Monday in the Eighteenth Week of Ordinary Time

2 John 1-3

Love Founded upon Truth

John wrote two other short letters which reference much of the same material he covers in both his first letter and his gospel.  Unlike his first letter, he begins his second and third with a more traditional greeting.  The “elect lady” is a symbolic way of speaking, in this case, of a local church, perhaps in Asia Minor; and, after all, the Church is referred to as the “Bride” of Christ in Revelation 21:2, 9; 22:17.  (I much prefer speaking of the Church as a “she” rather than an “it.”)

We note that the Apostle loves this local church “in the truth,” and not only he but all love her “who know the truth.”  This teaches us that Christian love is founded upon and intimately related to truth—who is Jesus Christ himself (John 14:6).  The Christian is not allowed to live his life according to his feelings or the particular way he views things.  He may not adopt the kaleidoscopic and relativistic manner which a worldly man or pagan may choose.  The Christian must live his life after the manner of the truth preached and lived by Jesus Christ which the apostles and prophets revealed to us in Holy Scriptures and so interpreted by the Church down through the ages.  He may not pick and choose according to his liking from these sources.  This is all to say that truth is not some empty term which each person gets to fill with his own desired meaning but an objective reality; hence, John calls it “the truth.”

And it is out of this truth—and only this truth—that we may rightly and truly love one another.  I cannot love anyone outside of this truth described above.  I will not love my wife as I should if I do not love her according to this truth, much less anyone else.  Disconnected from the truth of the gospel revealed in Scripture, love is a mere fleeting thing.  I do not say that pagans cannot love; I do say that their love divorced as it is from the truth found in Jesus Christ is a love far from what it could and should be, and which ultimately must be grounded in oneself as it is not grounded in the truth himself—Jesus Christ.  In short, the truth of the gospel grounds my love that I may love as I should.

Verses two and three pronounce wonderful promises to believers: “The truth abides in us and will be with us forever.”  The true believer abides in the truth because the truth abides in him—and ever shall.  And in this truth and love are grace, mercy, and peace provided us from the Father and His Son.  Isn’t it wonderful to know the Truth!

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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