II John

II John: 7-8 Jesus’ True Humanity.

It is well known that at the time of the writing of the NT, there were various forms of Gnosticism present. One expression of this, in respect to Jesus, was that they believed that he only appeared to be really human. Instead they believed that he was of some kind of celestial substance and nature. It was as a result of what is called Docetism, and other heretical views of Christ, that the early church formulated the confession of Chalcedon. One of the serious implications of such a deviation, is that it would make Jesus sufferings irrelevant to us, and if he was not truly human then his active and passive obedience would also be meaningless to us as a substitutionary atonement. More important than these and other ramifications, it would make Jesus out to be a liar, as well as the Scriptural testimony as false, because they all with one voice affirm his true humanity (v. 7). From the beginning of his birth, there is no doubt that he shared in all ways in our humanity-without sin.

The writer to the Hebrews stressed the point of his taking on flesh and blood so that he could be a merciful and faithful high priest, able to sympathize with us in our weakness. “Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same” (2:14a). “Therefore, in all things He had to be like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted” (vv. 17-18). This is not just a difference of opinion. That which is contrary to the Scriptural testimony is heresy, the product of deceivers, the work of the antichrist (I Jn. 2:22-23; 4:1-3). Therefore John warns his audience to hang on to the truth of scripture which they have been taught. It will ultimately lead to our shared reward, in this life and in the next (v. 8).

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