Walk According to His Commandments
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.(A)
13 The children of your elect (chosen) sister greet you.
- 2 John 1:1 Many 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 1:5 The 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 1:7 John is not referring to the Antichrist of Revelation, but is using the term generally of anyone who is opposed to the cause of Christ.
- 2 John 1:12 Lit mouth to mouth.
- 2 John 1:12 One early ms reads our.
You Walk in the Truth
1 The elder [of the church addresses this letter] to the beloved and esteemed Gaius, whom I love in truth.
2 Beloved, I pray that in every way you may succeed and prosper and be in good health [physically], just as [I know] your soul prospers [spiritually]. 3 For I was greatly pleased when [some of the] brothers came [from time to time] and testified to your [faithfulness to the] truth [of the gospel message], that is, how you are walking in truth. 4 I have no greater joy than this, to hear that my [spiritual] children are living [their lives] in the truth.
5 Beloved, you are acting faithfully in what you are providing for the brothers, and especially when they are strangers; 6 and they have testified before the church of your love and friendship. You will do well to [assist them and] send them on their way in a manner worthy of God. 7 For these [traveling missionaries] went out for the sake of the Name [of Christ], accepting nothing [in the way of assistance] from the Gentiles. 8 So we ought to support such people [welcoming them as guests and providing for them], so that we may be fellow workers for the truth [that is, for the gospel message of salvation].
9 I wrote something to the church; but Diotrephes, who loves to put himself first, does not accept what we say and refuses to recognize my authority. 10 For this reason, if I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, unjustly accusing us with wicked words and unjustified charges. And not satisfied with this, he refuses to receive the [missionary] brothers himself, and also forbids those who want to [welcome them] and puts them out of the church.
11 Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but [imitate] what is good. The one who practices good [exhibiting godly character, moral courage and personal integrity] is of God; the one who practices [or permits or tolerates] evil has not seen God [he has no personal experience with Him and does not know Him at all].(A) 12 Demetrius has received a good testimony and commendation from everyone—and from the truth [the standard of God’s word] itself; and we add our testimony and speak well of him, and you know that our testimony is true.
15 Peace be to you. The friends [here] greet you. Greet the friends [personally] by name.