1 The elder [of the church addresses this letter] to the elect (chosen) [a]lady and her children, whom I love in truth—and not only I, but also all who know and understand the truth—2 because of the truth which lives in our hearts and will be with us forever:3 Grace, mercy, and peace (inner calm, a sense of spiritual well-being) will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, in truth and love.
4 I was greatly delighted to find some of your children walking in truth, just as we have been commanded by the Father.5 Now I ask you, lady, not as if I were writing to you a new commandment, but [simply reminding you of] the one which we have had from the beginning, that we [b]love and unselfishly seek the best for one another.6 And this is love: that we walk in accordance with His commandments and are guided continually by His precepts. This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, that you should [always] walk in love.
7 For many deceivers [heretics, posing as Christians] have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge and confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh (bodily form). This [person, the kind who does this] is the deceiver and the [c]antichrist [that is, the antagonist of Christ].8 Watch yourselves, so that you do not lose what we have accomplished together, but that you may receive a full and perfect reward [when He grants rewards to faithful believers].9 Anyone who runs on ahead and does not remain in the doctrine of Christ [that is, one who is not content with what He taught], does not have God; but the one who continues to remain in the teaching [of Christ does have God], he has both the Father and the Son.10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching [but diminishes or adds to the doctrine of Christ], do not receive or welcome him into your house, and do not give him a greeting or any encouragement;11 for the one who gives him a greeting [who encourages him or wishes him success, unwittingly] participates in his evil deeds.12 I have many things to write to you, but I prefer not to do so with paper (papyrus) and black (ink); but I hope to come to you and speak with you [d]face to face, so that [e]your joy may be complete.
13 The children of your elect (chosen) sister greet you.
2 John 1:1Many scholars believe the words “lady and her children” refer to a specific woman and her family; some others view the words “lady and her children” as the personification of a church and its members.
2 John 1:5The key to understanding this and other statements about love is to know that this love (the Greek word agape) is not so much a matter of emotion as it is of doing things for the benefit of another person, that is, having an unselfish concern for another and a willingness to seek the best for another.
2 John 1:7John is not referring to the Antichrist of Revelation, but is using the term generally of anyone who is opposed to the cause of Christ.
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