|St. John Getting the Visions in Revelation|
1. Each church is a bride of Christ, an elect lady. This does not mean everyone is elect in her, nor that she is infallible. (vs. 1, 13)
2. Truth, that is Jesus, is what binds Christians together in love (vs. 1)
3. Truth is something that each Christian knows and has living in them (vs. 2). Though John does not specifically mention the Holy Spirit in II John, that is clearly who brings the truth to us, teaches us the truth, and causes the truth to live in us.
4. One of the great joys a pastor should have is that members of his flock are walking in the truth (vs. 4).
5. One of the central commandments from God, a command that has been since the beginning, is that we love one another (vs. 4-5).
6. The way we love God and our fellow Christians is by obeying God’s commandments (vs. 6). There is no war between love and obedience.
7. We must obey and love one another because there are deceivers who do not confess Jesus has come in the flesh (vs. 7). These men are antichrists. One way we love one another is by driving away wolves.
8. If we do not fight against these antichrists we will fall away from the faith (vs. 8)
9. Anyone who teaches that Jesus did not come in the flesh does not have God. God does not abide in them (vs. 9). They are not Christians.
10. A church is to give absolutely no forum to heretics (vs. 10). They are not to treat them like brothers. They are not to let them speak at a roundtable discussion. They are to receive no welcome.
11. Writing letters and emails is good. But face to face is best (vs. 12).
12. We should maintain positive relationships with those churches that agree with us in essential doctrines (vs. 13).
Thanks for bringing out the message of 2 John, especially the parts that should be obvious (but we are dull in this age), about how God teaches us to treat false teachers – no place at the table!
I have a question about the first part of your point #1 though – you say “Each church is a bride of Christ…” But Christ has only one bride, not many brides, right? I don't see how it can be right to say “Each church is a bride of Christ”. Can you explain?
Daniel, thanks for the comment and the good question. My point comes from the first verse where the church is called an elect lady. I probably should have added a qualifier. There is only one Bride, but each church is an expression of that one Bride. I think you can use the word “church” the same way. There is one Church, but each church is still a church. My point was that the Bride is not up there somewhere, but is right here in our midst in the form of our local churches. Hope that helps.