The following is an edited version of a sermon prepared and presented to Hickory United Church, The sermon was cut into two parts for easier reading.
Truth. Google it and you learn, That which is true or in accordance with fact or reality. Now, that’s all well and good, but what about TRUTH as we see it in the Bible. How do we define Truth from a biblical perspective?
I like this definition by John MacArthur. “Truth is that which is consistent with the mind, will, character, glory, and being of God. Even more to the point: Truth is the self-expression of God. That is the biblical meaning of truth. Because the definition of truth flows from God, truth is theological.” (CLICK HERE to read John MacArthur's full article.)
Sometimes we find ourselves thinking and living according to thoughts and ideas that might sound right, only to learn that they’re not true.
The Elder & The Lady
John begin’s his letter with these two word…
The Elder - We need to remember, this is John, the Apostle. The same John who wrote the Gospel of John and 1 John, which we looked at last year, and 3 John, which we will look at next Sunday.
But, he calls himself, The Elder, for a reason. Not only is he an Apostle, one of the guys who actually walked with Jesus as one of his disciples, not only was he part of the early days of the church, not only is he one of the major leaders of the Jesus movement, but John sees himself as a pastor. Elder, was the word that many Bible writers used to define the role of those who were called to lead the churches that were started. And just like the pastors or elders in the early church era, John recognizes his roles as one of shepherd, care-giver, protector, and teacher. And, so, right out of the gate we see John's heart. Here is a pastor, writing to a congregation that he loves, and with that pastors heart, he speaks words of encouragement and warning.
Now, without getting too weeded down with explanation, John is writing to the church. In the case of this letter, he’s writing to a specific church; a church that knows of him, perhaps might even really know him. But more than to ancient congregation, John writes to those who have been called by God, to be the children of God. This would be those like you and me, and the multitudes between today and the church of the New Testament.
And so John writes, to the church, the lady chosen by God, and to her children, saying, whom I LOVE in the TRUTH — and not only I, but also all who know the TRUTH — because of the TRUTH, which lives in us and will be with us forever; Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ the Father’s Son, will be with us in TRUTH and LOVE.
John writes about LOVING in the TRUTH. But not just him, everyone, all of us who know the TRUTH. What is TRUTH? “Truth is that which is consistent with the mind, will, character, glory, and being of God.
Then we move to these three words of greeting…or are they? Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, WILL be with us in TRUTH and LOVE. But, this is more than a greeting. This is a statement, culminating with the very TRUTH and LOVE, John is speaking of...
Be sure to check back for part two!