Good evening and welcome to eBible Fellowship’s Bible study in the Book of 2nd John. Tonight is study number 4, and we will begin by reading 2 John 1:2:
For the truth’s sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us for ever.
And so, far from the first verse and now into the second, we have seen, already a big emphasis upon the “truth,” and the “truth” is Christ. He is the way, the truth. The truth is the Word of God. “Thy word is truth.”
We were looking at “For the truth’s sake,” which is another way of saying, “For Christ’s sake,” or “For the Word’s sake.” We saw how God’s people are sent forth with the Gospel, and as a result, they will suffer affliction and persecution for the Word’s sake or for Christ’s sake.
And, now we want to look at the next parts of this verse (2 John 1:2), which goes on to say:
…which dwelleth in us,…
That is, the truth dwells in the children of God (true believers). It does not dwell in unbelievers. The truth does not dwell in a person who professes to be a Christian. No; the truth, who is Christ, dwells in the true believers, in His elect people, and is with them and shall be with us for ever. This is an eternal relationship.
The condition, the child of God finds himself or herself in, right now, that is with the new heart they have been given and the indwelling presence of God, is the condition they will be in forever more. This will never come to an end. It will never come to a close.
We want to look at this idea that the truth or God is dwelling in His people, and of course, the Bible has a great amount of information concerning this. We are going to just look at a few verses. There are many more that could be looked at.
But, let us look at this word “dwelleth” first, in Luke chapter 1. We will look at a couple of verses that will just give us an idea of the word’s meaning. It says in Luke 1:56:
And Mary abode…
That is the same Greek word, which is translated as “dwelleth,” and translated here as “abode.” It continues:
And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house.
This is speaking of Elisabeth. Mary went to visit her and stayed with her, or abode with Elisabeth about three months. And so, we see that “to dwell” means, in this case, that Mary lived with Elisabeth. They lived together in the same house. And, God uses this very same word to say that God dwells in us.
Also, in the Gospel of John (the fourth Gospel), in John chapter 3, it says in John 3:36:
He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
This is another kind of “abiding.” This is completely different. It is not living together in the same house, like Mary and Elisabeth. But this is the same word where it is stated “the wrath of God abideth on him,” on the person who is not saved. They do not have Christ as Saviour, and so they do not have God dwelling in them or with them, but they do have the wrath of God, the anger of God, the fury of God, upon them or dwelling on each person who is in that kind of spiritual condition of being unsaved. The wrath of God dwells on him or her. It does not depart. It does not leave that person. They live their life under the condition of being under God’s wrath.
It is like the Peanuts cartoon character, who walked around with a cloud upon him, and wherever he went, this dark cloud followed him. That is a bad way of expressing it, but that is the idea. Spiritually, it is unseen, it is invisible, but there is a wrath, an anger of God upon the sinner, because he has transgressed the law of God, that follows the sinner wherever he goes, whatever he does, day after day, moment from moment, and does not leave him or her. It continues with him or her. And so, this is another way that God is able to use this particular word. He can use it in a positive way, that He dwells in and with the child of God forever, or He can use it in this negative way, that not He himself, but His wrath (anger) dwells on a sinner.
Let us also go, in the Gospel of John, to John 14, and read some Scriptures here, and we will start reading a few verses that will help us with our verse back in 2nd John, in understanding what God is saying, that He dwells in His people. And it says in John 14:15-16:
If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
And again, the word “abide” is a translation of the same Greek word “dwelleth.” The “Comforter” is the Holy Spirit, and Christ will give those that love Him, and the Bible tells us in 1 John 4:19:
We love him, because (the reason is) he first loved us.
That is, God had to do the work of saving us first, before we would ever respond in turn by loving Him, and we express the love of Christ by keeping His commandments, as He has given us His Spirit and that Spirit desires to do His will. So we have that ongoing desire to do the will of God, and we want to do His will, and how do we know what His will is? Through His commandments, through the Word of God, the Bible.
And so, the Lord says that He will give another Comforter (the Holy Spirit that is), that will abide with you for ever. “He may abide with you for ever.” And then in John 14:17, we read:
Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
The information we find here in these verses is very helpful to us. We saw in 2nd John, that it is the truth that dwells in us and will be with us forever, and here we read of the “Comforter,” and He is called “the Spirit of truth,” and that is a name for the Holy Spirit, and we can never forget and we want to constantly remind ourselves, that God reveals Himself in the Bible as three Persons, and yet, one God: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. They are all one.
And so if we read of the Holy Spirit, we cannot separate the Holy Spirit from Christ or from the Father. Really, they are God. And so, if on one hand, we might read a Scripture verse that the Spirit of Christ is within us, in another, the Spirit of truth, and so on, and it is just telling us that God Himself is indwelling the believer, and that is helpful for our verse in 2 John 1:2, that the truth dwells in us. That is, the Holy Spirit of truth. It is a name that God has given the Holy Spirit.
And the world cannot receive the Spirit of truth “because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him.” Remember as 2 John 1:1 concluded, and I will just turn there quickly. It said:
…all they that have known the truth;
The world does not know nor see the truth. It has no real understanding. It has no intimate relationship with the truth or with Christ, because they are one and the same. And so, they cannot receive, they do not possess, they do not know the Spirit of truth. They do not know what it is, in other words, for the Holy Spirit to indwell a person.
This means that the true believer (child of God), has been given a gift, yes, of faith, of salvation, but also of an indwelling presence of God Himself, that others are not given. About two billion professed Christians in the world, who are in the churches, know the language of the Bible, and they know perhaps, how to speak in Christian terms. They know these things, but they do not know the Spirit of truth. They have no intimate relationship with Him. They have no indwelling presence with Him. God is not dwelling with them or in them.
And therefore, the believer has a unique experience that others do not have. We actually have God in us, and I do not know how that is. I do not know how that works out. It is not like we can point to anything and say, “now, this is the Spirit of God dwelling in us.” We just know that the Bible tells us this. We do not have another personality in us that speaks to us, independent of ourselves. No; that is not what God is saying. I do not fully know what God is saying or understand it. I do not think that it is possible for us to, in this life, but we know that it is true, that God’s people possess the Spirit of God in a unique way that none other do.
This of course, is very helpful to discerning of truth, to the leading into truth, as God says that His sheep hear His voice. We have the Spirit of God within us to guide us in that direction, to lead us in the right path, and so on. So it is nothing but a tremendous blessing. Without the Spirit of Christ, we are none of His. He is light, so we were in darkness and certainly we would lack discernment and the proper understanding of what the Bible is teaching in many areas, and so on. It is not a good thing at all to be on your own without the Spirit of Christ to guide and direct you.
Let us also go to 1 John, chapter 4, and we will see some more language here, that speaks of the indwelling Spirit of God in His people. In 1 John 4:12-16, it says:
No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
Again, wonderful language to teach us that the Spirit of God is in His people. He will never leave nor forsake us. That does not just mean that He would never stop blessing us, but it actually is a reference to His indwelling presence within His people. God will never come out of the children of God. He will never forsake us and leave us to ourselves, without His Spirit ever again. What an incredible promise it is! And it is a promise.
We will read a little bit more about the indwelling Spirit of God in a couple of more places before we go back to our verse in 2nd John. Let us turn to Ephesians chapter 1, and read Ephesians 1:13-14, and there it says:
In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
What is this language telling us? What is God saying here? That we are “sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession.” What is that saying? God is actually saying that upon the moment of salvation, He has given to each elect person His indwelling Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit also functions as a sort of down payment or a guarantee that the LORD will complete the rest of the promises found in the Scriptures, found in the Bible, concerning, for instance, the salvation of the body and of the receiving of the new heaven and the new earth. To put it another way, and God does, in Romans 8:23, it says there:
And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
In the salvation program of God, it is a two part process. First, he saves the Spirit, and the soul of a man and He indwells that person with His Holy Spirit (that would be the firstfruits of the Spirit), but there is more to be done. There is the redemption of the physical body to receive a new resurrected spiritual body. And So, the Holy Spirit is the down payment that God has given in which He is indicating, and back in Ephesians 1:13 it was called the “holy Spirit of promise.” It is not just an indication, it is a promise of God that He will complete the salvation of the one that He has begun to indwell with His Spirit. It is a guarantee. God has obligated Himself to finish, to fulfill what He has started, as that wonderful verse in Philippians 1:6 says:
Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
And this is the idea, that He will finish the work that He has begun within each of His people. It is not over. The salvation of God is not complete when we receive our new soul, but He also has said that He will save our body. This is why, for example, it says in the Book of Hebrews, in Hebrews 11:39-40 (and this is at the conclusion of the great chapter which speaks of the faith of Christ as it was worked out in the lives of His people over centuries and over generations):
And these all, having obtained a good report through faith (or Christ), received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
How can it be that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and Moses and Joseph and so on, that all these great men of faith received not the promise? Certainly they were saved. Certainly they received their new resurrected souls. Yes; but they, except a few, never received their resurrected bodies, or they never received the fulfillment of Canaan, the promised land, which was a picture of the new heaven and new earth. God has not yet created that place. And so, they without us, will not be made perfect.
(Note: “except a few” was added because there were a few who did receive their resurrected bodies.)
The perfection, the completion of God’s salvation plan, is to finally save the physical bodies of all those who He has already saved their souls, and to make them one whole complete personality, perfect in body and soul, without sin, and then have them enter into the new creation. So we can see that God has more to work out in the lives of His people, and the Holy Spirit is that Spirit of promise, an “earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession,” that is, the redemption of our bodies, but also the redemption of this creation. It must be recreated, and as God destroys this world and universe and creates a new heaven and a new earth.
Just one last verse that speaks of this “earnest of the Spirit,” is in 2 Corinthians, chapter 1, and it says in 2 Corinthians 1:20-22:
For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.
God says that He dwells in us, but here He explains where in us, He dwells. He does not dwell in our physical bodies that are seeing corruption. He does not dwell in any area that is still tainted by sin. He dwells in our hearts, because He has taken out our heart of stone and given us a new heart and a new spirit, that is pure and holy and without sin. That is where He is indwelling the child of God, in that spirit, that He has given us, that is born again and there He dwells.
Let us go back. Let us return to 2nd John and just look at 2 John 1:2 one more time:
For the truth’s sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us for ever.
We already mentioned how it is God’s plan to never leave nor forsake His people. We find wonderful assuring promises of the Bible in that area, and by the way, this is why God has laid down the law concerning there is not to be divorce, because He has married His people, and “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”
So our earthly marriage is to picture and to represent the Heavenly spiritual marriage between Christ and His bride (the body of believers, the whole company of the elect), and in that glorious marriage of Christ (the Bridegroom), and those that He saved (the bride), there is not to be divorce. He will never put the elect away. There is no sin they could ever commit that He has not already paid for, and when they receive their new resurrected bodies and enter into the new heaven and new earth, that is a place without sin, so they cannot sin anew or again. It will never take place.
And so God, in teaching us about that, has given a law concerning our earthly marriages, that a man is not to divorce his wife or a wife divorce her husband. What God has joined together can never be put apart or separated. There is nothing that can separate us from the love of God, if you remember that statement, back also in Romans chapter 8. It says in Romans 8:35-39:
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The word “separate” is another English translation of the same Greek word translated as “put asunder.” What shall be able to put asunder the marriage relationship between Christ and His people? And the answer is, nothing. Nothing in Heaven above or earth beneath, nothing at all. And that is the teaching that God has placed in His law with the earthly marriage. There is nothing a wife can do that a husband should put her away for, and vice versa. The marriage relationship is forever to teach the eternal relationship between Christ and His bride.