Daily Reading: Daniel 12; 2 John
Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son. (2 John 9, NASB95)
False teachers in both John’s day and now in the present can usually be described as “going too far” and “not abiding in the teaching of Christ.”
- To go beyond the teaching of Christ means to represent Jesus in ways that are inconsistent and irreconcilable with the way the apostles (the NT) have portrayed Him.
- To “not abide in the teaching of Christ” is to walk in disobedience to His teaching and example. Jesus specifically says in the great commission, “Teaching them to observe all that I commanded you” (Matt. 28:20).
- Christian practice and experience is founded on specific teachings of Jesus, and one’s eternal destiny is at stake (Matt. 7:24-27).
- The concept of “having God” includes being in right relationship with Him through Jesus Christ (1 Jn. 2:23), as well as receiving the Spirit and eternal life. John 17:3 explains that eternal life is knowing God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent. One cannot have life apart from Jesus Christ (1 Jn. 5:10-12; cf. John 14:6; Acts 4:12).
The deceivers were teaching that Jesus had not come as a man, i.e., was not incarnate (2 Jn. 7). God demonstrates His love through the act of sending His Son to die on our behalf (1 Jn. 4:10, 14). How can a person remain in His love and love others (2 Jn. 6), while denying this central truth? We can only love one another as we receive the love of God in Christ (Rom. 5:5). Do you know the truth well enough to discern false teaching? Are you abiding in His teaching, thus having both the Father and the Son?