The Basis of Fellowship
2 John 1-6
September 7, 2014
Satan is the ruler of the world (1 Jn. 5:19). That makes the world a wicked and awful place. And despite our discouragement about what we find in the world, we’ve come to expect what we find in the world and from the world.
But what about the church? How will the church relate to the world? And how will the church relate to people in the church who are false teachers? There are essentially two options:
- Because we have a desire to be loving and we want to reach the world, we minimize our differences with the world and with those who pretend to be in the truth but are not. So inclusivism governs our relationships with the world and ecumenism governs our relationships in the church. If truth divides, should we minimize truth and embrace love instead?
- Or, we can stand firmly for the truth, separate ourselves from everyone and be rigid and hard-nosed and become known as unloving and unkind.
Both those alternatives are filled with dangers and are unbiblical. And the Bible has answers for how we should relate to those who do not believe and follow biblical truth.
Following his first letter to the churches in Asia Minor, John wrote two more brief letters to individuals from those churches. They were individuals who continued to encounter the false teachers that John warned against in his first letter and they had encountered the two kinds of responses I just articulated: becoming too open-armed and becoming too exclusive. So John writes these letters to provide them a foundation for how they should think about fellowship and unity in the church body.
Over four Sundays, we are going to examine these letters and see if we should draw lines for fellowship and if so, how those lines should be drawn. This morning we begin with the basis of fellowship:
The basis of biblical fellowship is a warm-hearted standard of truth and love.
- We Love By the Truth (v. 1)
- We Love Because of the Truth (v. 2)
- The truth is in us
- The truth is ours eternally
- Truth and Love Are the Basis of Our Greatest Possession (v. 3)
- We will have salvation
- We will have salvation only through God’s truth and love
- Our Goal and Joy is to Live in the Truth (v. 4)
- We Live Truthfully as We Love One Another (vv. 5-6)
Download the rest of this sermon on 2 John 1-6.
The audio will be posted on the GBC website later today.