9 Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; 11 for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.” (2 John 9–11, NKJV)
This passage is not difficult to understand. Yet, failing to obey it continues to prevent fellowship with God, while helping false doctrine to thrive. Christians are warned against going beyond the teaching of Christ; to do so forfeits fellowship with the Father and the Son. To encourage or accept the teacher who is not teaching Christ’s truth puts one in fellowship with their sin. To thwart the force of this passage, attempts are made to redefine “the doctrine of Christ” to mean the teaching about Christ instead of the teaching that belongs to Christ. But, Jesus said, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed” (Jno. 8:31). We must abide in the word that belongs to Jesus, else, we are not truly His disciples. We do not have fellowship with God (2 Jno. 9). Fellowship is a sharing in common, joint participation. We either participate with God by abiding in His truth, or we share in evil by encouraging and endorsing error and the one who promotes it. There is no third option. Therefore, let us “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them” (Eph. 5:11).