THE WALK OF LOVE
2 John 4-6 I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father. And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. And this is love; that we walk after His commandments. This is the commandment, that, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.
The word "walk" has numerous meanings. To walk is to move about on foot. We walk side by side with others, and we walk dogs and horses. In the sport of baseball, a walk is the advancement to first base as the result of four balls pitched that are out of the strike zone; also, walking is taking two steps or more with a basketball, without either dribbling, or passing it to another player. We learn to walk; we teach babies to walk; we help the disabled to walk. "Walk" also means to follow a certain course, or to conduct oneself in a certain manner of life. The latter description is the way in which "walk" is used in the lesson text.
Notice how the word "walk" is used numerous times in God's word. Children of God are to walk in the light (1 John 1:7), walk ye in Him (Jesus) (Col. 2:6), walk in the spirit (Gal. 5:16), walk as children of light (Eph. 5:8), walk by faith, not by sight (1 Cor. 5:7), walk in them (good works) (Eph. 2:10), walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye were called (Eph. 4:1), walk worthy of God (1 Thess. 2:12), walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise (Eph. 5:15), and walk in wisdom (Col. 4:5). His children are not to walk in darkness (John 8:12), after the flesh (Rom. 8:1), as other Gentiles walk (Eph. 4:17), in craftiness (2 Cor. 4:2), (or) disorderly (2 Thess. 3:6 & 11).
Considering the lesson text, as well as the other scriptures noted above, it is possible to recognize a faithful Christian by simply observing the way he or she "walks." This was certainly true of the apostle John. In the lesson text, as well as 3 John 3, he said he found thy children walking in truth. He further explains that walking in truth, is to live a life in obedience to the commandments of God, that are found in His Holy Word, which is the truth. As they walk through life, Christians are to be seen "wearing" the commandments of God as undefiled garments of pure white (See Rev. 3:4). The commandments of our heavenly Father are to serve as the reins, by which the conduct of a Christian is guided along the narrow path of righteousness, that leads to heaven. This can only be accomplished by walking in truth.
Ephesians 5:2 tells us that as Jesus Christ loved us, His faithful followers must also walk in love. This is exactly what John tells us in the lesson text. (T)hat we love one another, is essential in becoming, and remaining, a Christian that lives a life faithful to the will of God. It is possible to love other people without loving God, but it is impossible to love God and hate others. The two "great commandments" are to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, And ...love thy neighbor as thyself (Matt. 22:37-39). To walk in truth, is to keep God's commandments. Christians also keep the commandments of God, when they walk in love for others. It is a direct commandment of God, as recorded in the inspired writing of the apostle John. And this commandment have we from Him, That he who loveth God love his brother also (1 John 4:21).
The commandment to love God, and all others, is not a new requirement of God. Rather, it was a commandment from the beginning (See 1 John 2:7; 3:11). Whether the elect lady,towhomJohn was addressing in this epistle, was a strong, matronly sister in Christ, or whether he was addressing a Christian congregation, by the term, elect lady, serves little benefit to debate. The fact is that Christians everywhere, then and now, must walk in truth and love (Vs. 3), in order to be acceptable in the sight of God. These are God's commandments, and true followers of Christ Jesus must walk after His commandments. Indeed, this is love.
In his commentary on this phrase, Adam Clarke wrote that "our love is shown, and proved, by our walking according to the commandments of God; for love is the principle of obedience." Christians are to be distinguished from the people of the world. They are identified by the way that they walk. Obey His commandments! Walk in love! And in doing so, tell the world that we are faithful children of God!