2 John 1

2 John 1

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Greeting

The elder to the elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth, and not only I, but also all who know the truth, because of the truth that abides in us and will be with us forever:

Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ the Father’s Son, in truth and love.

Walking in Truth and Love

I rejoiced greatly to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as we were commanded by the Father. And now I ask you, dear lady—not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but the one we have had from the beginning—that we love one another. And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it. For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch yourselves, so that you may not lose what we have worked for, but may win a full reward. Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.

Final Greetings

Though I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink. Instead I hope to come to you and talk face to face, so that our joy may be complete.

The children of your elect sister greet you.

(ESV)


2 John 1 Commentary

by Hank Workman

2 words – spoken often and used quite a bit in today’s age but seldom practiced:  Truth and Love.

Almost like an endangered species, truth is sidelined.  People tell what they want others to hear.  They speak words that are ‘part of the story’ but not the whole.  Many times words are taken from context and used to another’s advantage.  True truth is hard to find at times.

Then there’s love.  The word is flippantly thrown here and there within conversations.  It’s tagged at the end of many a dialogue with one another.  We almost become saturated with the concept of love from the novel to the television show to songs on the radio.  Genuine love however is many times scarce to find.  The kind of love that is self-sacrificing; The love that is practiced with others in genuine care and concern.  Instead, it seems we look out for Number One above all else.

The Person of Jesus however is the absolute complete definition and physical manifestation of both these words.  He is truth and love.

In John’s second writing he speaks boldly toward these attributes of Believers.  We as followers of Christ must be marked by these words.  We not only are to be following the ways of Jesus in complete truth, but living that truth in all our dealings.  As Christ set the example of the highest attribute of love, the bar has been set to not love in word but in deed.  Love is to mark us.

This writing of John is brief.  Yet, the message here is a guideline for all of our days.  He tells us to walk in truth, obey God and deeply love one another.  3 statements tying together marking the character of a genuine follower of Christ.  Recommit in these moments to renew your own steadfastness to these qualities.


2 John 1 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

We read in 2 John a more traditional opening as it’s a letter written to a particular individual. However, we can assume this was written to a larger group of people as it probably would have been circulated among a congregation or a localized area of churches. The topic is the same issue that John tacked in his first writing – false teachers.

I was thinking today about how people in our current culture respond to warnings. It’s not very positive. Here in America, in the age of information and technology, there is an attitude of independence and self-reliance. “I don’t need to listen to you because I have ________.” Furthermore, the enemy has convinced this culture that warnings and drawing hard lines of truth are not loving, but hateful.

Love must stand the test of truth. If my first-grader asks to play in the street, and I tell her it’s fine, I’ve lied to her. I’ve led her astray. Though it may hurt her feelings for me to say no, my love is directed with the boundaries of truth. I know, at her age, that playing in the street is not worth the risk of death.

If we believe in love and true unity, then we must believe in truth. Any form of unity that lacks truth is counterfeit. People who miss this have no idea they have traded in the real thing for shallow sentimentalism. Doing whatever you want and forcing others to tolerate it is great for a while… until the consequences hit.

In this letter, John is firm with this woman about the false teachers that exist all around her. He is quick to remind her that others depend on her obedience to discern these false teachings. He stresses truth, obedience, and love. We must remember that true unconditional love that comes from Christ is not the same as tolerance. Tolerance means to tolerate. Not very loving, in my opinion. Real love will draw boundaries that are set upon truth.

I would rather exemplify love through Biblical boundaries than to simply tolerate someone.

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