Walk in Love

Key Verse: “This is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.”
—II John 1:6

Selected Scripture:
II John 1:4-11

THE APOSTLE JOHN addressed this epistle possibly to an unnamed sister in Christ or to a local congregation which this aged servant of God especially loved. Hence, he desired to encourage and strengthen them through fatherly exhortation.—II John 1:1,2

The apostle continues: “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. I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father. And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another.”—vss. 3-5

Our Key Verse emphasizes the fact that loving the brethren is a clear manifestation of our obedience to God. This commandment is a reiteration of a prominent theme cited in John’s first epistle. If we do not love and sympathize with our brethren whom we have seen, it would demonstrate a deficiency in our character and bring into question our sincere love for God, whom we have not seen except through the eye of faith.—I John 3:14-18; 4:20,21

Much of the remainder of John’s second epistle contains warnings against false teachers. One specific error prevalent at the time when this letter was written was that Jesus was not really flesh and blood during his ministry, but a spirit being. (II John 1:7) Such a view negates the need for a ransom to offset Adam’s sin by means of a corresponding price—a perfect human life given for the perfect life forfeited.—Heb. 2:9

Paul reminds us that the Berean Jews were nobler than those of Thessalonica, for they received his instruction with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures daily to see if what he taught was true. (Acts 17:11) If we are like these Bereans we will scrutinize what we accept as truth, especially when we hear new or different expressions which do not harmonize with the overall plan of God. This is one reason it is of great importance to meet with our brethren as often as we can to nurture, strengthen and water one another by proving our beliefs according to the testimony of the Bible.—Heb. 10:25; I Thess. 5:21

There is much written in the Bible to alert true Christians to the danger of being exposed to false teachers. The repetitive nature of such warnings makes it important to realize that we cannot maintain our standing with God without heeding scriptural counsel. The Apostle Paul says that we “wrestle not” against flesh and blood, but against spiritual powers of wickedness in high places. (Eph. 6:12) Thus, it is imperative that we follow the Lord’s Word in all of these matters so as not to be led astray.

Whether it be the subject of love, or any other teaching critical to our faith structure, we should continually keep before our mind the value of the truths contained in God’s Word. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”—II Tim. 3:16,17