2Jn 1:7-8 “For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.”
Solomon declared that there was nothing new under the sun (Ecc 1:9). John made it abundantly clear in his first letter that there were many deceivers, false prophets, and antichrists at that time. He reiterates that observation and cautions the elect lady and her children. We need to continue to be diligent today to point out that there are still many deceivers come into the world.
These deceivers do not come with vile appearance. They do not have some great outward appearance of evil. Their aim is not to frighten believers but to seduce them. It is their purpose to draw men unto them for their gain, seemingly making themselves and integral part of the salvation of God’s people. They subtly deny that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh because to admit this is to announce that the work of men’s hands is unnecessary for the salvation of God’s people.
By God-given faith we know that the Word was in the beginning with God and was God. We know that the Word was made flesh in the virgin birth of the man, Jesus (God’s only begotten Son). The Word made flesh took upon Himself the sins of all the Father gave Him from the beginning to the end. He bore those sins to the cross of Calvary and, by His blood, redeemed us. He further promised us that both He and His Father would come and take up their abode within us. Our Lord Jesus took upon Himself a house of flesh when He was born into this world according to the will of God. He is come in flesh still today as He makes His dwelling in the hearts of His children.
John understood in his day that the deceiver and antichrist was persuasive. He also understood that there was a defense; he told the elect lady and her children to “look to yourselves.” John was not advising the elect lady and her children then, nor would we do so now, to trust in themselves. Beloved, look to yourself. Examine yourself and that which moves in your life for righteousness and see that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. Look within and see that Christ dwells there and that it is in Him that we live, move, and have our being (Act 17:28). Don’t let any man sell you a bill of goods that you somehow need man in order to approach unto God or to receive His blessings.
We are to be diligent. Over the course of my life, I have lost things. Without fail, I lost them because I wasn’t paying attention. Maybe there was a hole in my pocket. Maybe I thought I was putting it up somewhere for safe keeping and never again recalled where that place was. I’ve never intentionally lost anything; it was always the result of inattentiveness. Like the writer to the Hebrews (Heb 2:1), John is calling on the elect lady to give earnest heed to all that our Lord has told us and called us to do. We want a full reward in our labors. What greater reward could we possibly ask than to have the full assurance that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh? What greater consolation could we have than the assurance that the man Jesus took our place on the cross and satisfied God’s just requirement that sin be atoned? What greater hope can we have than the sure expectation through the work of the Holy Spirit that Jesus lives in us today and us in Him? Let no man rob you of the joy of your salvation by persuading you that your salvation somehow depends on them or you.
May we always be mindful of the work of Jesus Christ in the flesh and not lose the joy of our salvation!