2 John 1: From the Beginning
Christianity is often attacked as a religion that was developed hundreds of years after the life of Jesus Christ. The obvious problem with that hypothetical situation is that hundreds of years is a long time for doctrine to be modified. However, in 2 John 1, it struck me that even early in the life of the church, there was the idea that doctrine was something worth preserving.
2Jn 1:4 I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father.
2Jn 1:5 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.
The evidence seems to point towards the fact that John was legitimately the author of this letter, and if that is the case, then this was written at some point around 95 A.D. I point this out because John is referring back to a tradition here. I do not have a new commandment for you, but I want you to remember what we talked from the beginning.
This message of love came from Jesus Christ Himself. The rest of the book speaks about avoiding people who are coming and teaching misleading doctrine. As a result, it is easy to see here that there was a very strict commitment to doctrine in the early church. They cared about following Jesus Christ, and they wanted to remain faithful to that which was taught.
It is also significant that John refers to the idea that these people were walking in truth. Again, this is an affirmation of the Christian idea that Jesus is truth. John did not refer to Jesus as one of many truths. Rather, this exclusivity and even seen here.
Early in the history of the church doctrine mattered. Doctrine matters today. We need to make sure that we are faithful to what has been taught from the beginning and not how modern interpretations want to twist certain passages to make political points.