Walk in the way of family (2John)


Good things come in small packages.

–        Chic-fil-a sauce

–        Reeses Pieces

–        Diamond rings

–        OCC shoebox

–        Baby; my youngest turned 4 past weekend

–        2 & 3 John are the two shortest books in the N.T. 2John is 245 words and 3John is 219 words. Does that mean the sermon will be short the next two weeks? Not likely J.


EXAMINE           2John              Walk This Way in Family

Remember John

–        John was an expert on Jesus. He had lots of close experiences with Jesus, not just being 1 of 12 but 1 of 3; and John was known as the beloved disciple – or one Jesus loved. Before Jesus died He entrusted mother Mary to John.
–        John was a fisherman who left his family business to follow Jesus immediately, not eventually.

–        John followed Jesus with his family, brother James and mother.

–        John was rough around edges. He and his brother were called “sons of thunder” (Mk 3:17). He wanted to call down fire in judgment of an evil city (Lk 9:54). He also asked Jesus to sit at his side on the throne of heaven (Matt 20:20-28; Mk 10:35-45). In all, later John became known as a humble apostle of love, using the word “love” 90x in his writings, and in these later letters known as the “elder-father” writing affectionately to his children.

–        John wrote to evangelize and exhort true believers to walk in the way of the gospel: Tests of relationship (1Jn 1:6); pride (1Jn 1:8, 10); obedience (1Jn 2:4-6; 3:4-8; 5:3; 5:18); love (1Jn 2:9; 3:14; 3:16-18; 4:7; 4:20); and test of Christ (1Jn 2:23; 4:15; 5:1; 5:10-12).

–        2John Walk in the way of family                   3John Walk in the way of mission

Truth always leaves a legacy (2John 1:1-4)

John, the author identifies as the elder. John is older in age likely in his 80’s. He writes to the “elect lady and her children”, either referring to an individual family or more probably to a church.[1] The church or churches receiving his letter would have known him as the elder both in age and in authority as one who had been with Jesus. It is likely these churches are house churches of Ephesus[2], being the seven churches of Revelation while he was being persecuted and imprisoned on the island of Patmos (cf. Rev 1:9, ff.).

It would be important not to miss the reality of the church in John’s eyes as being dearly personal and affectionately relational. Every church is called to a legacy of truth in love, for this is the foundation to which Christ calls His church.

Christ’s truth abides in us forever (2John 1:3). Christians know and walk in the gospel of grace, mercy, and peace from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son. Christians are not alone as orphans (John 14:18-29) or as though left by heretics (1John 2:19), but eternally abide in the presence of the Father, the Son, and His Spirit.

John takes great joy in knowing the offspring of the church are walking in the truth. The church’s mission is to make disciples and grow godly generations. A church that does not leave a legacy of children walking in truth and love is a church that has lost her mission and purpose; she is short-sighted and selfish.

◊      Church is dearly personal and affectionately relational. We must view each other as family – as brothers and sisters, as elders and children in Christ. The unity and bond we share together in gospel-family-mission is more important than anything in your life; your job, your retirement account, your child’s future education and career, everything. The reason gospel-family-mission take priority of all else is because these will last for eternity. Are you specifically investing in eternity with your church family?

◊      Will you see your children, or the children of the church in heaven because of your faith and actions?

o   Satan would like nothing more to distract you from truth and destroy your legacy.

Truth links with love (2John 1:5-13)

Truth and love are inextricably linked in John’s writings. John uses the word truth 25x in Gospel John (1x each in Mark & Luke), 9x in 1John, 5x in 2John, 6x in 3John for a total of 45x. He uses the word love 26x in Gospel (12x in Matthew, 4x in Mark, 10x in Luke), 36x in 1John, 4x in 2John, 2x in 3John for a total of 42x.

John gives at least two reasons why truth is linked with love.

1)   Truth is linked with love because it reflects Christ and His commandments (2Jn 1:5-6)

o   2Jn 1:5-6 “love one another… the commandment just as you have heard from the beginning”

o   John 1:14 “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

o   John 4:24 “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship him in spirit and truth.”

o   John 13:34-35 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

o   John 14:6 “Jesus said, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’.”

o   John 17:19, 21uh Jesus prays the disciples “may be sanctified in truth… that they may all be one, just as you Father are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”

o   John 18:37 “Jesus answered [before Pilate] ‘For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world – to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” 

2)   Truth is linked with love because it protects against deceivers and the antichrist (2Jn 1:7-11).

2Jn 1:8 “Watch yourselves, so that you may not lose what we have worked for, but may win a full reward.”

Matthew 24:11-12 “And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.”

2Timothy 3:1-5 “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of  God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.”

1Peter 4:7-8 “The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.”

1John 4:17 “By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world.”

◊      John, along with other apostles and disciples, warn against love growing cold and watch to abiding in love for one another. Truth has implications; truth that only informs without transforming into love also is wasted knowledge.

◊      We must be a people of truth and love. Truth without love is harsh, love without truth is unhelpful sentimentality.

o   Truth only person is unkind and unlikable. Grace only person is indifferent and uninvolved.

o   When 2 Truth’s marry there’s lots of arguing and anger. 2 Grace’s marry is undisciplined.

o   Truth only church is callous & condemning. Grace only church has little substance or foundation.

2Jn 1:12 “Though I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink. Instead I hope to come to you and talk face to face, so that our joy may be complete.” – John’s love for this church is heartfelt and tangible. He and they anticipated their reunion together face to face. Paper and pen, or email and text, are useful but not fully satisfying communication for those you love. John’s affection is instructive for us in 21st century Christianity.

è SPBC members encouraged to tangibly express love to other members before end of year. Not financially unless Spirit leads; but ideas could be writing a note stating your appreciation and praying for them, sharing hospitality over coffee or meal, childcare for young family, rake leaves or other project for older family, plan a gathering for fellowship or outreach… proverbs 3_27

è SPBC members to unite truth & love by investing and inviting non-members to church gatherings in December. Make it an aim for at least 3 of 4 weeks in Dec.


All of us share a gift. Our gift is invisible but yet its seen by others; it goes with us wherever we go, and amazingly even goes where we do not go. This shared gift never talks but speaks loudly. The gift we own together is our reputation.

–        What is your evaluation of your own foundation for truth and love?

–        How do others evaluate your truth foundation and love?

–        What does God say about your truth and love?



[1] Kruse, Colin. Pillar NT Commentary, 2John 1.

[2] Smalley, Stephen. Word Biblical Commentary, 2John 1.

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