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1-3 This letter comes from the Elder to a certain Christian lady and her children, held in the highest affection not only by me but by all who know the truth. For the truth’s sake (which even now we know and which will be our companion for ever) I wish you, in all love and sincerity, grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son.

Let us love, but have no dealing with lies

4-6 I was overjoyed to find some of your children living the life of truth, as the Father himself instructed us. I beg you now, dear lady, not as though I were issuing any new order but simply reminding you of the original one, to see that we continue to love one another. Real love means obeying the Father’s orders, and you have known from the beginning that you must live in obedience to him.

7-8 For the world is becoming full of impostors—men who will not admit that Jesus the Christ really became man. Now this is the very spirit of deceit and is anti-Christ. Take care of yourselves; don’t throw away all the labour that has been spent on you, but persevere till God gives you your reward.

Have nothing to do with false teachers

9-11 The man who is so “advanced” that he is not content with what Christ taught. has in fact no God. The man who bases his life on Christ’s teaching, however, has both the Father and the Son as his God. If any teacher comes to you who is disloyal to what Christ taught, don’t have him inside your house. Don’t even wish him “God-speed”, unless you want to share in the evil that he is doing.


12-13 I have a lot that I could write to you, but somehow I find it hard to put down on paper. I hope to come and see you personally, and we will have a heart-to-heart talk together—and how we shall enjoy that! Your sister’s children send their love.