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Grace, Mercy and Peace

Words of Faith Final

Grace, Mercy and Peace
Words of Faith 6-17-24
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2024
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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2 John 1
[1] The elder, To the chosen lady and her children, whom I love in the truth--and not I only, but also all who know the truth-- [2] because of the truth, which lives in us and will be with us forever: [3] Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father's Son, will be with us in truth and love.

Have you ever received a letter or E-mail at just the right time? A word of encouragement or wisdom that made you wonder if the writer had some unique way of looking in on your life? 2 John could be a little like that.
This brief letter was written during a time of difficulty in the early church when encouragement was greatly needed. It was to the point and blunt about things.
While the letter of 2 John does not name either the writer or the recipient, this is likely because it was written during the time of war and persecution before the fall of Jerusalem to the Romans in 70 AD. These were dangerous times. There is no reason to doubt the tradition attributing the letter to the Apostle John as the Elder writing.
2 John is addressed to "the chosen lady and her children." While this could have been an actual person, the most likely interpretation is that it speaks of the church and its members. In a time of peril, the letter needed to circulate to various places without identifying believers and making them a target.
The letters of John are known for being direct and even blunt about the nature of Christian life. These letters were not as concerned with setting up a church organization as they were with radical spiritual formation-- how a person walks with God. An organization does not change people. The Gospel changes people.
Reading John's letters, we see the Christian walk defined and measured pointedly in the most practical terms. It is not about what you know but how you walk. Of course, Christian identity requires knowledge of the Truth-- that Jesus Christ came in human flesh, lived a human life, and died in the flesh. However, the evidence of that faith is measured by the genuineness of one's Christian lifestyle, not so much by what one "knows."
John expressed the truth about the Gospel in crisp black-and-white terms. The knowledge that "God is light" is tested by whether one walks in that light and obeys God's commands. Period. The knowledge that God is righteous is tested by whether one lives righteously as befits one born of God. Bam. The knowledge that God is love is tested solely by whether one loves fellow believers even as one loves God. No excuses. Just do it.
John had seen plenty of religious people who gave lip service to God but had no genuine transformation reflected in their lives. He had seen firsthand the radical requirement for love and obedience called for by Jesus. Jesus called for a radical response from those who would follow him. Because of this, John's letters draw us back to the origins of the true church so that we can hear the word of Him who came in the flesh.
John had heard it himself from the Lord. Jesus was clear: You shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall set you free. I am the way, the truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except by me. John wrote to the children of the Church to emphasize that we live only because we know the truth. No other reason. It is not because we know about the truth or favor some truth. We live because of the truth, which lives in us and will be with us forever: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father's Son, will be with us in truth and love.
Grace is His undeserved favor, which saves us. Mercy is His willingness to cover our sin and set us free. Peace is the eternal declaration that we are right with God. The difference this makes is that we express the same to others. We love others. We extend grace and mercy to those we live and interact with. If not, back up. Recover the grace. Receive the mercy. Walk in the peace.

Lord, make me an instrument of Your grace, mercy, and peace. Transform me by the Truth. Live in me and cause grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Jesus Christ, the Father's Son, to be with me in truth and love. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2024
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)
2820 Business Center Blvd.
Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200
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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2024 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.