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1) [This is being written by] the elder to the lady chosen [by God], and to her children [Note: The terms Alady@ and Achildren@ here refer to a congregation and the Christians who belong to it. See I Peter 5:13; II John 13], whom I love in the truth. [Note: This phrase probably means Awhom I truly love@]. And I am not the only one [to love you], but all those [other congregations] who know the truth [of God], also love you. 2) [We all love you] because of the truth which continues to live in our hearts and will be with us forever. 3) Unearned favor, mercy and peace will be with us from God, the Father, and from Jesus Christ, the Father=s Son, in truth and love [i.e., truth and love will accompany the other blessings].

4) I was very happy when I learned that my children [i.e., members of the congregation there] are living in [harmony with the] truth, just as we have been commanded to do by the Father. 5) And now I ask you, lady [See verse 1], not as though writing a new commandment to you, but [I wanted to remind you of] one that we had [heard] from the beginning [of Christ=s ministry]: [It is] that we should love one another. 6) And this is [the true meaning of] love: That we should live in obedience to God=s commandments. And this is the commandment, just as you heard from the beginning, that you should live in it [i.e., live a life of love].

7) For many deceivers have begun circulating in the world; they are those who do not confess that Jesus Christ has come [to earth] in a physical body. Such a person is the deceiver and the antichrist [See I John 2:18f]. 8) Pay close attention to yourselves, so that you do not lose what we [Note: Some Greek manuscripts say Ayou@] worked for [i.e., the spiritual blessings you have acquired], but [continue faithful] so that you will receive a full reward. [See Luke 12:47-48; James 3:1; Matt. 20:1-15]. 9) Every person who does not continue to follow the teaching of Christ, but goes beyond it, does not have God [in his life]. [But], the person who continues to follow in the teaching [of Christ] has both the Father and the Son [in his life]. 10) If anyone comes to you [i.e., to your meetings] who does not bring this teaching [about Christ], you should not welcome him into your home or give him [any] greetings [i.e., suggesting approval or endorsement]. 11) For the person who greets him [with approval] participates in his evil deeds [i.e., in his false teaching].

12) I have many [more] things to write to you about, but will not do so with paper and ink, since I hope to visit you [soon] and speak to you in person, so that our joy may be complete.

13) The children [i.e., members] of your chosen sister [church] send you their greetings. [See verse 1].

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Copyright 1994 by William E. Paul.

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