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The People of the Kingdom

(Category 15 of 16)


page 1076

The Second Epistle of


“LET him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Cor. 10:12). These words
of the apostle Paul could well stand as a subtitle for John’s little epistle. The
recipients, a chosen lady and her children, were obviously standing. They were
walking in truth, remaining faithful to the commandments they had received from
the Father. John is deeply pleased to be able to commend them. But he takes nothing
for granted. Realizing that standing is just one step removed from falling, he
hesitates not at all to issue a reminder: “love one another” (v. 5). The apostle
admits that this is not new revelation, but he views it sufficiently important to
repeat. Loving one another, he stresses, is equivalent to walking according to
God’s commandments.
John indicates, however, that this love must be discerning. It is not a naive,
unthinking, open to anything and anyone kind of love. Biblical love is a matter of
choice; it is dangerous and foolish to float through life with undiscerning love.
False teachers abound who do not acknowledge Christ as having come in the
flesh. It is false charity to open the door to false teaching. We must have fellowship
with God. We must have fellowship with Christians. But we must not have fellowship
with false teachers.
The “elder” of verse 1 has been traditionally identified with the apostle John,
resulting in the Greek title Ioannou B, the “Second of John.”

page 1077

Greeting the Elect Lady



1 To the 1elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth, and not only I, but also all those who have known athe truth,
2 because of the truth which abides in us and will be with us forever:

3 aGrace, mercy, and peace will be with 1you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.

Walk in Christ’s Commandments

4 I arejoiced greatly that I have found some of your children walking in truth, as we received commandment from the Father.
5 And now I plead with you, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment to you, but that which we have had from the beginning: athat we love one another.
6 aThis is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that bas you

CHAPTER 1 References

1 aCol. 1:5
3 aRom. 1:7;
1 Tim. 1:2
1NU, M us
4 a1 Thess.
2:19, 20;
3 John 3, 4
5 a[John 13:34,
35; 15:12, 17];
1 John 3:11;
4:7, 11
6 aJohn 14:15;
1 John 2:5; 5:3
b1 John 2:24
7 a1 John 2:19;
4:1 b1 John
4:2 c1 John
8 aMark 13:9
bGal. 3:4 1NU
9 aJohn 7:16;
8:31; 1 John
2:19, 23, 24
1NU goes
10 a1 Kin.
13:16; Rom.
2 Thess. 3:6,
14; Titus 3:10
12 a3 John 13,
14 bJohn
13 a1 Pet. 5:13

2 JOHN 13

have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it.

Beware of Antichrist Deceivers

7 For amany deceivers have gone out into the world bwho do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. cThis is a deceiver and an antichrist.
8 aLook to yourselves, bthat 1we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward.
9 aWhoever 1transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.
10 If anyone comes to you and adoes not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him;
11 for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.

John’s Farewell Greeting

12 aHaving many things to write to you, I did not wish to do so with paper and ink; but I hope to come to you and speak face to face, bthat our joy may be full.
13 aThe children of your elect sister greet you. Amen.

The Third Epistle of


IN Third John the apostle encourages fellowship with Christian brothers. Following
his expression of love for Gaius, John assures him of his prayers for his
health and voices his joy over Gaius’s persistent walk in truth and for the manner
in which he shows hospitality and support for missionaries who have come to his
But not everyone in the church feels the same way. Diotrephes’ heart is one
hundred and eighty degrees removed from Gaius’s heart. He is no longer living in
love. Pride has taken precedence in his life. He has refused a letter John has written
for the church, fearing that his authority might be superseded by that of the
apostle. He also has accused John of evil words and refused to accept missionaries.
He forbids others to do so and even expels them from the church if they disobey
him. John uses this negative example as an opportunity to encourage Gaius
to continue his hospitality. Demetrius has a good testimony and may even be one
of those turned away by Diotrephes. He is widely known for his good character
and his loyalty to the truth. Here he is well commended by John and stands as a
positive example for Gaius.
The Greek titles of First, Second, and Third John are Ioannou A, B, and G. The
G is gamma, the third letter of the Greek alphabet; Ioannou G means the “Third of

page 1078

3 JOHN 1

Greeting to Gaius



1 To the beloved Gaius, awhom I love in truth:

2 Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.
3 For I arejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth.
4 I have no greater ajoy than to hear that bmy children walk in 1truth.

Gaius Commended for Generosity

5 Beloved, you do faithfully whatever you do for the brethren 1and for strangers,
6 who have borne witness of your love before the church. If you send them forward on their journey in a manner worthy of God, you will do well,
7 because they went forth for His name’s sake, ataking nothing from the Gentiles.
8 We therefore ought to areceive1

CHAPTER 1 References

1 a2 John 1
3 a2 John 4
4 a1 Thess.
2:19, 20;
2 John 4
b[1 Cor. 4:15] 1NU the truth
5 1NU and
especially for
7 a1 Cor. 9:12,
8 aMatt. 10:40;
Rom. 12:13;
Heb. 13:2;
1 Pet. 4:9 1NU
10 aProv. 10:8,
10 1talking
11 aPs. 34:14;
37:27; Rom.
1 Thess. 5:15;
1 Tim. 6:11;
2 Tim. 2:22
b[1 John 2:29;
3:10] c[1 John
3:10] 1NU, M
omit but
12 aActs 6:3;
1 Tim. 3:7
bJohn 19:35;
21:24 1testify
13 a2 John 12

such, that we may become fellow workers for the truth.

Diotrephes and Demetrius

9 I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence among them, does not receive us.
10 Therefore, if I come, I will call to mind his deeds which he does, aprating1 against us with malicious words. And not content with that, he himself does not receive the brethren, and forbids those who wish to, putting them out of the church.
11 Beloved, ado not imitate what is evil, but what is good. bHe who does good is of God, 1but he who does evil has not seen cGod.
12 Demetrius ahas a good testimony from all, and from the truth itself. And we also 1bear witness, band you know that our testimony is true.

Farewell Greeting

13 aI had many things to write, but I do not wish to write to you with pen and ink;
14 but I hope to see you shortly, and we shall speak face to face. Peace to you. Our friends greet you. Greet the friends by name.

page 492


Prayer in Time of Chastening

A Psalm of David. aTo bring to remembrance.

1 O LORD, do not arebuke me in Your wrath, Nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure!
2 For Your arrows pierce me deeply, And Your hand presses me down.

3 There is no soundness in my flesh Because of Your anger, Nor any health in my bones Because of my sin.
4 For my iniquities have gone over my head; Like a heavy burden they are too heavy for me.
5 My wounds are foul and festering Because of my foolishness.

6 I am 1troubled, I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long.
7 For my loins are full of inflammation, And there is no soundness in my flesh.
8 I am feeble and severely broken; I groan because of the turmoil of my heart.

9 Lord, all my desire is before You; And my sighing is not hidden from You.
10 My heart pants, my strength fails me; As for the light of my eyes, it also has gone from me.

PSALM 38 References

title aPs.
1 aPs. 6:1
6 1Lit. bent
11 aPs. 31:11;
15 a[Ps. 39:7] 1I wait for
17 aPs. 51:3
18 aPs. 32:5
18 b[2 Cor. 7:9,
10] 1anxiety
20 aPs. 35:12
21 aPs. 22:19;

11 My loved ones and my friends astand aloof from my plague, And my relatives stand afar off.
12 Those also who seek my life lay snares for me; Those who seek my hurt speak of destruction, And plan deception all the day long.

13 But I, like a deaf man, do not hear; And I am like a amute who does not open his mouth.
14 Thus I am like a man who does not hear, And in whose mouth is no response.

15 For 1in You, O LORD, aI hope; You will 2hear, O Lord my God.
16 For I said, “Hear me, lest they rejoice over me, Lest, when my foot slips, they exalt themselves against me.”

17 aFor I am ready to fall, And my sorrow is continually before me.
18 For I will adeclare my iniquity; I will be bin 1anguish over my sin.
19 But my enemies are vigorous, and they are strong; And those who hate me wrongfully have multiplied.
20 Those also awho render evil for good, They are my adversaries, because I follow what is good.

21 Do not forsake me, O LORD; O my God, abe not far from me!
22 Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation!




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