Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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Mining the Scriptures: 2 John 12-13

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John had an important and urgent message to share with the elect lady and her children. As such, he wrote this short epistle to warn of the deceivers who would lead them to forfeit their reward.

However, in the final few lines of his letter, he wrote of a preference to communicate with them “face to face.” Letters could not adequately express either his love for them, or the urgency of his warnings.

Each of us know the truth of Paul’s words. We read fondly the letters of love and devotion sent my family and friends. However, our “joy” is full when we see them in the flesh.

Too, the electronic correspondence of our generation is a pale facsimile of personal communication. “LOL” is an inadequate imitation of the laughter and love we share when we are together. Speaking “face to face” is the better way.

Mining the Scriptures: 2 John 9-11

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Our text is one that is highly controversial in our time, as it clearly shows that some who claim to be Christians are not worthy of fellowship and are to be rejected by the righteous. Such intolerance is not acceptable to many, but is required of us by God.

What differentiates between those who have God (are in fellowship with Him) and those who do not have God? Whether or not they abide in the doctrine of Christ. The term here could be literally rendered the “Messiah’s teaching.” (Very similar to the “apostle’s doctrine” in Acts 2:42). It includes the various doctrines concerning the person and work of Christ, but is not limited to those. Rather, it includes all that Christ taught. Both the teaching which He personally delivered to His disciples, and that promised by Him and delivered by the Holy Spirit (cf. John 16:13).

The Christian is not to associate with those who do not abide (stay, or remain) in the Messiah’s teaching. Unlike association with the world (cf. 1 Corinthians 5:9-13), to associate with false teachers among us is tantamount to fellowship. John says when we eat with them we share (jointly participate) in their evil deeds. No matter our desire for peace, this we must never do!

Mining the Scriptures: 2 John 7-8

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In verse 7 John continues his contention that the child of God must “walk according to His commandments” (vs. 6). He notes that false teachers would come, denying the humanity of Jesus, and in so doing lead some to forfeit their faith and standing with God.

He refers to these as deceivers and “an antichrist.” The term antichrist (antichristos) simply refers to one who opposes the Christ, and should not here be construed as referring to any one person, past or future. All those who deny the deity or the humanity of the Christ make themselves opponents of Him. Thus, they are antichrists.

John calls for awareness of this false doctrine, and warns his readers lest they be influenced by the teaching. Why? Because, if such is embraced, they might “lose those things we worked for” (vs 8).

Embracing false doctrine can cause one to lose his soul. Concerning such individuals, Peter wrote that they twist the scriptures “to their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:16).

We must be diligent, “that we may receive a full reward” (vs. 8).

Mining the Scriptures: 2 John 1-3

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2 John 1-3

2 John 1-3

The apostle John begins his epistle to the “elect lady and her children” by petitioning God on their behalf. His request? “Grace, mercy and peace” from the Father and the Son.

A most interesting juxtaposition is made in this text. Truth and Love are combined several times. John loved the elect lady “in truth” as well as all others who “have known the truth.” For Christians, truth is the foundation for our love. Abiding in truth is necessary for maintaining our relationship with God (cf. 2 John 9-11).

In contrast, many in our day believe truth and love to almost be antithetical. Those who contend for truth are called hatemongers for that very reason. John shows us here that truth and love go hand in hand.

John here promises us that “grace, mercy and peace” will come to Christians in “truth and love.” You can’t receive God’s mercy unless you abide in truth and love. It is a lesson we all would do well to learn.

Mining The Scriptures: 2 John 4-6

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2 John 4-6

Curiously, some today believe truth and love to be antithetical. If you insist on conformity to truth, you are considered unloving. It is believed that in order to be loving, one must be tolerant of doctrinal error and sin.

A careful reading of our text should dispel this erroneous supposition. John first indicated his pleasure that the “elect lady” had some children who were “walking in truth”, and defined truth as the commandments received from God.

Next, John encouraged her and her children to remember and heed the preeminent commandment, to love one another. (Notice that love and truth are here coupled).

In fact, John defines love (for God) – “that we walk according to His commandment.” Love is not defined as tolerance in scripture… rather obedience — to God and His Word. And if we love our brethren, we will seek to conform them to truth.