Following Jesus 24
Are you like John?
We continue our examination of how followers of Jesus today are like the Apostle John. As such, they are persons committed to biblical love and truth. If this is the case, these followers of Jesus will demonstrate two realities or truths in their personal lives which John speaks of in 2 John 1-3.
To begin with, followers of Jesus know God, vs. 1-2. “The elder to the elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth, and not only I, but also all who know the truth, because of the truth that abides in us and will be with us forever:” (2 John 1:1-2 ESV)
The elder is universally accepted as being the Apostle John. The identity of the elect lady is debated. Some say she was a real person. Others believe she is a symbolic name for the church of Jesus Christ. Her children would be local congregations.
Regardless of who she was, John loved her as did everyone who knows and is committed to the truth belonging to God. Christian love is by no means just sentimentalism or human compassion. Rather, it is prompted by a knowledge of the truth revealed in Christ. Truth is the basis of the believer’s love. It is precisely this truth, on account of which the church is loved, that the church must be careful to guard and protect.
What exactly is the truth to which John speaks? At its core, it must be the gospel, to which every other truth revolves. The gospel is as follows: God exists; God is holy; Man is sinful; God became man in the person of Jesus Christ; Jesus Christ lived a perfect, sinless life; Jesus Christ died a substitutionary atoning death on the cross for sinners; Jesus Christ rose from the dead, ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father; Jesus Christ will come again to this earth in power, might and glory and salvation from the penalty, power and eventual presence of sin is by the grace of God alone, through God given faith alone, in the person, righteousness and death burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ alone.
Secondly, followers of Jesus not only know god, but even more blessed than that is the truth that God knows them, vs. 3. “Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ the Father's Son, in truth and love” (2 John 3 ESV).
Grace is God’s unmerited favor which is God giving sinners what they do not deserve: salvation, forgiveness and eternal life. Mercy is compassion and kindness; sparing you from undergoing an experience of judgment, condemnation and eternal separation from God. Peace is the resulting tranquility from God of harmony with God.
These blessings are from only sourced and given by God the Father and from Jesus Christ the Father's Son. They are given in truth and love.
· Are you like John? Are you passionately devoted to the love of God and to show the love of God? John was so committed to the truth of God, it resulted in him being banished to the Isle of Patmos during his old age. He died around 98 A.D. during the reign of the Emperor Trajan. Are you so committed to God’s truth, and to be His witness to the truth of the gospel, that you are willing to be shunned by your friends, willing to be ridiculed by your co-workers, and perhaps attacked by your enemies?
· How may you today demonstrate God’s love for people?
· Are you committed to God’s truth, even when it offends you? In what ways, if any, have you rejected God’s truth because it made you uncomfortable or even angry?
· In becoming a follower of Jesus, it is not only what you are in Christ that is important. It is also what you are becoming in Christ by the Holy Spirit.
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