Commentary by Walter Albritton


November 23


We Can, with God’s help, Live Lives of Humble Loyalty to Our Lord


2 and 3 John


Key Verse: Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God. – 3 John 11


            John Wesley echoed the wisdom of Saint John when he said, “Do all the good you can, for as long as ever you can.” Wesley spent his life, almost a century long, doing good, and encouraging God’s people to do good. He raised up a generation of preachers who, like their Lord, went about “doing good” as faithful ministers of the gospel.

            Wesley recruited men and women who would “walk in truth” as well as proclaim the truth. Walking in truth meant that they got their guidance for daily living from the Holy Scriptures rather than their culture. Faithfulness to the teaching of Christ and the apostles was as important to Wesley as it was to the apostle John.

            Like Saint John, Wesley understood the need for loyalty – to the gospel, to the truth, to the fellowship of believers, and to the mission God had entrusted to them.  Much of the success of the Wesleyan movement may be credited not only to the genius of John Wesley but also to the loyalty of Wesley’s preachers. Generally, they were remarkably trustworthy servants of Jesus Christ.

            Trustworthiness is essential wherever people work together for a common cause. One disloyal person can sabotage the work of many. This is especially true within the church.

            As a pastor I found my work hindered at times by persons who were neither loyal to Christian teaching nor to me as their leader. Repeatedly, I realized the necessity of loyalty if the work of Christ is to prosper.

            As I look back now, I realize how wonderfully God blessed my ministry through teammates, lay and clergy, whose trustworthiness humbled me and helped us fulfill God’s mission. Together, with the strength of Christ, a few people can do far more than one person can ever do alone. God’s plan is for the work to be shared by “yokefellows” who are yoked to Christ and to one another.

            As a husband, I have been blessed beyond my deserving by the faithfulness of my loving wife. Early on, we discovered the joy of trusting each other, and that trust has become a sacred treasure with the passing of the years. Today I am so thankful that we became “partners” in the gospel and “one” in the service of the Master.

            As a father, I have realized the joy that Saint John expressed when he wrote, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth” (3 John 4). Honestly, is there anything more precious than to hear that one’s own children are walking in the light as loyal servants of Jesus Christ?

            We all want our children to get a good education and become successful. However, more than anything this world has to offer, we want them to become faithful followers of Jesus. As Christian parents, we are stabbed in the heart with pain to see our children fall away from the faith. John knew this pain for some of the early believers became deceived by false teachers whose lies led them away from the simple truth of the gospel.

             False teachers are still among us. They are the “brilliant” people who would have us believe that the wisdom of the Bible has been surpassed by advanced modern thinking.

No longer, they say, must we be tethered by the archaic teaching of scripture.

            One clear example of such false teaching is the view of some that the biblical word for homosexuality does not really mean homosexuality as we understand it. This is certainly stretching the truth and nothing more than liberal speculation.

            Another example of devious teaching is the view held by those who believe that
God is responsible for some persons being homosexual, and others heterosexual. Clearly, this view violates the teaching of scripture and makes God a liar, or at the very least inconsistent.

            To believe that homosexuality is unscriptural does not give us license to abuse or hate those who practice this lifestyle. Indeed, our church consistently reminds us that such persons are of “sacred worth,” and deserving of our love and compassion. We simply are not at liberty to condone homosexuality and accept it as a legitimate Christian lifestyle.

            Since our government and our public schools now encourage the acceptance of homosexuality, it is all the more important for the church to teach people, especially children, the truth given us in the Word of God. To do so is to follow the advice of Saint John by imitating “what is good” and being loyal to the teaching of the apostles.

            Obviously, we need God’s help to do good. Catherine, the five-year-old granddaughter of Becky and Roy Jordan, understands this. Recently she was disciplined by her parents by being confined to her room for a “time out.”

            Her mother, standing outside the closed door, heard little Catherine pray in a loud voice, “O God, please come down here and help me be good – and send Jesus too!”

            That, I believe, is the kind of prayer God delights to hear – and answer, whether from adults or children! What a precious moment that must have been for Catherine’s mother.

            So perhaps we should all pray, “O God, please come down here, where we hurt and struggle and sin, and help us imitate what is good, and please make us aware that you have already sent Jesus to help us remain loyal to your sacred truth!”

            Amen!  + + + + (Walter may be contacted at