Without a doubt, John is the apostle of love. Love is all over his letters and gospel. Just look back a few days to the post for 1 John 4. Today, in a new letter from the “Elder” John to an unnamed church personified as the “Chosen Lady and her children” (v.1), John reminds us that at its core Christianity is all about love, but the commandment to “love one another” is no new commandment at all. This has been a foundational message from God, since the beginning.
And now, dear Lady, I ask you, not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but the one we had from the very beginning, that we should love one another. This is love: that we should behave in accordance with his commandments. (vv.5-6a)
God’s love is not the sentimental love of emotion. It is the love of sacrificial action.
What caught your eye in 2 John?
Categories: 2 John
Tags: 2 John, action, Bible, command, commandment, emotion, John, love, new, old, reading, sacrifice
I grew up going to church camp in the summer. It was one of my favorite weeks (or two, if I could convince my parents to let me stay for another) of the year. When I was too old to be a camper, I became a counselor and did that until I went off to college.
Now, twenty years later, I am writing this post (a day ahead of time) from church camp again. This is our church’s week to have camp for all kids in fourth grade and up, all 250 of them! This is the kind of camp I could have only dreamed to attend when I was a kid. I have a harder time keeping up with the kids each year and I am not sure why they aren’t ready for lights out at 9:30 like I am! Still, what a great week!
Later today we will all head home, and one of the first things I will do is strip off my camp clothes, take a nice hot shower, and put on some clean clothes. It’s not that we didn’t shower or change here at camp, I just never feel totally clean until I am at home in my shower and then in clean clothes.
Paul talked about this earthly life the same way. We are here in a set of dirty clothes (3:5-9), but it’s time to get showered and start putting on the new clothes we were really meant to wear (3:10-15). Of course, by this metaphor he means there is a whole new set of thoughts and behaviors associated with the “new humanity” we are becoming (3:11). By the power of the Spirit, we are getting dressed to go home.
Each of these points needs a book of it’s own, but in this chapter Paul gives us some guidance on how to change our spiritual clothes:
- Set our minds on the spiritual not fleshly (3:1-2)
- Strip off the old clothes instead of just trying to keep them on underneath our new clothes (3:5-9)
- Put God’s word into our hearts and minds (3:16a)
- Help each other become new people (3:16b)
What did you notice in this chapter?
Tags: Bible, BIble reading, camp, change, changing, clothes, Colossians, dirty clothes, mind, new, spiritual