The elder to the elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth, and not only I, but also all who know the truth, because of the truth that abides in us and will be with us forever:
2 John 1-2
This short little scrap of a note of a letter was meant to encourage Christians in their commitment to the truth. Truth is certainly doctrinal, but it is not JUST that alone. Truth lives in God's people. I love the way that John puts it here. The Greek that the ESV translates as "abides in us" can be translated as "lives among us." This is a community effort. Yes, individual believers must know and obey the truth of the gospel. But it lives, it remains, it is seen in us as a group. This is about the primacy of the local church.
Christians are to thrive in a church, a community of fellow believers, because that is how the truth remains. Lone wolf Christians will be more likely to have shortcomings in truth and obedience. God designed Christians to need one another. It is maturity in community that is the bond of disciples to one another.
The problem is that we focus in on the areas where my brother or sister still needs maturity. And it is easy to pridefully pick on the collective church as a group of hypocrites and liars. But that is taking our eyes of the truth and our own need to grow in it. The truth challenges us individually to change and to grow. And it challenges us to lovingly challenge one another. That is how the truth of the gospel lives among us.
- Posted with my iPad. The Apple Kool-Aide tastes fine.