Sunday, January 27, 2013
2nd John Part 4
1:2 For the truth's sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us for ever.
John tells this matron that it is for the truth’s sake that she is loved; both by him and by all who have known the truth, verse 1. There are two important points that the apostle stresses about this truth which is the commonality if their love and faith. First, it dwells in them individually. Because there is this individual possession of the truth John speaks of there can be corporate unity amidst the brethren. Second, this truth shall be with “us” (namely every Christian) forever. The notion of “forever” (NKJV) conducts the idea of eternity. The truth dwells in us and will forever be with us.
Jesus declared that “I will be with you always, even to the end of the age,” Matthew 28:20. It is also written “that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith,” so we may be capable of comprehending “the love of Christ which passes knowledge,” Ephesians 3:17, 19. The written word is the truth of God (John 17:17; Psalm 19:9; Psalm 119:89, 128) that leads us into contact with the living Word, the Truth of God, John 1:14, 17; 14:6.
1:3 Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.
Due to our personal possession of Jesus Christ, who is the truth, we shall likewise receive grace, mercy and peace from God. Grace is the condescending love of God; grace is love that descends, while worship is our love toward God that ascends. That is why every act we commit (or refrain from committing) can be an act of worship. If it is done with the proper motivation and reason it is an act of love, and therefore worship. The Christian has received “grace for grace,” John 1:16.
God’s mercy is the energy of this great grace; God’s love that reaches out to sinful rebels to cleanse them of their filth is a very merciful act; it is an infinitely merciful act spawned by a heart of infinite love and grace. While we were enemies of God He died for us and demonstrated His immense mercy, Romans 5:6, 8. I would like to reference A. W. Tozer at this point and the comment he made concerning adjectives to describe God. He wrote that terms such as “immense” and “great” are entirely for our benefit as imperfect creatures who measure things in terms of magnitude. But the God who fills all in all is perfect, omnipotent and complete. There is nothing we can rightly compare God to, so adjective descriptions are really for our own sake so we can attempt to extrapolate on the enormity of the God we are maturing in a relationship with.
Once mercy arrives peace is the natural outcome. After Paul’s apologetic argument for “faith alone” as the means for one’s salvation, he asserts that because a man is justified by faith in Christ without works or merit we have peace with God through the Lord Jesus Christ. Through Christ we received forgiveness of sin and eternal life. Through Him we likewise have peace with God the Father. Twice in Romans Paul refers to God as “the God of peace,” Romans 15:33; 16:20. We may have peace with God because Jesus Christ, ransomed for sin on our behalf, is our peace, according to Scripture, Ephesians 2:14. We have come to know the God of peace who has given His son to be our peace, and through His blood has done just so. Christ has brought us into such a relationship with God the Father that we may know not only peace with God, but the peace OF God, Philippians 4:7. Being eternal and unchanging, God’s peace is an undreamed of assurance that is available to every saint in God’s household. Paul describes it as surpassing our understanding, again Philippians 4:7. What a delight for those of us that can enter into such a relationship with our Creator! Such is John’s wish for this lady, her children, and us, the letter’s present recipients.