Sunday, May 6, 2012
Scripture Sunday: 2nd John and 3rd John
2nd John is a personal letter from John to "the elect lady and her children" which either means a literal woman and her household, or a particular church and her members. It's just a general letter of encouragement and exhortation. The elect lady and her loved ones are sticking close to the gospel, which pleases John: "I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth" (1:4). John tells his audience to continue loving each other, for love is not a new commandment but one of the oldest commandments of God, one that existed from the beginning. John also warns them to be on their guard against false teachers who do not believe in Jesus.
3rd John is addressed to a man named Gaius. Gaius is also faithfully serving God, and this makes John very happy: "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth." (1:4) But while Gaius is in good stead with the Lord, John is concerned about a fellow named Diotrephes who is causing many problems within the church. John gives Gaius and those with him one more big piece of advice: "Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God." (1:11). John plans to see Gaius and everyone else in person soon, which accounts for the shortness of his letter.