The Rich Rewards of Obedience

by Wayne Barber

As we continue to study 2nd John and the theme, Walking in the Truth, we must realize the marvelous benefits that are ours when we yield to Christ's Lordship by yielding to His Word.

You see, there is no way that you can separate Love from Truth. Love and Truth are tied together! We all know that there are churches everywhere that are cold and indifferent, with no real care for one another. We scratch our heads and wonder why that is so. But when we come back to realizing that Truth is important and can never be replaced by humanistic methods and strategies, then we begin to see that a change takes place in our churches through the faithful preaching and living out the Word of God. People begin to love one another.

2nd John 1 says "The elder to the chosen lady and her children, whom I love in truth; and not only I, but also all who know the truth." The word for "love" is not the word that a lover would write to his loved one! It's not "I luv you." No, this is the word that John has championed in his first epistle and now brings it out in this letter: agapo , meaning that which the Holy Spirit alone can produce in one's heart. It is a love that is devoted to do what is necessary to meet the spiritual need of someone, no matter what it costs him.

The word "in," in the phrase "whom I love in truth," en, denotes a fixed position within the sphere of something. This unique Love that only God can produce in us only occurs when one walks within the sphere of Truth.

If one is not experiencing Truth, practicing Truth, and obeying Truth, then he cannot be in the sphere of the influence of truth. God's love is only experienced by those who choose to walk in the sphere of God's Truth!

In 2nd John 2, when John says "for the sake of the truth which abides in us" the phrase "for the sake of" is possibly better understood as "because of." John puts the definite article before the word "truth," making it "the truth"-thus making it totally clear that he is talking about the Truth of God's Word. "Abides" is the Greek méno. It is in the present active and means "to remain." The Truth of God's Word remains in those who choose to live in its sphere; or live under its influence in their lives.

John goes on to say in verse 2, "will be with us forever." "With" is met; it means that it is in our midst; it will always accompany us. Now, because the Truth remains in us and will always be with us, there will be definite results when we choose to walk in it.

Verse 3: "Grace, mercy and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love." We have seen that in the sphere of walking in God's Truth there is love. But there are three other blessings that we will always have: Grace, mercy and peace!

Grace in the Greek is chris, the divine enabling power of God that transforms us. Mercy is éleos, the underserved ability to bear up under the wrong choices that we make.

Peace is eiréne, the absence of any conflict between God and man. It literally means to "bind together," and paints a beautiful picture.

When we choose to experience truth by obeying God's Word we will experience His love for us, and through us for others. Out of this truth and love will flow His grace, His divine enablement to do what He tells us to do; His mercy, His divine ability to even bear up under our wrong choices; and His peace, His divine assurance that there is no conflict between Him and us.

The recipients of John's epistle had it down right in their walk with Christ and in His Word. They walked in the Truth (v. 4).

Stop and think for a moment. Just look at what are you missing in your Christian walk and in your church when we choose not to live under the influence of Truth! We miss the true love that only Christ can produce in us and through us; we miss the grace that constantly changes our lives from the inside out; we miss the mercy that is always there when we blow it; and we miss the peace in our midst, knowing that there is nothing between us and God and nothing between one another.

Are you walking in Truth?

Wayne Barber is senior pastor of Hoffmantown Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico

2011 Disciple 155x50 2011 AMG 155x50
Disciple Banner Ad