Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on 2 John 1:2-11

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The truth that remains in us - 2 John 1:2

the truth that remains in us. Truth is a significant theme in John's writings (see Key Themes above). Truth is possessed and given by the Holy Spirit (see note on 1 Jn. 2:20), who is the truth himself (see notes on 1 Jn. 4:6; 5:6; 3 Jn. 12; Jn. 14:17; 15:26; 16:13) and 'lives or remains in us.'Truth is also something to be practiced, God's standards or will embodied in community (see notes on 1 Jn. 1:6; 2:21; 3:18; 2 Jn. 4; 3 Jn. 3-4; Jn. 3:21; 8:32; 14:15, 23; 15:10, 14). Truth is also God's presence, which enables a Christian to become like God (see notes on 1 Jn. 1:8; 2:4, 21; Jn. 1:14, 17; 4:23-24; 8:32; 16:7; 17:17, 19). Truth can also refer to how things are when things line up with God's wisdom (see notes on 1 Jn. 2:8; Jn. 5:33; 8:40, 44-46). And, truth can refer to the gospel and the eternal life it brings to those who believe it (see notes on 1 Jn. 3:19; 2 Jn. 1-3; 3 Jn. 1, 8; Jn. 14:6; 16:13; 17:17; 18:37).

Grace, mercy, and peace - 2 John 1:3

grace, mercy, and peace. The phrase "mercy and peace" was a Jewish blessing (see note on Gal. 6:16), but Christians added the Greek greeting "grace" expressing both God grace in the gospel and its extension to the nations (see notes on 1 Tim. 1:2; 2 Tim. 1:2; Jude 2). John's identification of Jesus as "the Father's Son" is a distinct emphasis of his Christology.

Walking in truth - 2 John 1:4

walking in truth. See WLC 144. John says he rejoiced greatly, a rare word in the NT (used only twelve times, see note on 3 Jn. 3). Paul talks about his joy in the same way eight times (see notes on Rom. 16:19; 1 Cor. 16:17; 2 Cor. 7:9, 16; Phil. 1:18; 2:17; 4:10; Col. 1:24). The phrase "walking in truth" is a biblical phrase describing true wisdom, that is, "walking in the ways of the LORD" (see notes on 2 Kgs. 20:3). The point is that knowing the truth always goes with doing the truth. One cannot have one without the other (see notes on 1 Jn. 1:6-7; 2:6, 11). People who have the truth, as John understands "the truth," have Christ and, therefore, belong to God (see note on 1 Jn. 2:4).

John's Commendation - 2 John 1:4

Commendation for Faithfulness. John expresses his joy that some of the members of the church are walking in the truth, that is, the command to love each other. Those who had left their congregation (see note on 1 John 2:19) were still disrupting the fellowship between church members and with their pastor, John.

Command to Love - 2 John 1:5-6

Command to Love. John focuses on Christ's command to love one another (see notes on 1 Jn. 2:7-8). new commandment, from the beginning. See notes on 1 Jn. 3:11, 23; 4:7, 11-12. The love command is not new, because it goes back to the Law (see note on Lev. 19:18). The example of Jesus' life and death, however, is the ultimate expression of this law (see notes on Jn. 13:34-35). Here, the beginning probably refers to Jesus' earthly ministry (see note on 1 Jn. 2:7). It could also refer to the time John's readers first heard the gospel. In 1 and 2 John, to love one another means to maintain fellowship in the teachings and practices of the Christian community, unlike the opponents who departed. This is not merely showing affection, but living with one another in a way that lines up with God's will, revealed in the Scriptures and by Christ's example.

Policy Against Housing False Teachers - 2 John 1:7-11

These verses are the core of the letter and reveal John's reason for writing. John's readers must be careful who they support with their hospitality, for deceivers, who deny Christ's full humanity, are leading other people astray as they travel around to teach (see notes on 1 Jn. 1:8; 2:26; 3:7; 4:2-3, 6).

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