“I rejoiced greatly to find some of your children walking in the truth . . .” (2 John 4a ESV)
Truth is of utmost importance and absolute. Coming to understand truth is a privilege. If we have received the truth, we ought to study the truth, proclaim the truth, and guard the truth.
We’ve seen the significance of truth in our expositions in the John’s First Epistle. John was writing to believers who, like us, were threatened with lies from false teachers. John writes to them from the heart of a pastor, warning them about these wolves while assuring them of their standing with God. Reading the epistle inspires even 21st century Christians to defend the truth.
While examining, preaching, and contending for truth are vital disciplines, we must also ask: do we rejoice in truth? The truth that you guard from attack – do you truly love it? The truth you preach to others – does it delight your own soul? The truth that you parse, exegete, and scrutinize – does it bring you joy? Are you encouraged when others walk in truth?
The joy of truth is the spirit of John’s Second Epistle. Though much of the material overlaps with his first letter, the emphasis on rejoicing in truth stands out in the first few verses. Indeed, the epistle contains warnings against false teachers. But we do not start with a defensive or negative posture; rather, in our quest to see the truth of Christ exalted, we begin with a heart that is so captivated by the glorious truth of the gospel, that anything less or anything contrary is automatically spurned. Our hatred for every false way should be a natural outgrowth of our love for what is true.
As we prepare for our brief time in 2 John, let us ask the Lord to search our hearts and reveal our real attitudes toward the truth. Is truth something we use to win arguments, or is it something that has won our hearts? Is truth something we enjoy telling people to obey, or is it really our delight to walk in truth? Does hearing truth conjure up judgmental attitudes about others or does it cause us to rejoice in God? Brethren, let us remain diligent in our study of truth and vigilant in our defense of it, but most of all, let us rejoice in the truth and in knowing the Truth-Giver!