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, 2 because of the truth that abides in us and will be with us forever:
3 Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ the Father’s Son, in truth and love.
4 I rejoiced greatly to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as we were commanded by the Father. 5 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. 6 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. 7 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. 8 Watch yourselves, so that you may not lose what we have worked for, but may win a full reward. 9 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. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, 11 for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.
12 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.
13 The children of your elect sister greet you.
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Questions to Consider:
1. Which genre of biblical literature (epistle, prophecy, history, etc.) is the book of 2 John? Who wrote this book, and to whom was it written? What are two major topics this book deals with in verses 5-6 and in verses 7-11?
2. How many times does the word “truth” appear in this passage? In light of the topic of verses 7-11, why does John place so much emphasis on truth in verses 1-4? Which word, used twice in verse 7, stands in direct contrast to the word “truth” and serves as a pivot point into the topic of verses 7-11?
3. What is the “commandment” in verses 5-6? How does verse 6 say that we demonstrate our love for God? What can we learn about obedience to God from these verses? Can you think of any ways you have shown your love for God today by obeying Him?
4. Which false teaching was John speaking against in verse 7? What does verse 9 say about people who “go on ahead” of what the Bible says Christianity is and believe (or teach) false doctrine? Are they saved? Compare verse 9 to Galatians 1:6-9.
5. What does verse 10 say we should not do when we come across a false teacher? Why? (11) Think about how verses 10-11 might apply today with regard to attending conferences headlined by, or using materials written by, false teachers, following false teachers on social media, re-posting or retweeting false teachers, etc. How is this giving a “greeting” to false teachers and taking part in their wicked works?
Often, when someone is told she’s following a false teacher, she will say, “But she says some good things, too! I just chew up the meat and spit out the bones.” Is this line of thinking supported by verses 10-11 and passages such as Romans 16:17?