Bible · Christian Security · Conditional Security · Doctrinal · Interpretation · OSAS

Conditional Security – 2 John 1:6-9

2 John 1:6-9

And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it.
For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist.
Watch yourselves, so that you may not lose what we have worked for, but may win a full reward.
Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.

This passage starts out as many passages in John’s epistles start out, describing love and how love is defined through obeying the commandments – no – let’s be clear – through obeying His commandments. We must remember that in John’s mind, when the term “commandments” comes up, He is referring to the words of Jesus, the full revelation of God’s will, and not simply to Moses commandments from Sinai.

As we have noted in earlier posts, Jesus reinterpreted the Mosaic code to provide His followers the fully orbed character of God reflected in His commandments, through examples He gave us and teachings He has supplied us. A good example of Jesus reinterpretation of the Mosaic commands may be found when He taught His understanding of God’s commandments in contrast to some of the laws in the decalogue.

You have heard that it was said…But I say to you 

This is a radical teaching that must have shocked the religious Jew, but I am starting down a rabbit trail, for this is not the principle reason for this post.

We just need to understand that when John speaks of commands, he is referring to what Jesus taught, as opposed to referring back to Moses. This connection in John’s mind, linking “commandment” and “love” is further supported by checking out the verse prior to our passage, and John 13:34.

John, in verse 7 then introduces some deceivers he wants to warn his loved ones of. The one characteristic John uses to describe a deceiver is that they

do not confess the coming of Jesus in the flesh

Is the Christ a partaker of flesh? Did He walk the earth as a man, fully God and die a death for all? This teaching of His humanity, is a watershed teaching that John is directing his people to hold on to. The issue for John is the believers faith in the correct Messiah, One who walked the earth fully human, and fully God.

Quite a while back, I provided a series of posts on 1 John, and addressed this topic. For those who may want to check it out, see 1 John – Testing to Know – Test 11

John is speaking of those who are teaching of Jesus as not God in the flesh. John describes them as deceivers and the antichrist. (What? The antichrist during John’s lifetime? – Something to discuss in a different post!)

Let’s focus on the next verse. John says

Watch yourselves so that you may not lose what we have worked for, but may win a full reward.

Notice the pronoun change in this verse. John speaks of the believers loosing what the apostles have worked for. The believers were provided a gift, presumably the teaching of Jesus coming in the flesh, that has been delivered to the saints. Per John’s discussion so far, deceivers are out and about, drawing believers away from a central teaching of Christianity.

As an OSAS (One Saved, Always Saved) believer previously, I always found refuge in the last phrase of verse 8, in that he was concerned the believers

…may win a full reward.

Taken alone, this verse might lend itself to a believer maintaining his salvation, but loosing his reward in glory, yet the next verse gives me some pause.

Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.

How do I dance away from the implications John is communicating in this verse. A number of items to draw your attention to.

John is speaking to believers. When he writes of anyone who

does not abide in the teaching of Christ

he speaks of believers, for only believers abide in the teaching of Christ. He then makes a direct connection with those who do not abide as not having God. John does not speak of the rewards of God, but of God Himself. He then clarifies this warning further by defining who has both the Father and the Son as those who abide in the teaching of

the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh

As believers, we must abide, remain, dwell, continue in the core teachings of the Word. This is a foundational teaching, a teaching that defines one as a believer. Many claim to be Christian nowadays. Claiming to be a believer, yet refusing to confess that Jesus Christ came in the flesh. How can that be? John says it cannot be.

God the Son was (and is) a man that walked the earth from conception through the crucifixion, resurrection and ascension, currently sitting in heaven, praying for His people. Do not listen to those who may take verses out of context, or speak from some logical basis, or simply deny (or avoid) the teaching John provided us.

We must cling to the written Word, and walk in the truth of Jesus Christ, loving one another if we are not to join the deceivers and antichrists. The apostles provided a New Testament record so that we may walk properly. As we abide in the truth of Jesus’ humanity, we shall not loose the full reward of knowing God and His Son Jesus Christ.

Be blessed today in the truth of Jesus Christ, and of His immense sacrifice for us, even in the taking on of flesh for the sake of those who despised and rejected Him.

He is good, all the time!


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