2 John - Walk in Truth and Love

September 5, 2016 version


2 John is very similar in style to 1 and 3 John, as well as the Gospel of John. We don't know when it was written.


Pre-Nicene and Post-Nicene writers who refer to 2 John

Irenaeus (182-188 A.D.) Hilary of Poitiers (355-367/368 A.D.)
The Muratorian Canon (180-210 A.D.) mentions two letters of John Synopsis Scripturae Sacrae (350-370 A.D. or 5th century)
Origen (225-254 A.D.) says that 2 and 3 John are not accepted as genuine by some Cyril of Jerusalem (c.349-386 A.D.)
Dionysius of Alexandria (246-265 A.D.) Didymus the Blind (398 A.D.)
Eusebius of Caesarea (319-339/340 A.D.) Jerome (373-420 A.D.)
Athanasius (367 A.D.) Augustine of Hippo (388-430 A.D.)

1. Read 2 Jn. What are the key repeated phrases in the book?



2. In 2 Jon 1,13, who exactly is the elect lady?



3. There are different roles for people to fill in the church, and one role that might need more people is cheerleader. You do not need special talents, and a man can be just as good a cheerleader as a woman. You don't actually see the word "cheerleader" in the Bible, rather you see the word encourager. (so you can forget about buying that cheerleader outfit!) But by whatever name, it is a very important role in the church. What are different ways people try to encourage others or build up their self-esteem?



4. Why are some ways better than others?



5. In 2 J n1-4, what are at least four ways John encouraged this lady?



6. In 2 Jn 4-6, what are four things John emphasized?



7. In 2 Jn 5-6, in what ways do loving other believers and walking in obedience to God's commands relate to each other?



8. In 2 Jn 7 and 1 Jn 2:18; 4:1-3, what exactly is an antichrist? Is there just one or more than one?



9. In 2 Jn 7-11, one important thing in being on a team is not to help the wrong side. What are ways Christians can inadvertently help those who are advocates of other gods? Why do Christians do this?



10. What does not helping those against Christ have to do with being rewarded fully?




11. In 2 Jn 9, what exactly is running ahead, and how does that relate to not continuing in Christ?




12. In 2 Jn 9, does continuing give you the Father and Son, or does continuing demonstrate you already have the Father and Son?



13. In 2 Jn 10, what is a "home" here?



14: In 2 Jn 8, 1 Cor 3:12-15, what kinds of rewards do we have?



15. In 2 Jn 11, how can a people help heretics?



16. In 2 Jn 12a, when is it best to communicate in person vs. in paper (or writing)?



17. In 2 Jn 12, John did not say his joy would be grater. Rather, that his joy would be complete. What did John mean?



18. In 2 Jn 13, how should churches, church leaders, and Christians send greetings to each other today, and why is this important?


2 John - Walk in Truth and Love - some brief answers


1. Read 2 Jn. What are the key repeated phrases in the book?
A: They are walk in truth, and love each other.

2. In 2 Jon 1,13, who exactly is the elect lady?
A: It could be a particular woman, a house church leader, or a local church. It could not be the church universal, because 2 John 11 speaks of her elect sister too.

3. There are different roles for people to fill in the church, and one role that might need more people is cheerleader. You do not need special talents, and a man can be just as good a cheerleader as a woman. You don't actually see the word "cheerleader" in the Bible, rather you see the word encourager. (so you can forget about buying that cheerleader outfit!) But by whatever name, it is a very important role in the church. What are different ways people try to encourage others or build up their self-esteem?
A: Saying they are handsome/pretty, intelligent, athletic, fun to be with, or circumstances about them that can change. Or you can encourage them with things that won't change.

4. Why are some ways better than others?
A: &&&

5. In 2 J n1-4, what are at least four ways John encouraged this lady?
A: She was elect, truth lived in her, she walked in the truth, 4) Some of her children walked in the truth.

6. In 2 Jn 4-6, what are four things John emphasized?
A: They are:
Walk in the truth
Love one another
Walk in obedience to His commands.
Walk in love

7. In 2 Jn 5-6, in what ways do loving other believers and walking in obedience to God's commands relate to each other?
A: They relate in at least two ways. The second greatest commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself, so if you want to obey God, you need to choose to love your neighbor. Second, if you are walking in tune with God, and God loves people, you will want to love them too

8. In 2 Jn 7 and 1 Jn 2:18; 4:1-3, what exactly is an antichrist? Is there just one or more than one?
A: There is just one main antichrist at the end. But before then, and even back in John's time, there were many lesser antichrists. Someone has the spirit of antichrist if they are Jesus returned, or else if they want to be worshipped or followed instead of Christ. If someone wants to persist in sin, even if they are defiant about it, that does not necessarily mean they have the spirit of the antichrist.

9. In 2 Jn 7-11, one important thing in being on a team is not to help the wrong side. What are ways Christians can inadvertently help those who are advocates of other gods? Why do Christians do this?
A: I can understand being on the wrong side from sports. Once when I was playing basketball for the school team in seventh grade, I got in a jump ball with a player on the other team. the ref lined us up for a jump backwards. After the jump, I got the ball and shot, and made it. It was other team's basket. The other team beat us by one point.
Another time a Chinese friend of mine wanted me to drive her somewhere. so I did, without asking any questions, and it was to a fortune teller. I was not at all happy once I found that out. Another time, in college, a liberal Christian friend of mine asked to borrow my car, and I did not now to ask why. it turns out she took her roommate to have an abortion. So you can inadvertently help evil by simply doing what you are asked without asking any questions.
But foolish ignorance, like I had, is not the only way you can inadvertently work for the wrong side. Sometimes in the name of ecumenism, or a unity that is not based on Christ, Christians can compromise and pray with those who worship false gods, or even use Christian funds to build mosques and synagogues. Solomon built a great temple for God, but
A third way is by our silence, in "toning down" the gospel message, deliberately not mentioning certain parts, in order not to offend others.

10. What does not helping those against Christ have to do with being rewarded fully?
A: Christians receive rewards in heaven, and Paul warns us against loss of reward.

11. In 2 Jn 9, what exactly is running ahead, and how does that relate to not continuing in Christ?
A: If your desires and goals generally align with Godís, but you want to do thing show you want, in your own way, you are not following God. Godís will often includes patient waiting, loving others by accommodating them, and working together. In China there is a fable about two drunk men having a contest as to who could draw a snake faster. One guy was winning, and then in the extra time he put arms and legs on the snake, which disqualified him. An important part of drawing, or serving, is knowing when to pause or stop. Serving God is not just about the destination but also the journey.

12. In 2 Jn 9, does continuing give you the Father and Son, or does continuing demonstrate you already have the Father and Son?
A: 1 John 2:23 shows that it demonstrates we have the Father and the Son. If continuing was a prerequisite to getting the Father and the son, then no Christian would have the father and the Son until they died.

13. In 2 Jn 10, what is a "home" here?
A: A house is someone's place of their own, where they live. But houses were also where churches met. There is no qualification here that it would mean just one, and not the other also.

14: In 2 Jn 8, 1 Cor 3:12-15, what kinds of rewards do we have?
A: 1 Corinthians 3:12-15 shows that our works as a believer will be tested. If they were done for God we will receive a reward; otherwise they will be burnt up. 2 John 8 shows that we can either be rewarded fully, or else lose some of our reward.

15. In 2 Jn 11, how can a people help heretics?
A: People can provide money, housing, and other material help for heretics. For example, the liberal World Council of Churches was giving money to Robert Mugabe's guerilla group in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). Those guerillas were persecuting missionaries of churches that were members of the World Council of Churches.
People can also give approval to heretics. For example, democratic vice president Walter Mondale wrote, "Knowing of your congregation's deep involvement in the major social and constitutional issues of our country is a great inspiration to me" U.S. Vice President Walter Mondale in a letter of reference - for Rev. Jim Jones (of later Jonestown infamy) on 12/2/1978.

16. In 2 Jn 12a, when is it best to communicate in person vs. in paper (or writing)?
A: When a person is unfamiliar with you, or a person might not know how you meant something, it is often best to communicate in person. When you pose a question of problem to a person, and the person needs to think about a response, it is best to communicate in advance, in writing.

17. In 2 Jn 12, John did not say his joy would be greater. Rather, that his joy would be complete. What did John mean?
A: John had the sustained, firm joy in seeing his friends and fellow Christians in heaven forever. But John's joy would be complete if he could see them now. As Christians, do we long to spend time with other Christians in heaven, where they are healthy, young, and carefree? Do we long to fellowship with other believers on earth that you have not seen for a while?

18. In 2 Jn 13, how should churches, church leaders, and Christians send greetings to each other today, and why is this important?
A: We need to greet, fellowship with, and affirm other genuine Christian leaders often and publicly as a sign of our unity in Christ. Also, it is good to build relationships in case later they need to know that we love them if we need to correct or rebuke them.


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