Do Not Help False Teachers
1From the Elder.# This is probably John the apostle. “Elder” means an older man. It can also mean a special leader in the church (as in Titus 1:5).
To the chosen lady# This might mean a woman. Or, in this letter, it might mean a church. If it is a church, then “her children” would be the people of the church. and to her children:
I love all of you in the truth.# The truth or “Good News” about Jesus Christ that joins all believers together. Also, all those who know the truth love you. 2We love you because of the truth—the truth that lives in us and will be with us forever.
3Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us from God the Father and from his Son, Jesus Christ. And may we have these blessings in truth and love.
4I was very happy to learn about some of your children. I am happy that they are following the way of truth, as the Father commanded us. 5And now, dear lady, I tell you: We should all love each other. This is not a new command. It is the same command we have had from the beginning. 6And loving means living the way he commanded us to live. And God’s command is this: that you live a life of love. You have heard this command from the beginning.
7Many false teachers are in the world now. They refuse to say that Jesus Christ came to earth and became a man. Anyone who refuses to say this is a false teacher and an enemy of Christ. 8Be careful! Do not lose the reward that you# Some Greek copies read “we.” have worked for. Be careful, so that you will receive your full reward.
9A person must continue to follow only the teaching of Christ. If he goes beyond Christ’s teaching, then he does not have God. But if he continues following the teaching of Christ, then he has both the Father and the Son. 10If someone comes to you, but does not bring this teaching, then do not accept him into your house. Do not welcome him. 11If you accept him, you are helping him with his evil work.
12I have much to say to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to come visit you. Then we can be together and talk. That will make us very happy. 13The children of your chosen sister# Sister of the “lady” in verse 1. This might be another woman or another church. send you their love.
2 John 1