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Balancing Truth and Love

Scripture Passage: 
2 John 1:1-6

Introduction:  John is writing to the “elect lady” who has seemingly erred on the side of love and needs to give more heed to the truth.  The apostle deals with her error, but in the midst of it we also see that it is possible to err on the other side.  The word truth in this exact form is mentioned four times in the epistle (2 John 1:1, 2, 3, 4). The word love is also mentioned four times (2 John 1:1, 3, 5, 6).  The number four is connected to stability or balance in the scriptures.

    1. God is Truth (Deuteronomy 32:4; John 14:6)
    2. God is Love (1 John 4:16)
    3. Note:  In the proper balance, God never compromises one characteristic for the implementation of the other.  God is always love and God is always truth.  As such He never departs from one to be the other.
    1. We are to Stand for Truth
      1. Jesus Christ is the Truth (John 14:6)
      2. The word of God is the Truth (John 17:17)
      3. We are to walk in the truth (2 John 1:4)
      4. We are to speak the truth (Ephesians 4:13-15)
      5. We are to obey the truth (1 Peter 1:22)
    2. We are to Love
      1. The Father’s love for the Son (John 15:9) is the same as the Son’s love for the believer (John 15:9) is the same as the believer’s love for one another (John 15:12)
      2. It was a new commandment given by the Son (John 13:34)
      3. It is a token of our discipleship (John 13:35)
      4. It is a token of our salvation (1 John 3:14)
      5. It is to be a sacrificial love (1 John 3:16)
      6. It is an evidence of our love for God (1 John 4:20)
    1. Most Tend to Lean in One Direction or the Other
      1. Truth without love becomes harsh and full of pride. “Knowledge puffeth up” (1 Corinthians 8:1).
      2. However, love without truth quickly conforms to the world and soon believes nothing.
    2. Examples of Imbalance
      1. The elect lady
        1. Truth – from the corrections in this epistle we are compelled to believe that the elect lady had compromised on truth.
        2. Love
          1. It appears as though this lady was erring to stand on the side of love.
          2. However, from our previous studies we understand that Biblical love never compromises truth.  Technically the elect lady erred in truth and love.
      2. The apostle Paul concerning John Mark
        1. Truth
          1. John Mark quit on Paul and Barnabas when they were on a missionary journey (Acts 13:13).
          2. When it was time for another missionary journey Paul and Barnabas were ready to go.  Barnabas determined that they should take John Mark with them.  Paul disagreed and he and Barnabas split up. (Acts 15:36-40)
        2. Love
          1. We understand that the apostle Paul did not practice Biblical love in this case.
          2. Paul also understood this and later he made a correction (2 Timothy 4:11)
    3. Scripturally Speaking You Cannot Err on One Side
      1. Biblical love never compromises the truth.
      2. Biblical truth contains commandments dealing with love.
      3. If we miss the mark on one, we literally miss the mark on both.

Conclusion:  Do you seemingly err on the side of love?  Do you seemingly err on the side of truth?  Biblically speaking, erring in one is erring in both.  May we seek God’s face for His help in finding the balance that He wants us to have.

Andrew Ray

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 21:19

It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.