Peter Barnes | 2 John 4-6
WALKING IN THE TRUTH
(2 John 4-6)
1. The Church rejoices in living the truth.
– v.4. John Newton: ‘I set no value upon any doctrinal truth, further than it has a tendency to promote practical holiness.’ ‘Religion does not consist in doing great things, for which few of us have frequent opportunities, but in doing the little necessary things of daily occurrence with a cheerful spirit, as to the Lord.’
– He is overjoyed not at growing numbers in the church or a new building or greater prestige or that something he has written has been accepted for publication. Truth is not abstract and philosophical in the Bible – read Prov.16:11; 17:14. Spurgeon used to say that a sneezing quack cannot sell an infallible cure for colds.
2. The Church is characterised by love.
– vv.5-6; John 13:34-35; 1 Cor.13:6; Eph.4:15; Rom.13:8b-10. Love without truth is shallow sentimentality; truth without love is harsh oppression.
– the world understands very little of our doctrine. It will understand a little bit of our love.
3. The Church is to obey God’s commands.
– v.6. John Newton called obedience ‘the best test’. John 15:10, 14.
– Francis Schaeffer: ‘What was left was frequently a turning inward, a self-righteousness, a hardness.’ If we are children of the elect lady, these three features – truth, obedience and love – will characterise our lives – and we will rejoice greatly in them.