I am skipping ahead several books. In a few days starts advent and I want to do something different during that time, so we will look at a few short books to finish this week. We will go back to the missed books after Christmas!
1 This letter is from John, the elder.[a]
I am writing to the chosen lady and to her children,[b] whom I love in the truth—as does everyone else who knows the truth— 2 because the truth lives in us and will be with us forever.
3 Grace, mercy, and peace, which come from God the Father and from Jesus Christ—the Son of the Father—will continue to be with us who live in truth and love.
Live in the Truth
4 How happy I was to meet some of your children and find them living according to the truth, just as the Father commanded.
5 I am writing to remind you, dear friends,[c] that we should love one another. This is not a new commandment, but one we have had from the beginning. 6 Love means doing what God has commanded us, and he has commanded us to love one another, just as you heard from the beginning.
7 I say this because many deceivers have gone out into the world. They deny that Jesus Christ came[d] in a real body. Such a person is a deceiver and an antichrist. 8 Watch out that you do not lose what we[e] have worked so hard to achieve. Be diligent so that you receive your full reward. 9 Anyone who wanders away from this teaching has no relationship with God. But anyone who remains in the teaching of Christ has a relationship with both the Father and the Son.
10 If anyone comes to your meeting and does not teach the truth about Christ, don’t invite that person into your home or give any kind of encouragement. 11 Anyone who encourages such people becomes a partner in their evil work.
12 I have much more to say to you, but I don’t want to do it with paper and ink. For I hope to visit you soon and talk with you face to face. Then our joy will be complete.
13 Greetings from the children of your sister,[f] chosen by God.
What John writes in this letter is just as relevant and important as the day he wrote it. You’ll note that in this very short letter, 4 times he refers to “truth”. Something has John concerned.
It was during this time that people were arguing, especially some of the Christians, that there was no way Jesus could have been both God and human. And thus the seed of doubt begins to get planted. In this chapter John warns against false teaching. Be on guard for it, listen diligently for it. In the book of 1 John, we are told to “test every spirit”, meaning check what you hear against the scriptures. False teachers were out in the world then, now and will be in the future. John goes so far as to say not to welcome them into their house. This was a very counter-cultural thing to do, so this warning would have really gotten their attention.
But how do we recognize a false teacher and false teaching? Well there is not substitute for good, old fashion hard work on this one. First, we must be in the Word regularly. If we are calling the bible the Truth, we need to know what is written in it. Second, we must remember we have been give the Holy Spirit to teach, guide and discern. Ask for the Spirit to help you understand scripture and recognize when something is said falsely. This becomes easier with practice and repetition. And third, ask someone for counsel and advice. We all need those people in our life that we can turn to when we have questions.
let me quickly address the not letting false teachers in your house. Although we may find it hard or impossible to not let “uncle Bill” the aetheist, or “cousin Jane”, the New Ager, etc… into your home, that doesn’t mean you let them be in a position to teach or influence your kids. The heart of this passage is to protect your home and family from the wrong influences. That is our job as Christian parents, we must be diligent in this.
Pray today for protection of your home and family against false teaching