the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
“This is love, that we walk after His commandments.”
Here we have a letter to a lady and her godly family, towards whom John felt a fervent Christian affection. Her name we do not know, nor is it of any consequence, for the epistle will suit any believing household.
2 John 1:1 , 2 John 1:2
John in his private letter does not mention that he is an apostle, but writes more familiarly as an elder of the church. The lady to whom he wrote was known to many, and beloved by all who loved the truth. The best and purest love arises out of common attachment to the gospel. Happy is that household which has gained the love of the saints by its zeal for God.
2 John 1:3
Such a blessing may the Lord pronounce on this family, and we shall be rich indeed.
2 John 1:4
The venerable old mans heart was more comforted by seeing family religion than by all else below the skies. How good and how pleasant it is to see a household loving the Lord.
2 John 1:5
John harps sweetly on this string. Being so aged a man none would misunderstand his affectionate words.
2 John 1:6
Obedience to Christ is love. “Be ye holy” is the most ancient rubric of the church; all lovers of God obey it.
2 John 1:7
The world is bad enough, but deceivers come into it from Satan, and try to make it worse by their errors. Modern scepticism is by some praised and petted, but it is to be abhorred by all who abide in the truth.
2 John 1:8
Faithful ministers fear lest their converts should disappoint them by not remaining firm in the truth. If they go over to error their ministers have laboured in vain.
2 John 1:10 , 2 John 1:11
As he who aids and abets a thief cannot be an honest man, so he who encourages a false teacher is a sharer in his crime.
2 John 1:12
There are words of warning which are better spoken than written. In some cases it is wise even to make a journey to warn friends against insidious error.
Oh that near the cross abiding,
We may to the Saviour cleave!
Nought with him our hearts dividing,
All for him content to leave.
May we still the cross discerning,
To our Lord for comfort go;
And new wonders daily learning,
More of Jesus’ fulness know.
Walk in the light, so shalt thou know
That fellowship of love
His Spirit only can bestow,
Who reigns in light above.
Walk in the light, and sin abhorr’d
Shall ne’er defile again;
The blood of Jesus Christ thy Lord
Shall cleanse from every stain.
Walk in the light, and thou shalt own
Thy darkness passed away;
Because that light hath on thee shone,
In which is perfect day.
“He that doeth good is of God.”
Old Master Trapp says John wrote this letter “to a rich Corinthian, rich in this world and rich in good works, a rare bird anywhere, but especially at Corinth, where Paul found them far behind the poor Macedonians in works of charity.”
3 John 1:1 , 3 John 1:2
It would not be safe to wish this for many, for if their bodies only prospered as their souls do, many would die, and most professors would be weak and withered, sick and sorry.
3 John 1:3 , 3 John 1:4
John loved his converts as his children, and was glad when he found them sound in doctrine and in practice. What would he say to “modern doubt”? It would break the good mans heart. God’s people should hold the truth more firmly than ever, for the professing church is idolising clever scepticism.
3 John 1:5-7
Gaius kept open house for travelling preachers and poor saints. One of the greatest honours we can have is to entertain a servant of the Lord. The Master sets it down as done to himself.
3 John 1:8
Gaius could not preach, but he lodged those who did, and so he obtained a prophet’s reward.
3 John 1:10
What! Did men speak against the beloved John? Then none of us can hope to escape opposition if we be faithful. We wonder at such a poor creature as Diotrephes impudently setting himself up against the great apostle. We must take heed that we do not imitate him by grieving any of the Lord’s ministers.
3 John 1:11-12
John censured one but commended another. Where there is a Diotrephes there is generally a Demetrius; the Lord neutralises the evil of one by the good of another, or churches could not exist.
3 John 1:14
Say little and write less. Speaking is better than writing, especially from preachers, who would do well to put away ink and paper and preach as the Lord gives them utterance.
3 John 1:14
Our religion is social and courteous. Let us not fail in kindly words and deeds.
Peace be to this favour’d dwelling,
Peace to every soul therein;
Peace of heavenly joy foretelling,
Peace the fruit of conquer’d sin.
Peace that speaks its heavenly giver;
Peace to worldly minds unknown;
Peace divine that flows for ever
From its source, the Lord alone.
To God the only wise,
Our Saviour and our King,
Let all the saints below the skies
Their humble praises bring.
He will present our souls,
Unblemish’d and complete,
Before the glory of his face
With joys divinely great.
To our Redeemer God
Wisdom and power belong,
Immortal crowns of majesty,
And everlasting song.