3 April 2020 Anno Domini, the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. 9Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. 10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: 11For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.12Having many things to write unto you, I would not write with paper and ink: but I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face, that our joy may be full. 13The children of thy elect sister greet thee. Amen. (II John 1:8-13; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
Christ Himself is our full reward. Instead of searching out the sins and errors of others, let us first follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit in cleaning out the unsavory refuse of our own hearts. John is actually relating, as he always does, to those principles which our Lord taught him: “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 4Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? 5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:3-5) There is plenty of sins to judge in our own hearts without seeking out the sins of others. “Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.” (II John 8) Christ offers no partial reward – His reward is always full and whole. Some may have heard the phrase, “The whole is equal to the sum of the parts.” (Aristotle). That is normally true except in things spiritual. In Euclidean math, it is stated that the whole is greater than the part.” This is true of the elect in Christ.
You remember the prayer of the Lord Jesus Christ at Gethsemane the night of His betrayal? Please read carefully the plea of our Lord during that time of a troubled heart: “I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 15I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. 16They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 17Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. 18As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. 19And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. 20Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 21That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 23I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” (John 17:14-23) In a sense, both Aristotle and Euclid are correct since the one is addressing apples, the other oranges.
“Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.” (II John 9)
God needs no part of ourselves to make Himself WHOLE. However, in accordance with the prayer of our Lord, the believer has the distinct privilege to become One in Christ who is, in turn, One in the Father. If we are One in Christ, we shall also be united as One in the Father – only means by which WE are made whole! This is a case in which the sum of the parts do not necessarily equal the whole, but we are received into Christ and the Father as like parts of the whole. If churches were One in Christ, there would be little room for constant contention and disagreement; but the lack of complete understanding of God’s Word results in those contentions – and a couple of tablespoons of pride, as well, might be added to that equation. Abiding in Christ, and He in us, is not a temporary arrangement. When Christ enters into our hearts to abide, that means to live there FOREVER! We live and have our being in Christ if we belong wholly to Him – and there is no such thing as PARTIALLY belong to Him. We are either IN Christ or we have nothing to do with Him.
John issues a dire warning to the believer regarding the antichrists mentioned in verse seven of this same chapter. “If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: 11For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.” (II John 10-11) The doctrine of Christ does not change to accommodate changing social norms and mores. The intent of the Gospel is to change the world, not have the world change the Gospel. That Gospel is the same that our Lord Jesus Christ taught and that which is further illuminated by the Apostles. If God says adultery is a sin, then it shall remain so regardless our accommodating opinions on the matter. If God says that marriage is alone between one man and one woman, then one thousand angels proclaiming it not so will change nothing concerning the truth of God’s Word.
Remember the important 1st verse of Psalm 1:1 – “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.” We do not rub shoulders with reprobate sinners to discourse on the rights or wrongs of illicit behavior. That was the error of Adam and Eve by walking to the tree, stopping at the tree, and them conversing with the Serpent. It was King David’s sin as well by getting up at an ungodly hour of the night, walking on his roof, and watching a beautiful lady take her bath. That ‘small’ sin led to adultery, murder, and the death of David’s child of Bathsheba. We neither engage casually, take pleasure in, or walk with those who do not accept the truth of the doctrines of our Lord.
Beware the counsel of Paul concerning so-called ‘alternate life-styles: “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. 28And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” (Romans 1:26-32) Have you discounted the Doctrines of Christ in the above passage from Romans? If so, you have no part with my Lord.
“Having many things to write unto you, I would not write with paper and ink: but I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face, that our joy may be full.” (II John 12) Speaking face-to-face has greater effect than epistles and commentaries. It is for this reason that Christ came in the body of a man to testify of His Father and to show us, in flesh and blood, the Father whom we could not otherwise understand through the words of the prophets and the laws. The warmth of personal love and friendship is multiplied when shared face-to-face. We have much correspondence coming into our National Office of the AOC every day. We feel that we have come to know many correspondents through those mails; however, there is a great void of warmth filled at such time as we meet those same believers face to face. The Holy Spirit seems to testify through their spirits to ours as to their genuine persons. It is for this reason that Holy Communion is observed in personal communion with one another as with Christ. The Articles of Religion of the Reformation Church of England forbids that which is referred to as “reserved communion.”
BENEDICTION OF JOHN: “The children of thy elect sister greet thee. Amen.” (II John 13) The Elect Lady was known by all the Church for her charity and hospitality to all. Such traits are the characteristics that mark all Christian people. I am not sure to whom John refers as “the children of thy elect sister.” It may be that some members of the same Church were present with John at this writing and who may fitly have considered the elect lady as a mother figure, or the reference may be to actual sons and daughters who labored with John and who were the actual children of this good lady.
Here concludes the study on II John. We will next take up a study of III John.