READ: Esther 1-3, Psalm 147, Luke 14, 2 John
THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST
The Bible holds a very high view of women. Second John is addressed to an individual woman, a lady the apostle evidently held in high esteem. For every arrogant Vashti there is a submitted but soul-steeled Esther. John reminds the elect lady that love is obedience, and obedience is love (2 John 6). When we respond to Jesus with a heartfelt “As you wish!” it is proof that we love Him. We cannot claim to love Jesus when we consistently disobey Him.
What a man or woman does with Christ is always the determining factor in God’s acceptance of them. This is never more true than in the Church. Christology is ever under attack–most cunningly from within. Church history is replete with those within the flock who have misrepresented or misunderstood Christ. The Scripture minces no words: If you don’t think correctly about Jesus, you don’t have God! “Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God” (2 John 9). To abide in the doctrine of Christ does not mean merely to agree with His thinking; it more importantly means to think correctly about Him. To think correctly about Jesus is to place Him as the absolute center of worship. Anything less than the radical exaltation of Jesus above all things is wrong thinking, sin acting. It must always be all about Jesus.
Not content to stop there, John goes on to exhort us to deal ruthlessly with those who pretend to follow Christ but do not think correctly about Him either. If anyone comes into our midst who does not super exalt Jesus, “who does not bring this doctrine, [we are to] not receive him into [our house] nor even greet him” (v. 11). God is not tolerant, not if tolerance is “the chief virtue of those who believe in nothing,” as Clarence Thomas once said. God gets downright narrow when it comes to our thinking, our belief, our teaching of Jesus. The ones who deny the full humanity and full deity of Jesus (Jesus Christ coming in the flesh) are nothing less than antichrists. Our view of Jesus is not graded on a percentage basis; it is either right or wrong. It is a true or false test, and either you get Jesus right (fully God, fully man) or you get it all wrong. If someone comes into our team, our church, our midst with a faulty view of Jesus, we are to allow them no voice and no influence. They cannot be part of us if they are wrong or flippant about Jesus. This does not apply to the lost–we expect and allow them to get Jesus wrong for if they are seeking Him, He will set them right. It applies to any who would exert influence among us. Those with faulty doctrine about Jesus are under no conditions to be given a pulpit–private or public.
Getting Jesus right is more than doctrinal purity; it must include unflinching obedience. To abide in the doctrine of Christ is to honor Him in our thoughts, magnify Him with our mouths, and obey Him with our wills and bodies. Getting Jesus right is to think what He thinks, think right about who He is, and then to act as He directs. Anything else is counter to Him, and anyone counter to Him is an anti-Christ.