Author: The Book of 2 John does not directly name its author.  The tradition from the earliest days of the church states that the author was  the apostle John. There have been various conjectures over the years that  another disciple of Christ named John may have been responsible for this letter.  However, all the evidence points to the author as John the beloved disciple who  also wrote the Gospel of John.

Date of Writing: The  Book of 2 John would most likely have been written at about the same time as  John’s other letters, 1 and 3 John, between A.D. 85-95.

Purpose  of Writing: The Book of 2 John is an urgent plea that the readers of  John’s letter should show their love for God and His son Jesus by obeying the  commandment to love each other and live their lives in obedience to the  Scriptures. The Book of 2 John is also a strong warning to be on the lookout for  deceivers who were going about saying that Christ had not actually risen in the  flesh.

Key Verses: 2 John 6: “And  this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from  the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.”

2 John 8-9: “Watch out that  you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully.  Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not  have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the  Son.”

Brief Summary: The Book of 2 John is addressed to  “the chosen lady and her children.” This could either have been a lady of  important standing in the church or a code which refers to the local church and  its congregation. In those days when Christians were being persecuted such coded  salutations were often used.

The Book of 2 John is largely concerned  with an urgent warning concerning deceivers who were not teaching the exact  doctrine of Christ and who maintained that Jesus did not actually rise in the  flesh but only spiritually. John is very anxious that true believers should be  aware of these false teachers and have nothing to do with  them.

Connections: John describes love not as an  emotion or feeling, but as obedience to the commandments of God. Jesus  reiterated the importance of the commandments, especially the “first and  greatest commandment,” love for God (Deuteronomy  6:5), and the second, love for one another (Matthew  22:37-40; Leviticus  19:18). Far from abolishing the Old Testament law of God, Jesus came to  fulfill it by providing the means of its fulfillment in  Himself.

Practical Application: It is extremely  important that we check everything we see, hear, and read that claims to be  “Christian” with the Scriptures. This cannot be too strongly emphasized because  one of Satan’s greatest weapons is deceit. It is very easy to be taken in by a  new and exciting doctrine that appears to be based on Scripture but which, if  examined closely, is in fact a departure from the Word of God. If what appears  to be happening does not line up explicitly with Scripture, then this is false  and not of the Spirit, and we should have nothing to do with it.

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