refuse to help the false teachers in these ways” (Thomas Constable, Notes on 2 John [Sonic Light, 2017], 11).
    This command is not a command for believers to refuse hospitality to unbelievers or those with incorrect theology, but instead a command against supporting teachers who deny the fundamentals of the faith
    We often ignore the salutations at the ending of epistles, but they can offer important insight into the early church and even hidden theological truths.
    In verse 12, John says that while he has much more he could write, he would rather “come to you and talk face to face, so that our joy may be complete.”
    Just as Jesus’s embodiment is an important theological truth that impacts everything else, our embodied community is the necessary context for practicing both truth and love.
    There’s a reason for that—learning truth in the context of community, especially diverse community, (in terms of race, gender, age, socioeconomic status, political preference, and cultural background) helps us understand and “walk in” the truth better.
    There’s even evidence of this: “It seems obvious that a group of people with diverse individual expertise would be better than a homogeneous group at solving complex, nonroutine problems. It is less obvious that social diversity should work in the same way—yet the science shows that it does. This is not only because people with different backgrounds bring new information. Simply interacting with individuals who are different forces group members to prepare better, to anticipate alternative viewpoints and to expect that reaching consensus will take effort” (Katherine W. Phillips, “How Diversity Makes Us Smarter,” Scientific American, October 1, 2014, https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-diversity-makes-us-smarter/).
    That’s common grace reflecting the truth that was revealed to us in places like 2 John: we will understand and walk in truth better the more that we are engaged in community, loving each other well, and properly understanding the effects of the incarnation in our lives and ministries.


    The Truth is important
    the truth is the truth and it is central to God and His character and His mission
    Without the truth, we are lost, cast adrift on the untamed waters fo culture
    Without Truth, salvation is impossible
    Love is important
    It is the central command
    It is the other side of truth
    Love and Truth come together most completely in Jesus
    The incarnation is important
    It shows us the importance of face to face, embodied community
    Also that certain things can only be done in the flesh.
    When we deny the importance, the centrality of lived out Christian community, we are denying the importance of the incarnation
    If we wish to see our joy be complete, we need to
    The only way to really practice truth and love is in community.
    People that know you, and know that you love them, will listen to you in ways that strangers won’t
    Crazy thing: studies are showing that this is the best way to reach people
    Bible knew it all along.
  • I Surrender All

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