Introduction: “Truth” is not a valued commodity today – at least in
the United States. The media and the educational system confuse
tolerance with truth. God teaches us tolerance through His example
of allowing sin to run its course. But, God never confuses
tolerance with truth. When it comes to salvation, John teaches us
that there is one truth, not many different beliefs that are “true”
for the individual who holds them. Instead, John has some hard
advice on supporting those who teach something other than objective
truth. Let’s dive in to our study of the Bible and learn more!

  1. The Lady and Her Children

    1. Read 2 John 1:1-2. John is the “Elder.” Do you think he
      knows the “chosen lady?” (Yes. This would be someone (or
      some group) who would know that John was the “Elder.”)

      1. Who is the lady? (John also wrote Revelation in
        which he refers ( Revelation 12:1)to the true church
        as a woman. Perhaps this is a church. It could also
        be a prominent woman. Since this is how the Greeks
        would translate the name “Martha,” this could also
        refer to a woman named Martha. We just don’t know.)

        1. Does it matter whether John is writing to a
          church or to a specific woman? (Since John
          refers to “her children,” we know he intended
          his words for a group, so I do not think this

      2. Does the letter say how this lady was chosen? (No.)

        1. How do you think she was chosen?

        2. Does John mean “chosen of God?” (I’m sure she
          was chosen by God, but I doubt that is what
          John means. Presumably they were all chosen by
          God. According to Wuest’s Word Studies, this
          term in Greek is the feminine form of the Greek
          word meaning “lord, master.” So, if John is
          referring to an individual, this could be a
          prominent member of society.)

      3. John keeps repeating the word “truth.” Why would
        John say he loves her in the “truth?” Are honest
        people more lovable? Don’t we tend to love rogues?
        (When someone has a world-view like yours, you feel
        a kinship to them. We feel close to those who share
        our spiritual views. As we will see later, John
        values those who know the truth.)

    2. Read 2 John 1:3. Would you like “grace, mercy and peace?

      1. Who is giving those things? (John tells us that God
        the Father and Jesus are the source of these
        blessings on us.)

      2. Do they come automatically? Why does John write
        “will be with us in truth and love?” (God’s grace,
        mercy and peace come to those who stay in the truth.
        They experience the special love of God. God shows
        love to everyone, but He has special regard for His
        faithful followers.)

      3. Did Jesus make peace for us with the Father? (Jesus
        reconciled a Holy God with sinners (like us) when He
        covered us with His blood. See Colossians 1:19-20.)

  2. The Children

    1. Read 2 John 1:4. If you have children, are all of them
      walking in the truth? Does this lady have a familiar
      situation, not all her children are walking as they
      should? (Perhaps that is what it means. It could also
      mean that John has come across some of her children in
      his work and those he has seen are walking in truth.)

      1. How important is it to walk in the truth? Does our
        salvation by grace mean that we can forget
        obedience? (John repeats a theme we learned from 1
        John. Grace does not eliminate the requirement for
        obedience. God, John says, “commanded us” to walk
        in truth.)

      2. Does it give you joy when your children walk in
        God’s way?

        1. What can you do if they do not?

    2. Read 2 John 1:5-6. How long have we been required to
      walk in the truth? (From the beginning. Obedience is a
      requirement which has never changed.)

      1. What is the connection between obedience and love?
        What is the connection between walking in the truth
        and love?(We show love to God and love to others
        when we follow God’s commands.)

        1. When your children obey you, does that show
          that they love you?

          1. How about the reverse: if your children
            love you will they obey you?

          2. Is this the answer to what we should do
            for children who are not walking in God’s
            way – that we should show love to them?

  3. Deceivers

    1. Read 2 John 1:7. What is the issue on which deception is
      waiting? (Whether Jesus has come in the flesh.)

      1. Why is this part of our belief so important? (This
        is the incarnation – God took human form and lived
        with us. Understanding that Jesus was fully God and
        fully human is essential to a Christian’s
        understanding of salvation. Our Creator lived a
        perfect life on our behalf. When He died in our
        place, we symbolically died with Him. When He rose
        from the grave, then we were given the opportunity
        for eternal life.)

      2. Is this why John kept talking about the “truth” in
        the beginning of his letter?

    2. Read 2 John 1:8. Can we lose our salvation? Or, is it
      “once saved, always saved?” (We can lose out.)

      1. Why does John refer to our salvation as something
        for which we “worked.” Something for which we may
        “be rewarded fully?” That hardly sounds like grace!
        (John believes in righteousness by faith. 1 John
        2:1-2. It is a free gift from Jesus. But, John also
        teaches that we must walk in the light. 1 John 1:7.
        He teaches us that if we truly know God, we will
        want to obey God’s commands. 1 John 3:4-6. It is
        work to obey. It is a work which we must undertake –
        and for which we will apparently be rewarded.)

    3. Read 2 John 1:9. Notice the phrase “runs ahead.”
      Generally, those at the head of the race win. Why would
      running ahead be a bad thing? (We see this all the time.
      The “smart guys” have some new light. They have some
      “progressive” understanding that we never had before.
      Beware of this kind of teaching. If it denies the
      incarnation of Jesus, then it is false teaching.)

    4. Read 2 John 1:10-11. Almost all churches have the issue
      of whether their seminary (and their colleges) have
      professors which teach doctrines contrary to the
      teachings of the church. What does John suggest about
      this? (We should tell them to teach somewhere else. We
      should not take false teachers “into our house” or
      “welcome” them. Why? Because then we “share in [their]
      wicked work.”)

      1. What about academic freedom?

      2. What about the importance of the academy to explore
        new knowledge and understanding? (I doubt John is
        against study and learning. He is against aiding
        false teaching. When this becomes clear, we need to
        avoid supporting false teaching.)

  4. E-Mail

    1. Read 2 John 1:12. Would John want to use e-mail instead
      of paper and ink? Is John “green?”

      1. What is John’s goal in meeting face-to-face? (It
        will bring joy. There is something about personal
        meetings that is much better than writing. Years
        ago, my wife suggested the household rule that I
        have her check all of my e-mail to church members
        before I sent it. Why? I would be joking about
        something and members would take it seriously and be
        insulted. When we meet face to face, it helps to
        avoid misunderstandings.)

    2. Read 2 John 1:13. Does this suggest the “chosen lady”
      and her “chosen sister” are churches? (I tend to think
      they are churches, perhaps house churches, rather than
      just a person.)

    3. Friend, have you accepted the truth that Jesus came in
      the flesh, died on your behalf, and rose from the dead so
      that you might have eternal life? What a wonderful
      teaching, what a wonderful promise! If you have not
      accepted it, why not give your heart to Jesus right now?

  5. Next week: Power Struggle.