BibliaTodo Commentaries


Fleming Don Bridgeway Bible
2 John 1

1. The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth;

2. For the truth's sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us for ever.

3. Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.

4. I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father.

5. And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another.

6. And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.

7. For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

8. Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.

9. Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.

10. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:

11. For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

12. Having many things to write unto you, I would not write with paper and ink: but I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face, that our joy may be full.

13. The children of thy elect sister greet thee. Amen.

2 John 1

CONTENTS OF THE LETTER The ‘elect lady’ whom John mentions in his opening greeting could have been an individual known to John, but the expression seems more likely to refer to a church. If this is so, ‘her children’ would be the church members. Whoever they were, John addresses them in a way that shows the respect and love he has for them. They are united with John and with Christians everywhere through the truth of Christ that they hold in common and the love of Christ in which they all share. Truth and love are inseparable from the gospel by which they have been saved, and do not change to suit current trends and popular philosophies (1-3). John is thankful that his readers have maintained their loyalty to the gospel, but he wants them to remember that they must also maintain their Christian love. Those who claim to live according to God’s truth will show it in their love for one another and in their obedience to God’s commands (4-6). In this way they will strengthen themselves and so will not be easily deceived by those who give wrong teaching concerning Christ. One error that some of the travelling preachers were spreading around was that Jesus Christ did not have a truly human body. John warns that if they are allowed to preach such things in the church, their erroneous ideas will soon destroy all the good work that the church has done (7-8). The false teachers think that their teaching about Jesus is advanced, but actually it destroys all hope of salvation. By refusing to accept Jesus Christ as the Son of God who became a man, they are refusing God himself, for no one can have the Father without having the Son. Christians must not listen to such teaching nor give any encouragement or help to the teachers (9-11). As John hopes to visit the believers soon, he will write no more at present. The group of Christians from which John writes (possibly the church in Ephesus) joins him in sending greetings (12-13).

CONTENTS OF THE LETTER Condemnation of the false teachers (1-16) Jude had intended to write about more general matters concerning the Christian faith, but when he heard of the activities of evil teachers he changed his mind. He now feels that it is more important to encourage the Christians to hold firmly to the truth they first heard and to fight against those who want to destroy it. Punishment is certain for those who distort the true teaching of the gospel in order to give themselves the freedom to practise immorality (1-4). People may belong to a Christian community, or even be known as Christian teachers, but that is no guarantee of their salvation. If they do not truly believe, they will suffer God’s condemnation. Three examples are given to illustrate this fact. First, all the people of Israel were delivered from Egypt, but those who did not believe were destroyed (5; cf. Num 14:26-35). Second, angels have high status, but those who rebelled met a terrifying judgment (6; cf. Gen 6:1-4). Third, Sodom and Gomorrah were great cities, but they were destroyed because of their immorality (7; cf. Gen 19:12-25). Controlling neither their passions nor their words, these false teachers commit immoral sexual acts and insult both God and his angels. Yet the chief angel himself refused to condemn the devil with insulting words (even though he may have had good cause to), for he would not claim for himself the authority of judgment that belongs to God alone (8-9). (This story is taken from the apocryphal ‘Assumption of Moses’. Apocryphal writings are certain recognized books written in the era of the Old Testament but not included in the Old Testament. They are grouped into two collections, the Apocrypha and the Pseudepigrapha.) The ungodly teachers have no understanding of spiritual things, but act according to their physical instincts, like animals. They have Cain’s jealousy, Balaam’s greed, and Korah’s spirit of rebellion against authority (10-11; cf. Gen 4:3-8; Num 16:1-50; Num 22:1-40; Num 25:1-9; Num 31:16). Their behaviour at Christian fellowship meals is a disgrace. Like rainless clouds they bring no good; like fruitless trees they are useless and should be destroyed; like the restless sea they are without control; like falling stars they will be swallowed up in the darkness, the darkness of God’s eternal punishment (12-13). Enoch’s prophecy confirms the certain punishment of people characterized by such ungodliness. Whether they criticize or flatter, whether they grumble or boast, their actions are always motivated solely by what is going to benefit them personally (14-16). (The prophecy of Enoch is taken from the apocryphal ‘Book of Enoch’.)

Encouragement to Christians (17-25) The Christians are reminded of the words of the apostles. Years earlier they had warned that ungodly teachers would trouble the church, leading people into sin and causing divisions (17-19). The way to avoid their evil influence is to learn more of the Christian truth, to be more sincere in prayer, to grow in devotion to God, to hate sin in all its forms, and to help those affected by the false teachers to find new life in God (20-23). Jude closes his letter on a note of magnificent praise to the only God and Saviour. God is supreme in majesty and authority, and the same power by which he saved Christians in the first place is still available to them. God is able to keep his people safe and pure amid the destructive corruption of the false teaching, and one day bring them triumphantly into his heavenly presence (24-25).

King James Version

This is the 1769 King James Version of the Holy Bible (also known as the Authorized Version). "Public Domain"