Good evening and welcome to eBible Fellowship’s Bible study in the Book of 2nd John. Tonight is study number 7, and we will be reading 2 John 1:4, which says:
I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father.
The elder rejoiced at the news of the elect lady’s children, walking in truth. Spiritually, we have learnt that the elder is typifying God Himself, and therefore, his rejoicing is teaching us something about the nature of God. And that is, that God rejoices when His elect people walk in truth.
First of all, we know that there is joy in heaven when a sinner becomes saved. We read about this in the Gospel of Luke, in chapter 15. It says in Luke 15:6-7:
And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
Immediately following this is the account of a woman who loses one piece of silver and diligently searches her house until she finds it, and then, we read in Luke 15:9-10:
And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.
So here again, there is joy in Heaven when an individual on earth (one of God’s elect), hears the Gospel message, and the LORD applies it to his heart and creates a new spirit within him. But what about God Himself? Is there joy with the angels and all around God in Heaven, but He Himself is not rejoicing? No; the Bible does not teach that. Actually, the Bible teaches that God is rejoicing along with them. We find this in Zephaniah 3:17:
JEHOVAH thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.
See again, in the context of salvation, JEHOVAH (the name of God that He gives Himself as Saviour), “he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy;” and so God is joyful in Heaven, likewise, when one sinner was granted repentance, was given that new heart, and was able to turn from the flow of sin that was proceeding out of their heart of stone, and now given a new heart, they are able to repent.
And following repentance, these individuals will begin to walk in truth, and it is a result of salvation and it is an evidence that salvation has taken place. They have been given an ongoing desire to do the will of God and an increased ability to perform the doing of it. They are now walking in “truth,” or to say it another way, they are living, there is an outworking of the work of God within them, in saving them, in their lives, as they are now walking in “truth” and “truth” would be Christ (it is a synonym for that) or the Word of God (it would be a synonym for the Bible). They are walking in the commandments of the Bible.
Let us look at the Bible’s perspective on “walking.” The Bible here is speaking about walking in truth, but the Bible recognizes that all people are spiritually walking. It is only God’s elect people that are walking in truth. Not everyone in the world walks in truth, but really, a few out of the whole, just a remnant, which in all probability since the population of the earth is so huge, numbers in the tens of millions, since we know that God recently saved a great multitude, during the time of the great tribulation. And these people are all over the earth, and God will lead them (according to His time table for them), to a closer relationship with Himself, as they walk in Christ and walk in the Word of God.
But first, let us look at how man walks in sin. It says in Ephesians 2:1-2:
And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
So we do see that God is speaking about walking in sins, trespasses and sins. That phrase walking “according to the course of this world,” is referring to the way that sinners live their lives (how we lived our lives). How did we walk prior to God’s mercy upon us? Prior to His bestowing His grace towards us? We walked after our desires (lusts), and we went our own way. We did things that are contrary to the Word of God, to the law of God, and we did so, many times, without even thinking about it. This was the path of our lives and we walked in it. It was a path that was presented before us by our sins. We followed our sins and our sins led us down this trail and at the end of the trail (it is no secret), the Bible says, is “death.” “For the wages of sin is death.” The end of man’s pursuit of sin is death and destruction. That is what is at the end of the road. That is what each person can expect when they walk after their own transgressions.
We also find similar language, just put a little differently, in Romans chapter 8 and it says in Romans 8:1:
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus (or we could substitute “truth” there), who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Now there has been a change in the walk that a person has been doing. They used to walk after the flesh and the flesh desires this and wants that and wants to be given the other thing, and we obey. We try to fulfill the desires of the flesh without too much hesitation, and we think that this is the right thing to do. We try to fulfill our wants and our lusts, and yet, that is a way of condemnation.
But to the child of God, he no longer walks after that way, but now, after the spirit. Also, the unsaved people of the world who found their way into the churches and congregations (or into professed Christianity, since some of these unsaved are outside of the churches and they, likewise, would say that they were Christians), these individuals also are walking. But God uses some different language concerning them. It results in the same thing of walking after the flesh or walking in their sins, but just to help us understand that these are sins particular to those in the churches, we read in Leviticus 18:3-4, where it says:
After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do: and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do: neither shall ye walk in their ordinances. Ye shall do my judgments, and keep mine ordinances, to walk therein: I am JEHOVAH your God.
We see that there are doings after the land of Canaan, and God prohibits walking therein. The land of Canaan is a land that typifies the promised land, on one hand, and it can also typify the churches and congregations. They have their own ordinances, they have their own statutes, their own commandments.
This is followed up in the Book of Micah. Micah 6:16 says:
For the statutes of Omri are kept, and all the works of the house of Ahab, and ye walk in their counsels; that I should make thee a desolation, and the inhabitants thereof an hissing: therefore ye shall bear the reproach of my people.
This is referring to those that follow the dictates of confessions and creeds and church positions over the dictates of the Bible, and this is a very accurate description of our modern churches and congregations. They do walk in the counsels of Ahab. They follow their own guidelines. They will be very faithful, perhaps, to their particular church’s theologian or to their church confession or to their denominational creed and stance, but they care not for the true teaching of the Bible, especially if their confession or creed happens to contradict the Bible. They will prefer that over the Word of God, and God sees this and realizes that they are not walking in the truth, they are not walking in my law. They are walking in their own ordinance, their own statutes and their own ways.
And this is the nature of man, whether he is just an individual out there in the world, who does whatever he wants to do or if that individual found his way into a congregation, he still does whatever he wants to do, within the confines of that denomination. This is the nature of man. Man does walk, spiritually, in a lawless way or in a wrong way. He is able to walk down the road that leads to destruction, but concerning the road or the path that leads to Heaven, He has no ability to walk therein. This is why God views man, oftentimes in the Bible, as an invalid, as a cripple, as a lame man, when it comes to walking in His Word.
For instance, in the Book of Hosea (which follows Daniel), it says in Hosea 14:9 (the very last verse of that chapter, and of the Book):
Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of JEHOVAH are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein.
It is a very accurate statement when you hear someone speak of “falling into sin.” Spiritually, it is a very vivid picture and accurate, because man cannot walk. They are incapable of walking in the law of God, of walking in truth, and they may attempt it. They may try to do it, to keep God’s commandments, one way or another, and perhaps they can take a few steps therein, but it will not be long and they will fall into sin.
Just as a man who cannot walk. He is bound to a wheelchair or bound to crutches, as the Bible speaks of those who would sit begging because they were lame. We read of this in the Book of Acts, in Acts chapter 3, and God here is really picturing someone who is in their sins and as a result, completely incapable of walking in His Word until God makes a change in his life. It says in Acts 3:1-10:
Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ancle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God: And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him.
What a beautiful picture this is, that upon the moment of salvation, now this invalid man, a lame man, he did not have strength in leg or his ankle bones to walk and God gave it to him physically. And yet, it pictures, it typifies the sinner who has no ability to walk at all in the commandments of the Word of God, the Bible, until God saves him, and then he is able to stand, and not only stand, but to walk, and He is able to walk, to leap, to praise God and he walks in company of other believers into the temple, into the glorious Kingdom of God. What a truly gloriously, beautiful picture this is! And notice that others see it, and they stand amazed at what had happened to him.
This would be similar to an individual who was a drunk or a wretch of some kind (and this has happened all through history), just a miserable person, in their sins and lost and gone as far as the world was concerned, without hope, and yet God was able, and God brought that person His Gospel and that Gospel was applied to the individual and God saved him and changed his life, and that same person was cleaned up by God and was made to walk in the law of God, and people around would stop and wonder, “Is this the same man? Is this the same person that was such an alcoholic? That was such a drug addict, was a murderer or thief, or whatever he was? And look at him now!” God has done this oftentimes with people, and here is a picture of it.
That was an historical parable, but it was typifying this statement in the Book of Ezekiel, in Ezekiel chapter 36. What we read in Acts chapter 3 is a parabolic, historical (that means that it was true history), parabolic occurrence, that was teaching these very words in Ezekiel 36:26-27, where God says:
A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.
We see here this spiritual walk God is referencing once again, and it is happening as a result of someone being born again, of receiving that new heart and spirit and then the spirit of God within them is making them able, it is qualifying them (giving them the ability) to do this spiritual walk. They are now able to walk in what the Bible says. God says, “Sunday is my holy day,” and this person before, did not know that and could not care less about that. He did what he wanted to do. It was a day for football and a day for picnics, and a day for his own pleasure and for cutting the grass, and whatever else. But not now. No; now he is caused by God’s spirit to walk in that statute.
Or the person was just a big liar and easily lied, whenever things did not look too good, when things did not reflect too well upon him, he quickly lied in order to make it seem better. But not now. No; now he tells the truth, even if the truth happens to make him look bad. He has to walk in the statute of God. God is a God of truth and His people take after Him and they follow His example, and so they speak the truth, and so on, on point after point after point. Things that came easily and sins that were done without thought or concern or, perhaps, even guilt. Now it is all different. He is walking in the statutes of God.
And this is the nature of the true believer. This is why it says (and this will be the last verse we look at) in Romans 6:4:
Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
And this is exactly what the child of God is doing in this world. We are walking in newness of life, walking in the spirit, and walking in truth. They are all again, synonymous statements that are describing the very same thing. We are following the footsteps of Christ as we make our way through this evil world.