Balancing Truth and Love.


Scripture: 2 John 1:1-1:6

Let’s go back in time to what was happening in and around the churches at Ephesus. Itinerant heretics  were traveling from town to town sowing discord among the brethren.  Then as now these vagabond Jews were imposing upon Christian hospitality. Second John is concerned with the relation of Christian truth to hospitality extended to false teachers.

Such hospitality was often abused. These men were the same group that were the subject of first John One.

Genuine Christianity could be recognized by the orthodoxy of their message and are worthy of aid; but heretical teachers, especially those who denied the Incarnation are to be rejected, John encourages “the elect lady” to continue showing hospitality, but he also warns and guards against the abuse of Christian fellowship. Throughout the epistle he stresses truth as the basis and test of fellowship. In particular, he insists on a correct belief regarding the Incarnation of Christ, and charges that those who reject this reality have gone beyond the doctrine of Christ. He urges readers of the letter to keep close to Christ by abiding in the truth.

Intro: The Apostle John personally wrote to the “elect lady” who seemed to have erred on the side of love and also needed to take heed on the side of truth. Note: the word “truth” is mentioned 4X in this epistle (vv. 1, 2, 3, 4). The word “love” is also mentioned 4X (vv. 1, 3, 5, 6). The number “four” is connected to “stability or balance” in the scriptures.”

A. Notice that the Lord is a balanced Person. God is truth (Deut. 32:4); God is love (I John 4:16).
B. Observe that in the proper balance, God never compromises one attribute to manifest the other. God is always love and He is always truth! So, He never departs from one in order to be the other.

A. See Prov. 11:1. We as God’s children are to stand up for the truth – Jesus Christ (John 14:6); and the word of God is the truth (John 17:17).
B. We, as God’s children, are also to walk in the truth (II John 4); speak the truth (Eph. 4:15); and obey the truth (I Pet. 1:22)
C. We are to express the same love God has bestowed upon us. Observe that the Father’s love for the Son is the same as the Son’s love for the believer (John 15:9). The Son’s love for the believer is the same as the believer’s love for his fellow believer (John 15:12). The Lord Jesus declared that in this true biblical love for God and our fellowmen hang all the law and the prophets! (Matt. 22:40)
D. Loving one another was a new commandment issued by the Son (John 13:34). It is a –
1. A proof of our salvation (I John 3:14).
2. A token of our discipleship (John 13:35).
3. A sacrificial love (I John 3:16).
4. A mark of our love for God (I John 4:20).

A. Most tend to lean in one direction or the other. Note: Truth without Love becomes harsh, cruel and prideful. “Knowledge puffeth up” (I Cor. 8:1b).
B. Conversely, Love without Truth conforms to the world and believes and stands on nothing absolute.
C. An example of imbalance is “the elect lady.”

  1. 1. Truth – from the corrections in this epistle, we are compelled to believe that the elect lady had compromised truth. In verse two John gives her advice to caution her. The possession of a permanent truth is the chief reason to remain faithful and not be led astray.
  2. Love – It also seems this lady was erring to stand on the side of love.
    D. Biblical love never sacrifices truth; and biblical truth never sacrifices love. Love rejoices in truth and truth rejoices in love.

The two are inseparable! Like so many of us, the elect lady probably erred either on the side of truth or on the side of love.

In verse six John advises her to be obedient to the truth of the word because Love motivates obedience. Obedience implies a relationship.

Conclusion: Dan. 5:27 (“TEKEL”). Brethren, have you likewise been weighed in God’s balance and found wanting on the side of Truth? Or have you been weighed and found wanting on the side of Love? Biblically speaking, falling short in one is falling short in both! May we seek God’s grace and mercy today for His help in finding the balance between truth and love that He wants us to have. Let us pray!

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Chris
    Aug 10, 2019 @ 22:59:13

    Amen, Manny. Excellent post.


  2. Anonymous
    Aug 18, 2019 @ 04:04:49

    Thanks for stopping bye Chris.


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