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2 John–Jude

2 John

Introduction

Second John warns against the same false teaching mentioned in 1 John. This letter, however, was addressed to “the elect lady and her children” (perhaps a local congregation), and focused on Christian hospitality. False teachers were using the kindness of Christians to gain influence within John’s congregations. John’s letter spoke of this danger and warned against opening one’s home to these destroyers of the faith. While the basic themes of 1 John—holding fast to truth, love, and obedience—are evident, there is the additional focus on what Christian hospitality is all about. Only when you find agreement on sound doctrine will you find meaningful fellowship. The letter was probably written by the apostle John in the late first century a.d.

Greeting

aThe elder to the elect lady and her children, bwhom I love in truth, and not only I, but also all who cknow dthe truth, ebecause of the truth that abides in us and will be with us forever:

fGrace, mercy, and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ the Father’s Son, in truth and love.

Walking in Truth and Love

gI rejoiced greatly to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as we were commanded by the Father. And now I ask you, dear lady—hnot as though I were writing you a new commandment, but the one we have had from the beginning—ithat we love one another. And jthis is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just kas you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it. For lmany deceivers mhave gone out into the world, nthose who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch yourselves, oso that you may not lose what we1 have worked for, but pmay win a full reward. Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, qdoes not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching qhas both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, rdo not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, 11 for whoever greets him stakes part in his wicked works.

Final Greetings

12 tThough I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink. uInstead I hope to come to you and talk face to face, vso that our joy may be complete.

13 The children of your elect sister greet you.

3 John

Introduction

Third John supplements statements on Christian hospitality in 2 John. It applauds a Christian named Gaius for living out the teachings of the apostles—he had welcomed traveling Christian missionaries into his home—while condemning Diotrephes, a selfish church leader who not only refused to help these itinerant, godly teachers but also had slandered and opposed those who disagreed with him. This book demonstrates that pride can divide Christians if they are not living by God’s Word. To avoid the dual dangers of false teaching and division within the church, believers should practice the dual virtues of love and discernment. The letter was probably written by the apostle John in the late first century a.d.

Greeting

aThe elder to the beloved Gaius, bwhom I love in truth.

Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul. For cI rejoiced greatly when the brothers1 came and testified to your truth, as indeed you are walking in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that dmy children are walking in the truth.

Support and Opposition

Beloved, it is a faithful thing you do in all your efforts for ethese brothers, fstrangers as they are, who testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their journey in a manner gworthy of God. For they have gone out for the sake of hthe name, iaccepting nothing from the Gentiles. Therefore we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth.

I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority. 10 So if I come, I will bring up what he is doing, talking wicked nonsense against us. And not content with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers, and also stops those who want to and puts them out of the church.

11 Beloved, jdo not imitate evil but imitate good. kWhoever does good is from God; lwhoever does evil has not seen God. 12 Demetrius mhas received a good testimony from everyone, and from the truth itself. We also add our testimony, and nyou know that our testimony is true.

Final Greetings

13 oI had much to write to you, but I would rather not write with pen and ink. 14 I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face.

15 Peace be to you. The friends greet you. Greet the friends, peach by name.

Jude

Introduction

The letter of Jude warns against those who, having gained admission to the church, were perverting the grace of God, denying “our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ” (v. 4). Jude used Old Testament examples to warn of these “blemishes” on the church. He wrote multiple denunciations of these ungodly people who “defile the flesh” and “reject authority” (v. 8). He urged Christians to continue in godliness and love toward such people, in some cases reasoning with them, in other cases “snatching them out of the fire” (v. 23). Jude closes with one of the most beautiful doxologies in all of Scripture (vv. 24–25). Jude was the brother of James (probably “James the Lord’s brother,” Gal. 1:19). He likely wrote sometime between a.d. 65 and 80.

Greeting

Jude, a servant1 of Jesus Christ and brother of James,

aTo those who are called, bbeloved in God the Father and ckept for2 Jesus Christ:

May dmercy, epeace, and love be multiplied to you.

Judgment on False Teachers

Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our fcommon salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you gto contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For hcertain people ihave crept in unnoticed jwho long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert kthe grace of our God into sensuality and ldeny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

Now I want mto remind you, although you once fully knew it, that nJesus, who saved3 a people out of the land of Egypt, oafterward destroyed those who did not believe. And pthe angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day— just as qSodom and Gomorrah and rthe surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and spursued unnatural desire,4 serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and tblaspheme the glorious ones. But when uthe archangel vMichael, contending with the devil, was disputing wabout the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, x“The Lord rebuke you.” 10 yBut these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively. 11 Woe to them! For they walked in zthe way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain ato Balaam’s error and bperished in Korah’s rebellion. 12 These are hidden reefs5 cat your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, dshepherds feeding themselves; ewaterless clouds, fswept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, guprooted; 13 hwild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of itheir own shame; jwandering stars, kfor whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever.

14 It was also about these that Enoch, lthe seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, m“Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, 15 nto execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have ocommitted in such an ungodly way, and of all pthe harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” 16 These are grumblers, malcontents, qfollowing their own sinful desires; rthey are loud-mouthed boasters, sshowing favoritism to gain advantage.

A Call to Persevere

17 But you must tremember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. 18 They6 said to you, u“In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” 19 It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, vdevoid of the Spirit. 20 But you, beloved, wbuilding yourselves up in your most holy faith and xpraying in the Holy Spirit, 21 ykeep yourselves in the love of God, zwaiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. 22 And have mercy on those who doubt; 23 save others by asnatching them out of bthe fire; to others show mercy cwith fear, hating even dthe garment7 stained by the flesh.

Doxology

24 eNow to him who is able fto keep you from stumbling and gto present you hblameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 25 to ithe only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, jbe glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time8 and now and forever. Amen.

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Or brothers and sisters. In New Testament usage, depending on the context, the plural Greek word adelphoi (translated “brothers”) may refer either to brothers or to brothers and sisters; also verses 5, 10

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For the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface)

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Some manuscripts although you fully knew it, that the Lord who once saved

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Greek different flesh

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Or are blemishes

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Or Christ, because they

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Greek chiton, a long garment worn under the cloak next to the skin

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Or before any age