View 2nd John 1 in the note window.
The Second and Third Epistles of John insist on the truth. The Second warns
the faithful against the reception of those who do not teach the doctrine
of Christ, especially the truth respecting the Person of Christ. The Third
encourages believers to receive and help those who teach it. Accordingly
they both (and the Second especially) lay stress on "the truth."
The apostle loved this elect lady, "in the truth;" as did also all those
who had known the truth, and that for the truth's sake. He wished her
blessing in truth and in love. He rejoiced that he had found some who were
her children walking in the truth. He desired that there should be mutual
love among Christians, but this was love, that they should keep the
commandments; for many deceivers were come into the world. Now whosoever
transgressed, and did not abide in the doctrine of Christ, had not God. He
ends his epistle, of which we have given an almost complete summary, by
exhorting this lady, in case any one should come and not bring this
doctrine, not to receive him into her house, nor say to him, "God bless
you, or be with you," or "I salute you." For to do so would be to make
herself a partaker in the evil he was doing.
The false doctrine which was abroad at that moment was the denial of the
truth of Christ come in the flesh; but the apostle says in a general way
that, if any one transgressed and did not abide in the doctrine of Christ,
he had not God.
We learn several important things in this little epistle. The mission of a
man who went about preaching was never brought into question, but the
doctrine which he brought; if he brought sound doctrine he was welcome.
A woman having the word-as this epistle, for example-was capable of judging
his doctrine, and responsible to do so. Inexorable rigour was to be
maintained, if the doctrine as to the Person of Christ was touched. The
door was to be shut against whoever falsified it. They were not even to say
to him, "I salute you;" for they who did so became partakers of his evil
work. It would be to help on the deceits of Satan.
Moreover the semblance of love which does not maintain the truth, but
accommodates itself to that which is not the truth, is not love according
to God. It is the taking advantage of the name of love in order to help on
the seductions of Satan. In the last days the test of true love is the
maintenance of the truth. God would have us love one another; but the Holy
Ghost, by whose power we receive this divine nature, and who pours the love
of God into our hearts is the Spirit of truth; and His office is to glorify
Christ. Therefore it is impossible that a love which can put up with a
doctrine that falsifies Christ, and which is indifferent to it, can be of
the Holy Ghost- still less so, it such indifference be set up as the proof
of that love.
The doctrine of the reward and crown of glory, which the labourer possesses
in the fruits of his ministry, is presented in a very strong light in verse
8 This Second Epistle puts Christians on their guard against all that is
equivocal with respect to the person of Christ; and exhorts to an
unwavering firmness on this point.