Walking In Truth

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2 John 1:4-8 I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father. 5 And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. 6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it. 7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. 8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.

Try The Spirit By The Scripture

Opening: I believe that we ALL need to “try the Spirit by the Scripture”. What do I mean by that? I mean, we should check the truthfulness of what is said by what the Bible says. When Sherry and I were young, and had three young kids, we loved to hike. I loved hiking off trail, that is, I would lead my family into wooded areas that had no marked path. Before going into the woods, I would always check my compass. I’ve heard that you could check your direction by which way the moss grows on a tree … but I can’t remember which side its supposed to grow on. I also heard you can follow the North Star, but you often can’t find that in the daytime. The best – absolute BEST – way to make sure you don’t get lost is to check the compass.

If you are a Christian, your spiritual compass is the Bible.

I like to read Max Lucado. Though from the “Church of Christ”, he writes so as to reach all Christians with God’s Truth. But I don’t always agree with Max. For instance, I read this statement the other day:

God loves you just the way you are, but He refuses to leave you that way. He wants you to be just like Jesus.”

Now let’s break that statement down. Does God love you? Let’s test it with the Scripture. The Bible says …

1 John 4:9-10 (ESV) In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation {satisfactory payment} for our sins.

Does God love us? Yes, He does. Does God love us as we are? No, He doesn’t. That is not Bible truth.

If God loved us “as we are” then He would not have sent His Only Begotten Son to die for our sins. If God loves us “as we are”, He’d leave us alone. We’d be finished. The Bible truth is that Jesus is the propitiation, that is the “atoning or God satisfying sacrifice” “for our sins. Our sins are an affront to God. Our sins separate us from God. Sin is when we willfully reject what God has said. The Prophet wrote:

Isaiah 59:2 … your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.

God loves you, and reaches out to you. But He does not love you walking in sin. Sin is the opposite of Who God is. God is righteous, holy, and just. Does God love you? Yes, He reaches out to you. But those who will not repent, who will not turn to God through Christ, reject the love of God. The Bible says of them:

Ephesians 4:18 (ESV) They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.

They harden their hearts against God. They reject His love. God cannot love you while you walk in darkness, for God cannot love sin. And we can not love God while in sin. Jesus said:

Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. …

Does God love you? Yes! Does God love you as you ARE? If He did, the Cross would have been unnecessary.

The Love of God Cannot Be Divorced From Jesus

When preachers say “God loves you as you are”, they divorce the love of God from the reality of Who God is. God is holy. God is just. God is righteous. The Christian is a person who has been changed by faith in Jesus. The Scripture says …

Colossians 1:19-23 (ESV) For in {Christ} all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through {Christ} to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of {CHRIST’S} cross. 21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by {Christ’s} death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.

Without Jesus we are enemies of God. The Christian is a person who is in Christ, by Christ, of Christ, and through Christ. God showed His love for us by sending Jesus to pay for our sins, to reconcile us to Him, to make God our Father. The Bible says:

1 Timothy 1:15 … Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners …

He came into this world to offer us the love of God. God could not love us “as we are” sinners, for God cannot love sin. But Jesus came into the world with one goal in mind – to save sinners. The Pharisees often accused Jesus of being a drunkard, or worse, because He spent so much time with sinners. Jesus told them:

Mark 2:17 … They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

God loves people, and wants to save people from the slavery of sin. Jesus Christ came to be the covering for our sin. He came to save us from sin, to draw us from being sons of Adam and make us into sons of God. The Gospel calls us to REPENT of being what we are and living where we are, and to SURRENDER our lives to Jesus. Our Lord Jesus preached:

Matthew 4:17 … Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Mark 1:14-15 … Jesus came into Galilee, PREACHING THE GOSPEL of the Kingdom of God, 15 and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand: REPENT YE, and BELIEVE the GOSPEL.

If God loved you “just the way you are”, He would not ask you to REPENT, to change your mind and thus change the trajectory of your life. God bids you broken to come to Christ. God bids you bring the pieces of your life to Him, and surrender to Him as Lord. The message of the Gospel is

Acts 3:19-20 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; 20 and HE SHALL SEND JESUS CHRIST, which before was preached unto you

When you REPENT, and come to Jesus with the broken pieces, He will give you rest (Matthew 11:28). Does God love you? Yes. His love is to you through the person of Jesus Christ. There is no love of God if there is no Jesus. Again, the Scripture says:

John 3:16-18 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Does God love you? Yes, but His love is offered THROUGH Christ. If you reject Christ, you are NOT loved of God, for you have rejected God’s love. Some reject God’s love because they want to lives as if they are gods. They want to follow their own sin nature. They do not want Jesus, the Good Shepherd (John 10:10-11). They want to wander through life on their own, divorced from Jesus. Beloved, the love of God is bound to Jesus.

The Love Of God Cannot Be Divorced From
God’s Commandments

2 John 1:4-6 I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father. 5 And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. 6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments.

Word Study: As the Apostle writes to the Church, he said I rejoiced greatly, chairō lian, which means “to be filled beyond measure with joy”. What gave him this great joy? That the Children of God were walking in truth. Not that they were walking in their truth, but that they were walking in God’s truth as revealed by His Word, the Holy Bible.

We are not to walk in sin.
We are not to walk in anger.
We are not to walk in rebellion.
We are not to walk pleasing ourselves.
We are to walk IN TRUTH, with God.

We are called of God to walk WITH GOD. As King David prepared to die, he called his son Solomon to his side to give him some final advise. King David knew the dangers of disobeying God’s Truth. The Bible says in:

1 Kings 15:5 … (NKJV) David did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, and had not turned aside from anything that He commanded him all the days of his life, except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.

David’s great sin was to lust after, and take another man’s wife. He felt that he could get away with this sin, since he was the King. Once he took Bathsheba to himself, rather than REPENT David plotted and succeeded in murdering an innocent and honorable man named Uriah. After doing so, God sent the Prophet Nathan to David to punish him. God took the life of Bathsheba’s first child. God told David,

2 Samuel 12:10 … the sword will never leave your household, because you have despised ME by taking the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own … (my paraphrase)

When we walk apart from God’s truths, we walk apart from God. Though David repented, and was subsequently forgiven of his sins, the example he set caused Absalom his son to plot against his own father. Children learn from their parents! As David prepared to go and be with the Lord, he told Solomon:

1 Kings 2:2-3 I go the way of all the earth: be thou strong therefore, and shew thyself a man; 3 And keep the charge of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself:

The way to blessing is to walk in God’s truth, to do that which God has said. David often prayed:

Psalm 86:11 Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.

2 John 1:6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments.

Word Study: The word translated afteris the Greek kata, which means “according to the standards of, following after”. If a person says “I love God” or “I love Jesus”, then look at their lives, listen to their words. Are they following God’s commandments? Are they obeying what Jesus has said to do? This is not the first time John has said this. Earlier he wrote:

1 John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and His commandments are not grievous.

If you love God, you keep His commandments. God’s commandments are not hard. They are easy, simple to understand. Jesus told us:

John 14:15-17 (my paraphrase) If you love Me, KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS. 16 And I will ask the Father to give you another Comforter, Who will abide with you forever. 17 He is the Spirit of Truth. The world cannot receive Him, because it cannot see Him nor will it receive Him. But you know Him, for He dwells with you and SHALL BE IN YOU.

Union with God and salvation through Christ is tied to His LORDSHIP. Jesus is not received as just Savior, but Lord of your life.

When you give your life to Jesus, He sends the Holy Spirit to live within the framework of your life. You then learn to walk in the Spirit(Galatians 5:16). We are commanded, If we LIVE IN THE SPIRIT (that is, we are born again of the Spirit), let us also WALK IN THE SPIRIT” (Galatians 5:25). The Christian walks with God. The Christian keeps Christ’s commandments. Love and obedience go hand in hand.

John 15:8-11 (NKJV) By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

We love God, and walk with Him. We love Jesus, and emulate Him. We cling close to Jesus, for the enemy is real.

We, Dear Believers, Are In A Spiritual Battle

2 John 1:7-8 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. 8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.

There has been – from the Garden of Eden until now – a full scale wear going on for the soul of man. There are many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. Some say that Jesus is but a myth, that there never was a Jesus. These are deceivers, planos, “vagabonds, corrupters, tramps, imposters, those who lead into error”. The Bible warned us that:

1 Timothy 4:1-3 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing (planos) spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; 3 Forbidding (kōlyō) to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.

Where are the greatest lies and attacks coming today? There is an attack against Biblical marriage. The Greek kōlyō means “to hinder, stand against, keep from”. The devil blurred Biblical marriage. Now he is blurring human sexuality itself. The devil is also commanding to abstain from meats. There is a push from the same crowd to give up meat in favor of eating bugs. Time Magazine recently reported, “They’re Healthy. They’re Sustainable. So Why Don’t Humans Eat More Bugs?” The Independent reported, “Entomophagy: How giving up meat and eating bugs can help save the planet”. Forbes Magazine wrote, “Eat Bugs! It’s What’s For Dinner”. The Guardian notes, “If We Want To Save The Planet, The Future Of Food Is Insects”.

God gave us marriage so that we could “multiply and fill the earth” (Genesis 1:28). We were not given sex just for pleasure, no more than we were given food just for pleasure. Sex and food have purposes. God gave us meat to eat when our Forefather Noah left the Ark:

Genesis 9:3-4 Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. 4 But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.

Having destroyed marriage, and modified the family, the devil is doing what he can to toss away all that is normative and Biblical. We who are His Children must – in love – stand strong on His Word. The Apostle says something very pertinent to America here:

2 John 1:8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.

Christians in America have had an unprecedented history of religious freedom because of the efforts of our forefathers. Had this nation been established as a MUSLIM stronghold, we would have about the same amount of freedom that you see in Burma, China, Eritrea, India, Iran, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Vietnam. In those nations Christians are persecuted and killed.

If we as Christ’s Church do not wake up and start to stand up for Jesus, we can lose our nation, we can lose our freedoms.

We MUST “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37, NIV). We MUST “Love one another, as Jesus has loved us” (John 13:34; 1 John 4:7, 12). We MUST “love our neighbor as we love ourselves” (Matthew 22:39). If you are saved by faith in Christ, then you are called to obedient love. The Scripture says:

Galatians 5:13-15 (ESV) For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.

Closing: Why are so many people in America confused today? The Bible gives us a perfect illustration in the life of the King of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar conquered Israel, and took the Prophet Daniel into captivity, along with his friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Nebuchadnezzar set up a golden idol 90 feet tall, and commanded it be worshiped by all in the kingdom. The three Hebrew children Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to worship that idol, and as a result Nebuchadnezzar had them thrown alive into a fiery furnace (Daniel 3:21-23). The King expected them to die screaming but, as he looked, the astonished King said,

Daniel 3:25 … Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.

Nebuchadnezzar saw the power of God. Calling the Hebrew children from the flame, the King acknowledged that our God is powerful. But he did not repent. He continued in his arrogance, to live according to HIS truths, not according to God’s Word. Does God love you? Yes, but you MUST repent. So God speaks to Nebuchadnezzar in a dream. The King sees a giant Tree, filled with fruit. The tree is cut down, and its fruit scattered. God gave this dream to the King …

Daniel 4:17 … to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever He will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.

Nebuchadnezzar went to Daniel so that he could explain the dream to him. Daniel told the King the tree was symbolic of the King. God would cut down Nebuchadnezzar for 7 years. Daniel cautioned Nebuchadnezzar to REPENT (Daniel 4:27), and so avoid the promised punishment. Did Nebuchadnezzar repent? No. God gave Nebuchadnezzar a year to repent, but he refused to do so. So God took away his mind, and he became like a wild animal, grazing in the fields of Babylon for 7 years. When God took the punishment away the King repented, and said:

Daniel 4:37 Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.

Why do we have this strange story of Nebuchadnezzar in the Bible? I believe it is a warning to the American Christian today. You can come to God through Christ, and find “life more abundantly” (John 10:10). Or you can reject God, and create your own idol to follow. The late Timothy Keller wrote:

The human heart is an idol factory that takes good things like a successful career, love, material possessions, even family, and turns them into ultimate things. Our hearts deify them as the center of our lives, because, we think, they can give us significance and security, safety and fulfillment, if we attain them.”

The only thing that gives life is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. If you are NOT saved, I beg you, give yourselves to Christ today. If you keep rejecting the True God of the Bible, that false god you are following will take over, and make you not a child of God, but an animal grazing and rutting. God loves you, and has proved that love by making the Lord Jesus Christ available to you. Will you not give yourself to Him this very day? May God the Holy Spirit lead you to do so. Amen and Amen!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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