2 John 1:6 - Love and Obedience.
2 John 1:6; Love and Obedience.
2 John 1:6 (NIV) And this is love: that we walk in obedience to
his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is
that you walk in love.
2 John 1:6 (CWB) This love will lead us to obey God, because
that's what loving God is. We have known from the beginning that we
should love God and love one another.
John wrote this letter to an anonymous Christian woman whose
home was open for God's people to meet for fellowship and worship.
The emphasis is on truth and love, and John points out three dangers
believers must avoid.
Knowing the truth but not practicing it (1-6). We must walk in
truth and walk according to His commandments. The Word of God is meant
for doing and not just knowing. "If we say" (1 John 1:6, 8, 10) but
do not obey, we are hypocrites.
Practicing truth but not defending it (7-8, 10-11). The enemy
is busy, and we must oppose him. Love must be balanced by truth
(Eph. 4:15), or you will start supporting lies in the name of love
(Phil. 1:9-11). It is easy to lose what you have gained by making
friends with the wrong people.
Going beyond the truth (9). The word transgress means "to go
beyond" When you go beyond God's Word, you are going too far. It is not
progress but regress. Beware anybody who has something to add to your
Bible. [Chapter by Chapter Bible Commentary by Warren Wiersbe]
Lest anyone wonder what John meant by the word "love," he
explained it here. Love does not focus on emotions or feelings; instead,
love means doing what God has commanded. The reciprocal nature of
love and obedience is made clear in this verse -- love means doing
what God has commanded. Love is expressed by obedience; obedience
fulfills the command to love. (Life Application Commentary)
John stressed love. This should be the calling card of a
believer. Surely John was remembering the upper room teaching of Jesus
that love was the primary way the world would recognize his disciples
(John 13:34-35). It's easy to be a nice person and to maintain the
trappings of spirituality. But loving unlovable people takes supernatural
help. No wonder people sit up and take notice! Trust the Lord today
for the capacity to love all those he has put in your life. Ask God
to live in you and love through you. (Life Application Commentary)
Love is obedience, that is, the only way we can show that we
love God is by doing what pleases Him. When we love someone, we want
to do things that please him or her. We want their acceptance and
approval; we want them to love us in return. Therefore, we are careful to
do things that will please them and win their favor and love. The
same is true with us and God. If we love God, we do those things that
please Him. We keep His commandments. [Preacher's Outline & Sermon
CONCEPTS OF LOVE AND OBEDIENCE
Knowing God's command is not enough. We must put it into
practice, walking "in obedience to his commands." [Life Application SB]
Man can truly practice love only by doing what God told him to
do, (UBS Handbook)
Love is defined as obeying His commandments. [Ryrie SB]
This is the test of our love to God, our obedience to him.
(Matthew Henry's Commentary)
Obedience to God's commands is the sure test of love. (Life
Four times in verses 4-6 appears a form of the word "command."
Yet the commands are obeyed through love. (Life Application
Love divorced from duty will run riot, and duty divorced form
love will starve" (Plummer, pp. 135, 136). Love is not merely a
matter of feeling; it is the action of doing the will of God. [Wycliffe
(Christ is the hub and we are the spokes)
As we draw closer to Jesus we become closer to one another.
The key to living a victorious, Spirit-filled Christian life
is Jesus Christ as the Center and Lord of all we do. With Christ
in control, life is balanced and effective. The Wheel illustrated
this Christ-centered life.
Just as the driving force in a wheel comes from the hub; so
the power to live the Christian life comes from Jesus Christ the
Center. He lives in us in the Person of the Holy Spirit, whose
expressed purpose is to glorify Christ. The rim represents the Christian
responding to Christ's Lordship through wholeheated, day-by-day obedience
The spokes show the means by which Christ's power becomes
operative in our lives. We maintain personal contact with God through the
vertical spokes -the Word and prayer. The Word is our spiritual food as
well as our sword for spiritual battle. It is the foundational spoke
for effective Christian living.
Opposite this is the spoke representing prayer. Through
prayer we have direct communication with our heavenly Father and
receive provision for our needs. As we pray we show our dependence upon
and trust in Him.
The horizontal spokes concern our relationship to people -
believers, through Christian fellowship; and unbelievers, through
witnessing. Fellowship centered around the Lord Jesus Christ provides the
mutual encouragement, admonition and stimulation we all need. As we
draw closer to Jesus we become closer to one another.
The first three spokes prepare us for passing on to others all
that we have received from the Lord. This is accomplished through
witnessing, sharing our own experience of Christ and declaring and
explaining the Gospel, God's power to save. [The Wheel by the Navigators re
Picture a large circle, from the edge of which are many lines
all running to the center. The nearer these lines approach the
center, the nearer they are to one another. Thus it is in the Christian
life. The closer we come to Christ, the nearer we shall be to one
another. God is glorified as His people unite in harmonious action.
The Master has revealed Himself to you, and is calling for
your complete surrender, and you shrink and hesitate. A measure of
surrender you are willing to make, and think indeed it is fit and proper
that you should. but an utter abandonment, without any reserves,
seems to you too much to be asked for. You are afraid of it. It
involves too much, you think, and is too great a risk...
Your Lord says, "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth
them, he it is that loveth me; and he that loveth me shall be loved of
my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to
He loves you more than the love of friendship... He has given
you all, and He asks for all in return. The slightest reserve will
grieve Him to the heart. He spared not Himself, and how can you spare
Oh, be generous in your self-surrender! Meet His measureless
devotion for you with a measureless devotion to Him... Whatever there is
of you, let Him have it all. Give up forever everything that is
separate from Him...
The obligations of love will be to you its sweetest
privileges; and the right you have acquired to lavish the uttermost wealth
of abandonment of all that you have upon your Lord will seem to
lift you into a region of unspeakable glory. The perfect happiness
of perfect obedience will dawn upon your soul, and you will begin
to know something of what Jesus meant when He said, "I delight to
do thy will, O my God." [Hannah Whitall Smith; Time with God
devotional SB re Joh.14:15]
Jesus says we must do what he says. We must put into
practical obedience the knowledge that we have. He continually asked
people to drop their nets, to sell all they had and to follow him.
We might say that Jesus had a theology of obedience. And the
object of this obedience was a living person, not a historical norm,
not a code of laws, but himself. He called people to be accountable
to God whether they were believers or skeptics who were searching.
For example, he told his disciples, "What is the point of calling
me, 'Lord, Lord,' without doing what I tell you to do?" (Luk.6:46
Jesus knew that obedience to his and his Father's words
yielded faith ... If I had to sum up one's response to the gospel
message, I would say as William Pannell has said, "It's paint - or get
off the ladder." Jesus approached people exactly like that. He
told them to pick up their brush and paint something. [Rebecca
Pippert; Time with God devotional SB re 1Jo.2:3]
Obedience is the test of discipleship. It is the keeping of the
commandments that proves the sincerity of our professions of love. When the
doctrine we accept kills sin in the heart, purifies the soul from
defilement, bears fruit unto holiness, we may know that it is the truth of
God. When benevolence, kindness, tenderheartedness, sympathy, are
manifest in our lives; when the joy of right doing is in our hearts; when
we exalt Christ, and not self, we may know that our faith is of the
right order. "Hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His
commandments." 1 John 2:3. MB146,7