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THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST


2 John v.9:

The little word "of", can have a number of meanings. ‘Belonging to Christ’… ‘.concerning or about Christ’…. ‘by, or from Christ’….or, ‘required by Christ’. These are all possible meanings...

The context gives us the meaning.. The immediate context of 2 John 9, shows that the Apostle is concerned for "the elect lady and her children", a family group. He wants them to continue "walking in truth" (v.4) or , both knowing truth and living faithful lives. A part of the truth, is "that we walk after His ( The Father’s) commandments" , especially that "we love one another", vv4-6. This is required by our Heavenly Father so that " we lose not those things which we have wrought…(the apostles teachings) but that we receive a full reward".

The doctrine required by Christ is that we should obey the commandments of both the Father and of the Lord Jesus, and "love God and our neighbour as ourselves", especially those who are of, and living the truth..

ABIDING IN THE DOCTRINE:

However, in verses 9 and 10 of 2 John , the Apostle also refers to the doctrine’ and to ‘this doctrine’, after he had warned against those teachers who refused to "confess that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh",(V.7). Those teachers made themselves, "a deceiver and an antichrist", (meaning, ‘against Christ’). Scripture clearly teaches that, at His first coming, the Lord Jesus was truly a human being "made of the seed of David according to the flesh". (Romans 1:3). Jesus Christ is both the Son of God and the son of David

The Apostle’s meaning in the phrase. "the doctrine of Christ", is the teachingconcerning, or about, the Lord Jesus, particularly that teaching which upholds the simple truth that He ‘came in the flesh’. John is concerned that his readers continue to abide in the teaching concerning Jesus (meaning, ‘God’s Saviour), the Christ (meaning, The one anointed by God). There is need to avoid those who teach that Jesus was more, or that He was less, than what Scripture teaches concerning Him.

"JESUS CHRIST IS COME IN THE FLESH":

For the aged Apostle John to be so concerned that disciples of Christ avoid those who do not teach that he came in the same flesh of mankindshows that the teaching that the Lord Jesus came in our nature, in our flesh and blood, must be very important indeed.

To emphasize how serious a matter it is to deny that "Jesus Christ is come in the flesh", the Apostle writes positively and clearly that any person who teaches other than this simple precept, is a "deceiver and an antichrist", (V.7).

The more we read of the teachings of the Apostle John , the more obvious it is that he was opposing the teaching that the Lord Jesus Christ was NOT really a man of the Jewish race, NOT a human being like us. Many were teaching what was then the common Gnostic teaching that the Lord Jesus was an emanation from holy God …The Gnostics claimed that the Lord Jesus was not pure, holy God, nor yet impure sinful man. They claimed that He did not really come in the flesh of common humanity, that He was not one of us frail mortals, with our tendencies to sin.

They claimed that the great ‘secret life’ of the sinless Lord Jesus, how he always followed the truth, always obeyed the commandments of the Father, always walked in truth and love, was that his nature was very different from our weak flesh and blood.

A MORAL ISSUE:

To deny that the Lord Jesus first came as a human being affects our morality and conduct. We would have an excuse for our sins. If the Lord Jesus was not really one of us, ‘the son of man’, as he consistently affirmed during His ministry, then the Scripture is denied that "he himself, likewise partook of the same" nature, the same flesh and blood as His brethren (Heb.2:10-18) Then how could He NOW be a merciful and faithful High Priest, a mediator between sinning man and Holy God? The Lord Jesus suffered and was tempted and so is "touched with the feeling of our infirmities", and is able to"succour them that are tempted", (Hebrews 4:15; 2:18).

If He was NOT once ‘one of us’, how could He truly represent us to God (Matt 10:32) and be an example for us ? (1 Peter 2:21-25). And how can we "deny ourselvestake up his cross and follow him", as He commands us to do? (Matt 16:24) If the Lord Jesus possessed a body stronger than that of a normal human man, such as that of an angel for instance, then He represents those of that nature, not of mankind. It is a very comforting truth that the Lord Jesus "was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death (but now is) crowned with honour and glory, that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man." ( Heb 2:5-9). "For", (here) does not mean ‘instead of’ for every manJesus represents and is an example to, mankind. He is not a substitute mankind. He partook of our weakness and mortality for our sakes. By Jesus’ faith in God He overcame sin. Because He overcame sin, God delivered him from death, by raising Him from His grave.

HIS SINLESS LIFE AND SACRIFICE:

There is no glory to God when a strong man does what more or less comes naturally to him. The Lord Jesus endured much "strong crying and tears", (Heb 5:7) If it were true that the Lord Jesus had a strong body, this would teach that strong or clever people don’t really need God, or Christ, to save them……they need more strenuous exercise, or more study of the sciences! Man is then made to become his own saviour….man becomes his own god! Such thinking denies the fundamental teachings of the Scriptures…Man is weak, but God is strongMan is mortal and sins, God is immortal (deathless) and cannot sin. Man is in need of salvation and God is man’s Saviour ,(through the Lord Jesus Christ), both from sin and death, which is "the wages of (or the natural penalty for) sin". (Romans 6:23)

God has made Jesus’ sinless life and sacrifice, the way of salvation.

THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST WHICH SAVES:

In his brief letter, the Apostle John warns his beloved sister in Christ that she should only help teachers of the "doctrine of Christ"----the true teaching that JESUS IS THE MAN WHOM GOD ANOINTED TO SAVE MANKIND. Those who teach that Jesus did not really "come in the flesh" common to us all, teach "another Jesus" than the one Scripture teaches. They teach a ‘Christ’ who cannot save. However, the true Christ is our Saviour! By our belief of….

·         The good news of the coming Kingdom of God on this earth.

·         That Jesus "died for our sins according to the Scriptures".

·         That He "came in the flesh" of mankind to be our Saviour from sin and death, and …

By our baptism into His great name, "He is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them."  (Hebrews 7:25).

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