Here we have a letter to a lady and her godly family, towards whom John felt a fervent Christian affection. Her name we do not know, nor is it of any consequence, for the epistle will suit any believing household.
2 John 1:1, 2
John in his private letter does not mention that he is an apostle, but writes more familiarly as an elder of the church. The lady to whom he wrote was known to many, and beloved by all who loved the truth. The best and purest love arises out of common attachment to the gospel. Happy is that household which has gained the love of the saints by its zeal for God.
2 John 1:3
Such a blessing may the Lord pronounce on this family, and we shall be rich indeed.
2 John 1:4
The venerable old mans heart was more comforted by seeing family religion than by all else below the skies. How good and how pleasant it is to see a household loving the Lord.
2 John 1:5
John harps sweetly on this string. Being so aged a man none would misunderstand his affectionate words.
2 John 1:6
Obedience to Christ is love. “Be ye holy” is the most ancient rubric of the church; all lovers of God obey it.
2 John 1:7
The world is bad enough, but deceivers come into it from Satan, and try to make it worse by their errors. Modern scepticism is by some praised and petted, but it is to be abhorred by all who abide in the truth.
2 John 1:8
Faithful ministers fear lest their converts should disappoint them by not remaining firm in the truth. If they go over to error their ministers have laboured in vain.
2 John 1:10, 11
As he who aids and abets a thief cannot be an honest man, so he who encourages a false teacher is a sharer in his crime.
2 John 1:12
There are words of warning which are better spoken than written. In some cases it is wise even to make a journey to warn friends against insidious error.
Oh that near the cross abiding,
We may to the Saviour cleave!
Nought with him our hearts dividing,
All for him content to leave.
May we still the cross discerning,
To our Lord for comfort go;
And new wonders daily learning,
More of Jesus’ fulness know.
Walk in the light, so shalt thou know
That fellowship of love
His Spirit only can bestow,
Who reigns in light above.
Walk in the light, and sin abhorr’d
Shall ne’er defile again;
The blood of Jesus Christ thy Lord
Shall cleanse from every stain.
Walk in the light, and thou shalt own
Thy darkness passed away;
Because that light hath on thee shone,
In which is perfect day.