Books of Bible
Summary of John's Second Epistle
By H. A. (Buster) Dobbs
I. Introduction (1:1-2).
A. The author of the letter (1:1)
1. Identified as "the elder" (1:1).
a. This may not refer to the office of elder or presbyter, but
b. John does not identify himself in any of his letters.
c. He often refers to himself as "the disciple whom Jesus
d. John outlived all the rest of the apostles so it would be
natural for him to stress his great age.
2. The style of the letter is so much like that of the gospel of
John we can be sure that the same man wrote both books.
There is no doubt that John the apostle wrote the gospel of
John. Therefore, we are sure he wrote this book.
B. The letter was written to a female disciple and her children
1. The word translated "lady" is from the Greek work "Kuria"
(English, Cyria). Sarah also means lady or princess.
2. This lady had children. Some think John wrote the letter to a
church which he called "the elect lady." A church would not
be said to have children.
B. John sincerely loved Cyria and her children (1:1).
C. She was also known and loved by all who have known the
1. It is possible to know the truth (John 8:32).
a. We may know the mystery of God, even Christ (Col. 2:2).
b. We can read and understand the revealed message, and
this enables us to know the writer's understanding of the
mystery of Christ (Eph. 3:4).
c. We can be filled with a knowledge of God's will in all
spiritual wisdom and understanding (Col. 1:9).
d. By considering what inspired men wrote, God gives us
understanding in all things (2 Tim. 2:7).
e. The Son of God gives us understanding (1 John 5:20).
2. Those who know and love the truth love and respect all
other lovers of truth.
D. The truth abides in the child of God and is eternal (1:2).
1. "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly" (Col. 3:16).
E. Paul wishes for this select lady grace, mercy and peace (1:3).
1. Those who have the revealed word dwelling in them have
grace, mercy and peace--favor, forgiveness and calm.
F. John was happy to find certain of the children of Cyria walking
in the truth (1:4).
1. The Father commands us to walk in truth (1:4).
2. Some of this dear lady's children were walking in the truth
(1:4). This may imply that some of her children were not
walking in truth. It is not uncommon for the children of pious
people to forsake the right way. The children of Job are an
II. Importance of Sound Doctrine (1:5-11).
A. The command for all who walk in the truth to love one
1. Those who love obey the commandments of God (1:6).
a. "If ye love me, ye will keep my commandments" (John
b. We love the children of God when we show our love for
God by keeping his commandments (1 John 5:2-3).
B. Warning against false teachers (1:7-11).
1. Many false teachers are in the world (1:7).
a. John had in mind especially those who denied that Jesus
Christ came in the flesh (1:7).
b. Such deniers are deceivers and antichrists (1:7).
2. Examine yourself to be sure you are walking in the truth and
will receive a full reward (1:8).
a. It is possible to lose the reward (1:8).
b. Reward means hire or wage.
3. Abiding in the teaching of Christ (1:9).
a. Teaching of Christ may mean what Christ taught, or
teaching about Christ.
b. If John means the true teaching about the nature and
being of Jesus, this would include his Lordship.
c. If Jesus is Lord of lords and King of kings, then he is to
be obeyed without question.
c. Right teaching about Jesus requires keeping his
commandments; keeping his commandments requires a
proper understanding of who is and what he has done.
4. It is possible to go beyond the teaching of Christ (1:9).
a. We must not go beyond the things that are written (1 Cor.
b. Those who go beyond what is written do not have God
c. Those who abide in the teaching have both the Father and
the Son (1:9).
5. Treatment of false teachers (1:10).
a. Do not receive false teachers into your house (1:10).
b. Give false teachers no greeting (1:10).
c. "Cease, my son, to hear instruction to err from the words
of knowledge" (Prov. 19:27).
d. We are not to do or say anything that would seem to
agree with and support things that are doctrinally wrong
e. If you wish a false teacher good success, you are a
partaker in his evil works (1:11). False teaching is an evil
work and not something to be treated lightly.
III. Conclusion (1:12-13).
A. John had many other things to say to this good lady (1:12).
1. He did not want to write with paper and ink (1:12).
2. He hoped to see her soon and speak face to face (1:12).
3. Such communication would make her joy full (1:12).
B. The children of Cyria's elect sister sent greetings (1:13).