INTRO: This morning I will be taking the main points for our study from the apostle Johns second little letter. As the letter opens, we note it is addressed to the elect lady. It is, as were some of the apostle Pauls letters, a personal letter to an unknown lady whom John apparently held in very high esteem. In the little letter one finds important things. Among them are five facts about the truth. Permit me to highlight them for you.
I. A RELATIONSHIP IN THE TRUTH
A. 2 Jno 1:1a whom I love in the truth
1. obviously, he refers to a specific group
2. and they are people in the truth
B. In the truth is a place to be
1. all who are in the truth are brethren - a unique love abides among them - the bond of truth
2. note 1 Pet 1:22 and the connection of obeying the truth (initial) which brings one into the one another relationship of brethren - Christian love is founded in the truth
II. THE TRUTH MUST BE KNOWN
A. 2 Jno 1:2b ... that have known the truth
1. John no doubt remembered Jesus words: Jno 8:32
2. he speaks, then, of people who have been freed from slavery of sin, from tyranny of guilt
3. obviously, truth is very much on Johns mind
B. Only truth that is known brings blessings
1. a new treatment for dread disease is truth - but has efficacy fro me only if it is known by my doctor!
2. this is why your knowing the Book is so vital
3. religion has become so emotion and feeling driven that religious people (Christians) are making decisions without real knowledge of the truth!
III. THE TRUTH DWELLS IN US
A. 2 Jno 1:2 ... which dwelleth in us
1. from knowing to dwelling, abiding in us
2. there is clearly a permanence implied here
3. and here is, too, one key to consistency
B. Is your life in Christ like a yo-yo?
1. perhaps you find it uncomfortable to assess
2. but if you find there are mental conflicts which involve both day to day and special choices, decisions, perhaps the truth is only known, not abiding in you
3. for years Ps 119:11 has been a critical verse to me
IV. THE TRUTH IS IN GOOD COMPANY
A. 2 Jno 1:3 ... God ... the Lord ... the Son ...
1. this verse is filled with great words and great realities
2. there are the Father and the Son - Jno 14:6 and 17:17
3. grace, mercy and peace flow from the Father and Son because of their love via the truth
B. Without the truth ...
1. we could know very little about God, Son
2. we could know very little about grace, mercy, peace
3. without Gods love wed have no truth!!
V. WALK IN TRUTH
A. 2 Jno 1:4 ... walking in truth
1. the ultimate aim of our interest in the truth is its effect in our daily lives
2. John rejoiced to know the effect of the truth in the lives of the elect ladys children
B. They (her children) saw it in her!
1. children may choose otherwise as adults
2. but if they have not seen the truth at work in the parents walk, the hope for the children will be fairly remote
CLOSE: While John may well be remembered as the apostle of love, he is also clearly concerned, in his gospel and letters, with truth.
Cecil A. Hutson
30 May 1999
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)