- The marks of a young person (Christian) on the path to becoming a great leader: 1) they expose rather than fear the evil actions of others including those older or stronger than them (1-2 – “bad report” = Literally, a report of wickedness; Eph 5:11), 2) they earn the respect and favor of their leaders (3), 3) they are not intimidated by the naysayers or their opposers (4-8), 4) they are not ashamed to share their convictions (6-11), 5) They view righteousness and truth as worth the risk (1-11).
- Those who courageously reveal God’s truth will generate hatred and jealousy in those who cowardly retreat from such actions (3-11 – “Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his sons, b/c he was the son of his old age” = Not a reference to being the youngest [since Benjamin was Israel’s youngest]. Rather it is a reference to Joseph’s righteous, no compromise character – i.e. Joseph was the faithful son of Israel’s old age [in contrast to his other sons]; e.g. Joh 7:7).
- Like God, parents should reward and elevate those children who are righteous in their behavior (3).
- Unchecked hatred and jealousy toward those God has raised up as righteous leaders in our covenant family can eventually lead to murderous betrayal (12-30), and masterful cover-ups (31-36) (e.g. Judas in re: to Jesus; members leaving the church and making up stories meant to slander and destroy her leaders – e.g. “we were kicked out of that church for being late”).
- Like father, like son or “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” (1-26 = Er and Onan were immoral and wicked like their father, Judah).
- God can bring great deliverance and goodness out of great failure and sin (27-30 – Judah and his love-child w/Tamar – Perez, are the ancestors of David and Jesus – Mat 1:3, 6, 16).
- God does not need great beginnings to accomplish great ends (Jesus is the lion of the tribe of Judah; in this light consider 1Co 1:26-31).
- When God is w/us in our efforts, we often find favor w/others and what we do is very successful (1-6a, 21-23; Psa 127; Pro 3:3-4; 2Th 1:11; e.g. 1Sa 3:19; also Joh 14:13-14, 15:16; 1Jo 3:22, 5:14-15).
- Those people or areas in close proximity to God’s favored people (i.e. His faithful ones) have been known to also experience God’s blessings (5; Denver’s prosperity b/c of CCC?).
- Avoiding great sin requires: 1) recognizing great privilege (6b-9), 2) refusing to listen to the words of sinners (10; Psa 1:1), 3) running away from the places of sinful influence (11-12; 1Co 6:18) .
- The lies and destructive plans of the wicked will never prevail against those who possess God’s steadfast love (13-21; Pro 24:16; Psa 33:18-22, 52:1-9, 143:12).
2 John 1
- The key to having God’s grace, mercy and peace is abiding in the truth (as explained by Jesus the Christ – Joh 1:16-18 w/2Jo 1:9) (1-3).
- Abiding in the truth (as explained by Jesus – 9) requires practicing it which includes loving our brothers and sisters, obeying all of God’s commands and confessing Jesus as the Messiah (4-7).
- It is possible to lose our justification/salvation (8).
- The person who does not abide in the truth (as explained by Jesus) is not a Christian (9).
- We are to have nothing to do w/those who call themselves Christians yet do not abide in the truth (as explained by Jesus – 9) otherwise we will also be considered guilty of their wicked deeds (9-11).
- The Bible teaches guilt by association (11; Jos 23:11-12; 2Co 6:14-7:1)
- Like the Apostle John, we are to love and take great joy in the church (1, 12-13; Psa 122:1).
3 John 1
- As Christians we sb pursuing wellness/health in all areas of our life (our affairs, bodies and souls) (1-2).
- Nothing should makes us more happy than the knowledge that those under our care/oversight are living in faithfulness to God (3-4).
- One of the ways that we demonstrate faithfulness to God is by financially supporting those who are legitimate ministers and missionaries (5-7).
- One of the ways that Christians expand the gospel is by financially supporting ministers and missionaries (8).
- Those who do not acknowledge the authority Christ has given the elders in His churches – or slanders them, are to be exposed (9-10a).
- Pastors who abuse their authority by disciplining or threatening their members who associate w/other legitimate Christians are not to be tolerated (10b).
- Only those who imitate what is good and have a good testimony w/those in the church will see God (i.e. go to heaven) (11-12; Mat 5:8).