“And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another. And this is love; that we walk in obedience to his commands.” 2 John 1:5-6.
What is love for a believer?
John spells it out: obedience to God’s commands.
John explains that he has no plans to add to God’s commands. He sees them as worthy to stand on their own as they have always been.
There is a message here not to complicate things. I often spend time trying to “understand” something better. To read another book. To hear another speaker. God’s truths are spelled out quite clearly in the Bible. My time would be better spent living out the truths I understand, because while I’m chasing more enlightening I’m dropping the ball regarding things I know to do.
I was at a memorial service this morning for a former neighbor. The minister in charge said that my neighbor believed in God and trusted God. There was no defining of what those two things mean, and that was unfortunate. Why? The Devil believes in God. Trusting God? What are we trusting Him to do? His presentation was general and never gave enough information to help the listeners move on to a life-changing decision. How sad!
God’s Word is very specific: sin separates me from Him. I am doomed to the frightening prospect of an after-life separated from Him. That is something to believe! But God loved me enough to send Jesus to die and thereby erase my sin record. That is another thing to believe! Because I believe that Jesus took care of my sin problem, I am completely in the clear on Judgment Day. Yet another thing to believe! Jesus has given me His Holy Spirit so that I am helped to live for Him. I trust God to care for me in this life and to welcome me into an after-life with Him.
Part of 2 John is written because folks had come along who were altering what Jesus had preached. They were producing add-on’s and add-off’s just as the religious leaders had done. John tells me to look (for myself) at God’s commands and accept them and obey them. Don’t embellish them. Don’t ignore the more difficult ones.
By taking the Gospel and presenting it in an extremely vague way, today’s minister may have been one of those people John in 2 John was warning about. Understand the Truth and present it truthfully!
Conclusion: If I love God I will do what He wants me to do. I will live out His do’s and don’ts.