Google+ 06/19/13 Don't Be a Deceiver...Love One Another!!!

2 John 1:5-7

 

I am writing to remind you, dear friends, that we should love one another.

This is not a new commandment, but one we have had from the beginning.

Love means doing what God has commanded us, and he has commanded us to love one another,

Just as you heard from the beginning.

I say this because many deceivers have gone out into the world.

They deny that Jesus Christ came in a real body.

Such a person is a deceiver and an antichrist.

 

Love one another.  In Christian circles, this phrase is used all the time.  As a minister, I am concerned about our understanding of this often-used sentence.  John tells us everything we need to know about God's commandment.  When Jesus delivered the Great Commission in Matthew 28, He pointed out that we should teach all the world God's commandments.  So John says that we should love because God says to!  John is one of the few writers of the New Testament that points out that loving each other is both a privilege and a commandment.  It is not an option for any of us.  The love that John and Jesus speak of is agape love.  It is unconditional love.  This definition is where many Christians get in big trouble.  We are prone to love only the people who act and look like us.  This has been the problem with the human race for all of time.  We appear to be frightened of people who are different.  It is those differences that make all of us into the "Family of God."  We are all created in God's image and we are all different.  Now to clear up the confusion.  All of us sin and fall short of the Glory of God.  That is why there is God's grace, mercy, and forgiveness.  To continue to deny God by repeating our sin, makes us a deceiver and an antichrist.  Yes, that is exactly what John tells us in our Scripture today.  We must love everyone, but that does not mean that we love their sin.  No one should endorse anyone's sin.  Loving each other does not mean that we should ignore our sin, or the sin of others.  In short, it means that we hate the sin but love the sinner!  So many Christians miss this point as they play both "judge and jury" in other people's lives.  As a minister, I often tell people that I love them deeply, and I do.  I also tell them the truth, in love, about our sin and what not to do in our lives.  This keeps me from being a "deceiver" in the world.  Many religions leave the deity of Jesus out of their doctrine altogether.  Some Christian denominations teach things that just aren't true.  An example of this kind of thinking is the statement that some Christians make, which is "If you do all the right things, everything in your life will be great!"  This is what leads to people being disillusioned with organized religions because they quickly discover that being a Christian and standing for Jesus is not easy.  So, we need to love one another daily and completely.  So, together we need to fight our tendency to sin daily.  There is nothing new in this commandment or in my devotion today.  Nevertheless, the message is loud and clear.  Don't Be a Deceiver...Love One Another!!!