As we reflect on what it means to abide in God by knowing and doing His Word, we must also remember to be on alert. 1 John states this well in a number of places and 2 John reiterates them. 2 John warns that there are those people who deny and deceive. Our action, therefore, is to be discerning in our Christian walks. Saying it another way, it calls us to be on watch. So, what are we supposed to be watching? John gives us a clear answer when he says, “watch yourselves” (v. 8). The very thing we need to be watching and keeping our eyes on is our very own selves. We need to evaluate our lives to see if we are indeed walking in the truth (v. 4), if we are loving others (vv. 5-6), and if we are confessing Jesus Christ as God incarnate (v. 7). If we are, then we will have abided in Christ’s teaching. If not, however, we face judgment. The point is that the things mentioned in 2 John are not negotiable issues to consider. They are commands to be obeyed. As followers of Christ, we must be a people who are constantly evaluating our actions and motives and moving forward into Christlikeness. Unfortunately, we know all too well that there are some who will be among us but not truly of us (1 John 2:19). Whether it be because of erroneous doctrine or wayward living, they will leave the truth revealed in Jesus Christ. They will not bring that teaching where they go and they will not leave it (v. 10a). Our response, by God’s Word and His grace, is to not receive them (v. 10b). They are taking part in wicked works, doing works for Satan as his seed (Genesis 3:15a). May we not contribute to that. Rather, may we contribute to the cause of Christ! May we speak and walk in the truth as we declare the gospel of Christ in love so that others may become followers of Christ. When we watch ourselves, we are witnesses of God to the world!
- As you evaluate your walk, ask yourself how you have done in the areas of truth, love, and confessing Christ? How can you seek to do that this week?