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Sun, Apr 20, 2003

16 - Doctrine of Resurrection

2 John 1:10-11 by Robert Dean
Series:2nd John (2002)
Duration:1 hr 11 mins 12 secs

Doctrine of Resurrection; 2 Jo 10-11

John's three epistles focus on the importance of the spiritual life and fellowship with God. At the very core of John's teaching on the spiritual life in these epistles is the concept of love. Love in the Bible is related to an understanding of what Jesus Christ did no the cross. The barometer for our love for God is not how we feel, it is based on our understanding of His Word and on our obedience to His Word. It is love for God that is developed through a study of His Word. You cannot love whom you do not know. Only as we come to know God through His Word do we come to appreciate all that he has done for us. As we grow to appreciate all that He has done for us our love increases. As our love for Him increases it, in turn, motivates us to live for Him, to learn more about Him, and to apply His Word. As we are motivated by our love for Him, in turn we learn how to love one another. Jesus said that we are to love others as He loved us. This is the command that John reiterates in 2 John 5, 6 NASB "Now I ask you, lady, not as though {I were} writing to you a new commandment, but the one which we have had from the beginning, that we love one another. And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, that you should walk in it." To walk according to His commandments we have to know His commandments; to know His commandments we have to make it a priority to know and understand His Word.

2 John 1:10 NASB "If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into {your} house, and do not give him a greeting; [11] for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds." Verse 10 emphasises the seriousness of this whole doctrinal orthodoxy. It begins with a conditional clause: "If." This is a first class condition in the Greek, assuming that the truth of the protasis—if, and we assume that it will happen. There is an expectation that this will happen at some point in your life, that someone will be teaching some false system of teaching, some false doctrine related to the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Greek for "bring" is phero [ferw], present active indicative, meaning to carry or to bring forth this doctrine. So if this is not a doctrine that they are teaching they were not to receive them into their houses nor greet them.

The doctrine that John is emphasising is the doctrine related to the person and work of Jesus Christ. We have seen that the doctrine of Christ relates to six different areas: a) His pre-incarnate deity, i.e. there eternality of Jesus Christ; b) His virgin conception and birth; c) His impeccability; d) His substitutionary spiritual death on the cross; e) His resurrection; f) His literal future second coming to the earth when He will establish His kingdom on the earth for 1000 years.

John is warning the believers of the infiltration of Gnosticism into the congregation. Paul did the same thing for Timothy in 1 Timothy 6:20 NASB "O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly {and} empty chatter {and} the opposing arguments of what is falsely called "knowledge"[gnwsij]—[21] which some have professed and thus gone astray from the faith." In the ancient world the problem was this dualistic Gnosticism and Docetism that denied the genuine humanity of Jesus Christ. This appealed to the intellectual of that day who had no problem believing that there was some sort of deity out there but had a problem thinking that that deity could become man. Today we live in an era of a different kind of Gnosticism, a Gnosticism that rejects the existence of God, a Gnosticism that believes that everything around just happened by chance and that everything is the product of just material causes and that there is no real difference, therefore, between a human being and a rock. There is still today the problem of the infiltration of false doctrine into the local church.

That could happen a number of different ways. There is always the overt approach where some individual or some cult group targets a local congregation. For example, there are those who are "charismatic," those who believe that speaking in tongues, healing, and the sign gifts are still in effect today and that somehow there is a level of super spirituality that they define as the filling of the Spirit. There will always be those individuals who will go to some congregation hoping to enlighten everybody in the congregation to the role of the Holy Spirit. Then there is another approach from cults. Also today there is a problem with more militant groups such as militant feminists and militant sodomites who attempt to infiltrate local churches in order to promote their views and in order to wreak havoc on fundamentalist evangelical churches. This is one reason that churches need to make certain that they have their positions on these issues clearly stated in their doctrinal statement and membership materials. If they are so stated then they have a basis for excluding this kind of thing from ever creating a problem or division in a local congregation. Then there are more subtle approaches for getting false doctrine into a local church. One happens when people are allowed to teach who aren't properly oriented to the local church. Another problem is when a guest speaker comes in and introduces some false concepts.

The importance of the resurrection

1.  In the resurrection Jesus conquered physical death which is the greatest consequence of sin. Genesis 3:14ff outlines the various consequences of sin and physical death is the last one mentioned.

2.  The resurrection validates Jesus' sacrificial substitutionary payment for the sins of humanity. It is God's seal of approval, His acceptance of Christ's payment for our sins.

3.  It was a sign to the Jews. Matthew 12:39, 40 NASB "An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and {yet} no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet; for just as JONAH WAS THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS IN THE BELLY OF THE SEA MONSTER, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."

4.  There have been various attempts to explain away the resurrection. Frank Morison, an agnostic back in the 50s and 60s, sought to disprove the case for Christianity and the resurrection. But like so many who had gone before him he ended up realising that there was more proof for the resurrection of Jesus Christ than for any other event in history.

5.  The resurrection of Christ is important because it is the basis for the doctrine of our victory over death. It validates who Jesus Christ was and what he claims to do on the cross, and was a sign of God's acceptance of that sacrifice. The disciples were scared to death when Jesus was arrested, and they fled. But when they saw Jesus Christ in His resurrection body they had the courage to preach His resurrection for the remainder of their lives, many of whom died a martyr's death because of that position. The resurrection is not a myth; the resurrection is the foundation of Christianity. It is the resurrection that tells us that the tomb was empty.