Be On Guard

Jerry Sittser

READ : 2 John

Everyone who does not abide in the teaching of Christ, but goes beyond it, does not have God. (v. 9)

Heresy is not a word we hear very much. Different and diversity are far more popular, even in the Christian church. Of course different can be good; diversity often enriches the Christian community. But not in all matters. There is still truth, and that truth must be guarded.

John wrote this short letter to “the elect lady,” which refers to a nameless church under siege. It was battling a heresy similar to Gnosticism, which denies that Jesus was really human. John makes it perfectly clear that this movement was wrong. Jesus had come in the flesh, he argued. John himself was an eyewitness; he knew what he was talking about.

Christian teachers in the third and fourth centuries said that what the Son of God did not assume in his humanity could not be redeemed through his divinity. Jesus became a complete human being—body, mind, soul and will—so that he could repair all the damage done in the fall. To fix broken humanity, he became fully human, and suffered death for our sake.

John would not compromise this truth. Any teaching that veered from it was heresy. What was true then is still true today.

PRAYER

Lord Jesus, help us to know the truth, believe the truth, and defend the truth, in all humility. Amen.