Part 34 – Walk In Christ’s Love
The world is crying, begging, searching, desiring, and yearning for love, but the love(s) they are striving after (storge - love of family; eros - sexual, passion, emotional; philia - friends, liking someone/something) are human loves, and the three of them will NEVER satisfying or fill the empty hole in the heart of every fallen creature. To quote the 80's rock band 'Extreme', "There's a whole in my heart that can only be filled by You" (and yes, the writer/lead singer - Gary Cerrone - WAS speaking about the Lord). The only TRUE LOVE that will answer the deepest problems of mankind is the agape love (unconditional, selfless, gracious and eternal) of God, and that can ONLY come to fallen man as a gift from the Lord God - WHO IS LOVE - and that gift of love is imparted into the heart of a sinner the moment they are converted, transformed, redeemed, born again, saved, enlightened, justified, died to self and born of God - which again, is a gift from the Lord when He nails our old man/sinful nature upon the cross, and gives us Christ's Life/Spirit, who again - IS LOVE.
The Gnostic/Docetists did not believe that Jesus Christ was truly divine, or more significantly, they believe that God would not become human. In their minds/belief Jesus was a phantom spirit - who 'seemed' to be in Jesus. Since they did not believe in the incarnation (God becoming flesh) then they did not possess the gift of eternal life, thus they were still dead in their sin and not possessors of the agape love of God. They 'love' was selfish and anti-christ. So, John was warning his lady friend/church that these false teachers had NOTHING to contribute to the Christian's faith walk, and that the greatest evidence that the lady, her children, the church, and its believing members, belonged to Christ was their consistent (not perfect) and obedient and ongoing walk/journey expressing Christ's love to those around them. This was an 'old' command - stemming back to the Old Testament books of Deuteronomy and Leviticus, but it was 'new' because in the case of New Covenant believers, the Spirit of Christ lived within them, so loving each other and loving their neighbors wasn't so much a "Law" as it was under the Old Covenant, but rather now it was their 'nature' to love, since Christ was within them, motivating them to love from their hearts.
John's intention was to 'remind' the lady/church of what they already knew: They were loved of God through Christ; and that love permeated every inch of their being - so they needn't be concerned with the fancy smancy false teachers....and neither should you and I. Our walk with Christ should be characterized by a supernatural agape love - a love that doesn't approve of every sinful behavior - but loves people (Christians and non-Christians alike) enough to bring correction, forgiveness, reconciliation, and always pointing them to Jesus.
This Sunday we will continue in our study of 2 John. The question I'm praying about is whether I'm going to cover just one verse - verse 7: "I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist." Or three verses - 7-9: "I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son."
Hmm, I think I'm leaning towards just covering verse seven. Well, I guess we'll see on Sunday! So, love one another; look for people who need Jesus, or who know Jesus but aren't in fellowship - and bring them to God's House. You will be surprised how easy it is to invite someone....they might just say 'Yes', and add, 'Thanks, no one ever invited me to church before!"