Time to go onto 2 John! We begin by reading 2 John 1:1-6
It is only when we believe G-dly doctrine (i.e. The revelation that G-d has given to us in His Word) that we are going to be able to demonstrate the love of G-d to others. This is one of the reasons why the enemy (the antichrist) is against, and attacks, truth. Another thing that the enemy attacks is the divinity of Yeshua– that He truly is G-d among us. If we deny that Yeshua is G-d then we are not children of G-d and nor are we Yeshua’s disciples.
The spirit of the antichrist has been at work for the past 2000 years. However, the final end-time antichrist is going to rise as a global world leader and be revealed in the last days. This final world empire is going to be blasphemous in nature and full of deceit and falsehood. It is going to attack truth – primarily the identity of Yeshua as Messiah. Those who do not believe the truth concerning Messiah Yeshua are not going to be saved, nor used by G-d for His glorious purposes.
v1: The elder: The author of this book (most scholars believe it is John) refers to himself as ‘the elder’.
- Elect: This means (she has been) chosen by G-d.
- Lady: If the masculine form of this word had been used (here it is written in the feminine, hence translated ‘lady’) it would be a word showing great respect (e.g. ‘sir’). In the masculine it is a title given to one who is a ruler or a master over someone else. There is great debate among the commentators as to who this lady is. It could be referring to a lady who was alive at the time John wrote this letter, or it could be speaking about the church – written to a body of believers or called out ones.
- Her children: The ones who belong to this family or institution (the church).
- Love: Agape love i.e. sacrificial love. A sacrificial love is a love that involves giving. It is a love that is willing to suffer for the betterment of others.
- Known the truth: This is written in the perfect tense. This means that they came to know about the truth in the past, they are still committed to the truth now and they will continue to know it and be committed to it in the future (recognising it, acknowledging it, and implementing it in their lives).
v2: Forever: We are going to forever live according to the same truth that we accepted in the past and live in even now. Kingdom truth is perfect and does not need to ever change.
v3: Truth is the foundation which grace, mercy, and peace rest on.
- Grace…mercy…peace: They are related to one another. When we receive G-d’s grace it causes us to be merciful to others. Being merciful to others brings about healing and restoration in their lives (i.e. peace. Peace is related to the will of G-d).
- Father: A father is one who provides. G-d provides us with truth. Truth leads to us being a recipient of His grace and displaying His mercy. Being merciful to others establishes peace.
- L-rd Messiah Yeshua: The Father has provided for us by means of Yeshua.
- In truth and love: We receive the love of G-d by receiving the truth of G-d. G-d manifested His love to us through Yeshua’s work. Yeshua’s work on the cross releases G-d’s saving grace into the lives of those who call on His name. His mercy restores us and leads us to be at peace with Him. When we are in the truth of G-d we will demonstrate the love of G-d to others.
v4: I have found: A statement of discovery. He has found something out.
- Children: The elder is speaking about believers.
- Walking in truth: The evidence that they are walking in truth is seen by their love for others (2 John 1:5-6).
v5: Lady: John is speaking to either a specific woman or to the body of believers – the church.
- Not… a new commandment: This is a commandment G-d always intended for humanity to keep (from ‘the beginning’)
- From the beginning: According to tradition the same John who wrote the gospel of John also wrote the epistles of 1, 2 and 3 John. The reason why they state such a tradition is because of the language, the writing style (vocabulary, e.g. ‘in the beginning’), and many of the subjects used in the gospel of John as well as in the three epistles are unique to these four books. The doctrines emphasized in the gospel of John also manifest themselves in the three epistles.
- Love one another: Although we are saved by grace alone, through faith, we are also called to demonstrate the love of G-d to others. We are not saved by manifesting this love, but once we are saved this love is evidence or fruit of salvation. The truth of G-d manifests itself by us loving one another. When we are not walking in truth the outcome will be conflict. Only when we embrace Biblical truth (the doctrines of Scripture) are we going to understand what it means to love one another and that we have a responsibility to behave in that way.
v6: (The) love: Putting the definite article ‘the’ before ‘love’ (in the Greek) makes this love a very unique and special kind of love. This is the kind of love that is defined by G-d and not by the world.
- Walk according to His commandments: We understand love through the commandments of G-d. The law of Moses teaches us how to love, but it does not give us the capacity to love. The law teaches us what our responsibility toward G-d is, as well as what our responsibility towards others is. However, it is only through salvation and the Holy Spirit entering into a believer’s life that we are given power to love.
- From the beginning: This is the second time that he has emphasized ‘the beginning’. It was G-d’s love that caused Him to create the world. His love caused Him to put Adam in the garden of Eden where he had everything he needed.
- Walk: Walking speaks of a lifestyle, a behaviour. We are not saved by our behaviour, but our behaviour is never-the-less important to G-d and it carries with it eternal consequences and rewards (Roms 2:6, Rev 22:12). Although works do not save us, they are a testimony of our salvation to others.