Greeting the Elect Lady
From: The Elder,
"To the elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth, and not only I, but also all those who have known the truth, because of the truth which abides in us and will be with us forever: Grace, mercy, and peace will be with you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love".
Walk in Christ's Commandments
"I rejoiced greatly that I have found some of your children walking in truth, as we received commandment from the Father. And now I plead with you, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment to you, but that which we have had from the beginning: that we love one another. This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it".
Beware of Antichrist Deceivers
For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward. Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.
John's Farewell Greeting
Having many things to write to you, I did not wish to do so with paper and ink; but I hope to come to you and speak face to face, that our joy may be full. The children of your elect sister greet you. Amen. (NKJV)
This "salutation" written by the Apostle John, was written to the 'elect" lady and her children from his character perspective, rather than from his authority position as an Apostle. It expresses his character as an "elder".At the time of this writing, John is possibly the oldest living apostle, thus the "chief elder" in the church of God. An elder in the ancient house of Israel was to be reverend, or to be reverenced. from a godly perspective , but not as God. much more he who is so In the gospel Israel of God. He was now old in holy service and experience, had seen and tasted much of heaven, and was much nearer to heaven than when at first he believed.
I. Introduction: “Personal Greeting” (Verses 1-3)
A. Sent :To The “Elect Lady and Her Children:
Note: The term “elect” lady and her children, “figuratively speaking,” either meant the church as a whole, (all established churches at the time of John’s writing) a particular church congregation, possibly Ephesus, or,” literally” a specific person named Kyria (Cyria), (someone John had actual knowledge of). “Kyria” in Greek as a proper name is the same as “Martha” in Hebrew. The word “church” in the Greek is derived from “Kuriakee” a form of Kyria from which we get another Greek word “Ekkleesia”, which means fellowship, group or assembly (church)
B. Sent “in truth” and “in love” by John and the congregation at large.
The meaning here is, that he "truly" or "sincerely" loved them, that he was sincerely attached to them, as well as all those Christians who had had an opportunity of knowing them, were sincerely attached to them.
C. Sent for the “truth’s” sake: Because..
The family loved and lived according “the truth”, (the Gospel as well as principles, precepts and doctrines taught by Jesus Christ) These were the same doctrinal truths the others in the Christian fellowship embraced and lived by. And all of these truths will be with them (us) for all eternity (Jesus, the Gospel, as well as the Word of God in general)
D. Salutation-prayer: Grace, Mercy and Peace from God the Father, Jesus Christ, the Son of God in “truth”: and in “love”
II. The “Commandment” of Love: “The Path to Christ” (verse 4-6)
A. Walking in the truth: a commandment of the God the Father. (vs.4)
Your children were found walking in obedience of that love.
B. A Plea to walk in obedience of “divine love”. (what they had from the beginning)
Note: The commandment to live according to His (Jesus) commandment, heard from the beginning, that is, from the first time the Gospel was made known to us.
According to 2 Corinthians 5:14-20 and 1 Thessalonians 2:7-8, the “Law” of Jesus Christ (love) is that “divine love” that is given to the believer by the Holy Spirit by the renewing of their heart at conversion. You can choose to love or not show love. Love is voluntary and spontaneous. According to James 1:25 and James 2:12, it called the perfect law of Liberty, in contrast to the “external” Mosaic Law. According to Deuteronomy 6:5, Leviticus 19:18, and Luke 10:27, the Mosaic law demanded love whereas according to Romans 5:5 and 1 John 4:7 and verses 19-20, the Law of Jesus Christ is “love” Love ( the law written on the heart under the new covenant of love) that fulfills the law. (Romans 13:10 and Galatians 5:14)
III. Warning: “Against Deceivers and the Antichrist” (verse 7-11)
A. Deceivers in the world refuse to confess that Jesus Christ came in the world as a human (in the flesh) but claim he “assumed” the appearance of a man. “Anyone who takes this view is a deceiver and an “antichrist.”(They are against Jesus Christ and refuse to recognize His Deity. (vs.7)
B. Look to Yourselves: "Be on guard!" (vs.8)
Secure your heart concerning the truth of what you have been taught Biblically. Guard you heart with all diligence. Make sure what you believe is Bible based, Christ centered, Holy Spirit led, and Mission (Evangelistic in nature) Bound. Receive the full reward of your stewardship by not falling into error.
C. Whoever transgresses and fail to abide in the doctrine of Christ doesn’t have God (vs. 9)
That is doesn’t have the true knowledge that came from God but anyone who abides in the true doctrine of Jesus Christ has both the God the Father and Christ.
D. Anybody approaches you with a false doctrine (concerning Jesus Christ) don’t let them in your house, neither bid them God’s speed. John warns her (or the church) concerning religious seducers and instructs her (or them) how to handle them:
1. They are not to be entertained or recognized as ministers, teachers, or disciples of Jesus Christ. Remember: If God won’t sanction or recognize them as HIS, then we should not either. We must see them the same way God sees them, even if they are our relatives.
2. "Don’t support their doctrinal beliefs, or their religious affiliation in any way. If anybody knocks on your door in attempt to witness to you about God and when questioned fails to agree to any of the following doctrine concerning Christ as the Son of God, the virgin birth of Christ, Jesus as the Messiah and anointed of God who came here to redeem and save man from his SIN. Do not welcome or receive them not into your house for any bible studies, especially if the studies are to be led by them." Do not encourage their false evangelism and at best, instruct them to put you on a “Do not call or visit” list. If they ask to leave any of their literature, cordially say no. If you happen to be caught off guard and inadvertently receive any of their literature, find the nearest trash can and properly dispose of the false doctrinal material ASAP.
E. If you bid them God’s speed, you are a partaker of their evil (vs. 11)
This does not mean that we are not to show common courtesy or even acts of kindness, in any circumstances, but that there was to be nothing done which could be fairly construed as encouraging or sanctioning them as "religious teachers." The true rule would seem to be, in regard to such persons, that, so far as we have contact with them as neighbors, or strangers, we are to be honest, true, kind, and just, but we are to do NOTHING that will construe them to be “favored” religious teachers, pastors, or lay teachers by God.
IV. Conclusion: (verses 12-13)
Fellowship: I look forward to coming to you and talk face to face. (vs. 12)
There was a lot that the Apostle John wished to say, but he felt it better that they met face to face to express some of those things he wished to say, but chose not to write.
Greetings: The children of your “elect” sister (church) sends greetings. Amen.(vs. 13)
Grace was abundant towards this family; here are two elect sisters, and probably their elect children. How will they admire this grace in heaven!
Dr. William Edward Boddie