2 JNO 1:1-4
INTRO: As I read the little letter John wrote to the elect lady and her children, I notice that the apostle John makes to his joy and to the filling of his joy. In the little letter mention is made of several points which contribute to his joy. In a previous study we mentioned the joy of Christian relationships. In our thoughts this morning I want us to notice that five times in the first four verses of 2nd John we find references to the truth. I suggest to you that John finds great joy in the truth! In scripture truth is personified in Christ (Jno 14:6). But in an objective sense truth is the great message of scripture.
I. CRITICAL POINTS TO EMPHASIZE AT THE BEGINNING
A. Truth must be known
1. v. 1 - they that have known the truth
2. Jno 8:31,32 - ye shall know the truth.
3. the is absolutely no joy in truth if it is not known!
B. Truth must dwell in us
1. v. 2 - the truths sake, which dwelleth in us
2. Col 3:16 - let the word of Christ dwell in you
3. truth must be more than an academic consideration ... it must dwell in us ... it must reside in us
C. Truth must govern our behavior
1. v. 4 - walking in truth
2. 1 Thes 4:1 - how ye ought to walk and to please God
3. there most assuredly is a Christian lifestyle - living that lifestyle pleases God - any other lifestyle is not pleasing to God
II. WHERE IS THE JOY IN THE TRUTH?
A. There is joy in the confidence of the truth
1. think about truth versus fiction ... basing our hopes in fiction is hopeless
2. there is incredible confidence in being able to say, I know
3. listen: 2 Tim 1:12 - 1 Jno 2:3,4 - 1 Jno 5:14,15
4. there is so much ambiguity, error, opinion, etc. in the world - and some folks seem to live in the fog most of their lives
5. Jno 17:17 - my life rests in the confidence of Gods word
B. There is joy in freedom through the truth
1. in part this freedom relates to the confidence I have mentioned - with the truth there is freedom from indecision, from anxiety, from unknown
2. but the real freedom has to do with our relationship to/with God
3. Jno 8:32 - the context has to do with the slavery of sin (v. 34)
4. the truth reveals Gods remedy for sin ... and how we can gain access to that remedy
5. Rom 6:17,18 - Gods remedy involves obeying from the heart revealed truth
C. There is joy in living in the truth
1. I am convinced that God wants you and me to be happy people
2. Ps 16:11 - here is a passage which has lent credence to my conviction
3. but the key here is in our choosing the path of life - or living Gods way
4. guilt is one of the great enemies of happiness - and guilt comes in living outside the boundaries of Gods plan, Gods will
5. so, once again, we need to look at 1 Thes 4:1 or Col 1:10
D. There is joy in anticipation through truth
1. Col 1:5 - ...hope...whereof ye heard...in the word of the truth...
2. if Christian joy is not anticipating in nature, it is absolutely bound to this earth
3. and I would remind you of 1 Cor 15:19
4. the truth reveals great and precious promises which are critical to our living to please God ... otherwise, why live the Christian lifestyle?
5. 2 Cor 4:18 - it is the anticipation of all that is meant by an house not made with hands (5:1) ... that hope filled anticipation, which produces joy as a state of being
CLOSE: The Christian life is a life of the truth, in the truth, by the truth. While the world struggles for answers, I have them! The apostle Paul would add, Rejoice evermore (1 Thes 5:16).
Cecil A. Hutson
28 September 2003
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)