I love all of you in the truth.[c] Also, all those who know the truth love you. 2 We love you because of the truth—the truth that lives in us and will be with us forever.
3 Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us from God the Father and from his Son, Jesus Christ. And may we have these blessings in truth and love.
4 I was very happy to learn about some of your children. I am happy that they are following the way of truth, as the Father commanded us. 5 And now, dear lady, I tell you: We should all love each other. This is not a new command. It is the same command we have had from the beginning. 6 And loving means living the way he commanded us to live. And God’s command is this: that you live a life of love. You have heard this command from the beginning.
7 Many false teachers are in the world now. They refuse to say that Jesus Christ came to earth and became a man. Anyone who refuses to say this is a false teacher and an enemy of Christ. 8 Be careful! Do not lose the reward that you[d] have worked for. Be careful, so that you will receive your full reward.
9 A person must continue to follow only the teaching of Christ. If he goes beyond Christ’s teaching, then he does not have God. But if he continues following the teaching of Christ, then he has both the Father and the Son. 10 If someone comes to you, but does not bring this teaching, then do not accept him into your house. Do not welcome him. 11 If you accept him, you are helping him with his evil work.
12 I have much to say to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to come visit you. Then we can be together and talk. That will make us very happy. 13 The children of your chosen sister[e] send you their love.
1Elder This is probably John the apostle. “Elder” means an older man. It can also mean a special leader in the church (as in Titus 1:5).
1lady This might mean a woman. Or, in this letter, it might mean a church. If it is a church, then “her children” would be the people of the church.
1truth The truth or “Good News” about Jesus Christ that joins all believers together.
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