Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. ~2 John 1:8
I am thankful for people who serve as an extra set of eyes for me. These are people who assist me in making sure that we have uncovered every stone, covered all of our bases, and seen what I cannot see in my blind spots. The Apostle John was writing to “the elect lady and her children.” Some believe that this letter was to a lady and her children in a church. As I study the context of his letter, I believe it was a reference to a local church (the church at Ephesus) and the saved members of that church. In this letter, he was serving in the role of being an extra set of eyes in exhorting them to be steadfast in the faith.
First, he makes an emphasis on living and walking in the truth. The word “truth” is used five times in the first four verses. In his three short epistles, he refers to “truth” no less than twenty times. Truth is absolute. Truth is honest. Truth is what is genuine and authentic. Truth is our Lord Jesus Christ. Truth is God’s holy Word. He praised the believers for walking in the truth. These believers not only believed in the truth, but they were living it out. Walking in the truth is obeying and living out the commandments of God. We are to behave according to what we believe. These believers were living out the truth in their testimony.
Second, these believers were under spiritual attack. There was an attack on their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ by a sect of false teachers known as the Gnostics. They did not believe that Jesus could be 100% God and 100% Man at the same time and without sin. John made it clear that if one does not confess that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, that person is a deceiver and an antichrist. John said, “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God.” He forbade them from allowing these false teachers into their homes and bidding them Godspeed. False teachers are sinister agents of Satan who seek to blind us and move us away from our devotion to the Lord.
Third, he issues a strong caution. “Look to yourselves”! He was saying, “Look out for your faith and spiritual welfare.” Don’t let your guard down! Be circumspect about those who question what you believe or subtly try to steer you away from the Lord. Then, he said, “That we lose not those things which we have wrought.” This is a way of saying: “Don’t throw away what you believe. Don’t take a sledge hammer and start trying to break up the foundation that you have built upon.” It is important that we have a long-distance view of the race that we are in. Our eyes must be on the finish line and not on the distractions that are on the sidelines or the people in the stands. Think of someone running a marathon. He has trained for one year and conditioned himself for this event. He enters the race and has completed three-fourths of it only to be distracted and entangled with another runner. He and the other runner both fall to the ground, tumble several times, are injured in their legs, and realize that their injuries will keep them from finishing the race. This is a picture of the caution that John is giving.
Fourth, John encourages us to be steadfast, obedient, and strong so that we receive a full reward. There are no partial rewards. A full reward is given to those who finish faithful, obedient, and without disqualification. A full reward is the loving approval of our Lord to us for running our race well. This morning, we have been given an extra set of eyes to help us receive a full reward. Look to yourselves!
Have a steadfast God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Ezekiel 40-42