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  • The apostle John, like Peter, was an elder in the church at Jerusalem before its destruction in A.D. 70 (Gal. 2:9, and note 1 Pet. 5:13). According to history, after returning from his exile, John stayed in Ephesus to care for the churches in Asia. Thus, he was probably also an elder in the church at Ephesus, where he wrote this Epistle.

  • Gk. kuria, the feminine form of kurios, which means lord, master. There are different interpretations of the word here. The most preferred is as follows: it refers to a Christian sister of some prominence in the church, as does co-chosen in 1 Pet. 5:13. Kuria might have been her name, since it was a common name at that time. Some mention that according to history she lived near Ephesus and that her sister (v. 13) lived in Ephesus, where the church was under John's care. There was a church in her locality, and it met in her home.

  • The same as the Greek word for truth. According to John's usage of this word, especially in his Gospel, here it denotes the revealed divine reality — the Triune God dispensed into man in the Son, Jesus Christ — becoming man's genuineness and sincerity, that man may live a life that corresponds with the divine light (John 3:19-21) and worship God, as God seeks, according to what He is (John 4:23-24). This is the virtue of God (Rom. 3:7; 15:8) becoming our virtue, by which we love the believers (see note 1 John 1:66, point 7). In such genuineness the apostle John, who lived in the divine reality of the Trinity, loved the one to whom he wrote.

  • Those who not only have received Christ by believing that He is both God and man but also fully know the truth concerning the person of Christ.

  • Denoting the divine reality of the gospel (see note 1 John 1:66), especially concerning the person of Christ as revealed in John's Gospel and first Epistle, that is, that Christ is both God and man, having both deity and humanity, possessing both the divine nature and the human nature, to express God in human life and to accomplish redemption with divine power in human flesh for fallen human beings that He may impart the divine life into them and bring them into an organic union with God. The second and third Epistles of John stress this truth. The second warns the faithful believers against receiving those who do not abide in this truth — in the teaching concerning Christ. The third encourages the believers to receive and help those who work for this truth.

  • With his mending ministry concerning the revelation of the person of Christ, the apostle John, in his Gospel and first Epistle, inoculated the believers against the heresies regarding Christ's divinity and humanity. Because of such an inoculating truth, he and all those who knew this truth loved those who were faithful to this truth (v. 1).

  • The divine reality, defined in note 2 John 1:15. This divine reality, which is actually the Triune God, abides in us now and will be with us for eternity.

  • Some MSS read, you.

  • Truth here denotes the divine reality of the gospel, as defined in note 15 especially concerning the person of Christ, who expressed God and accomplished God's purpose; love is the believers' expression in loving one another through receiving and knowing the truth. These two matters are the basic structure of this Epistle. In them grace, mercy, and peace will be with us. The apostle greeted and blessed the believers with grace, mercy, and peace, based on the fact that these two crucial things existed among the believers. When we walk in the truth (v. 4) and love one another (v. 5), we will enjoy the divine grace, mercy, and peace.

  • The truth concerning the person of Christ is the basic and central element of John's mending ministry. When he found the children of the faithful believer walking in truth, he rejoiced greatly (3 John 1:3-4).

  • The divine reality, especially concerning the person of Christ, as defined in note 2 John 1:15. The Father commands us to walk in this reality, that is, in the realization of the divine fact that Jesus Christ is the Son of God (cf. Matt. 17:5), that we may honor the Son as the Father desires (John 5:23).

  • See note John 13:341a. So in the succeeding verses.

  • The commandment given by the Son that we love one another (John 13:34). The Father commands us to walk in the truth that we may honor the Son, and the Son commands us to love one another that we may express Him.

  • See note 1 John 1:12, par. 2.

  • Lit., it.

  • Heretics, such as the Cerinthians, the false prophets (1 John 4:1).

  • That is, do not confess that Jesus is God incarnate, thus denying the deity of Christ.

  • I.e., watch yourselves, watch for yourselves.

  • Or, destroy, ruin.

  • The things that the apostles wrought were the things of the truth concerning Christ, which the apostles ministered and imparted to the believers. To be influenced by the heresies regarding the person of Christ was to lose, destroy, and ruin the precious things concerning the person of Christ that the apostles had wrought into the believers. The apostle warned the believers to watch for themselves lest they be influenced by the heresies and lose the things of the truth.

  • According to the context, especially v. 9, the full reward must be the Father and the Son as the full enjoyment to the faithful believers, who abide in the truth concerning the person of Christ and do not deviate from it under the influence of the heresies regarding Christ. This interpretation is justified by the fact that there is no indication that this reward will be given in the future, as will the rewards mentioned in Matt. 5:12; 16:27; 1 Cor. 3:8, 13-14; Heb. 10:35-36 and Rev. 11:18; 22:12. If we would not be led astray by the heresies but would abide faithfully in the truth concerning the wonderful and all-inclusive Christ, who is both God and man, both our Creator and our Redeemer, we will enjoy in Him the Triune God to the fullest extent as our full reward, even today on earth.

  • Lit., leads forward (in a negative sense); i.e., goes further than what is right, advances beyond the limit of orthodox teaching concerning Christ. This is in contrast to abiding in the teaching of Christ. The Cerinthian Gnostics, who boasted of their advanced thinking concerning the teaching of Christ, practiced this. They went beyond the teaching of the divine conception of Christ, thus denying the deity of Christ. Consequently, they could not have God in salvation and in life.

  • Not the teaching by Christ but the teaching concerning Christ, that is, the truth concerning the deity of Christ, especially regarding His incarnation by divine conception.

  • To have God is to have both the Father and the Son. It is through the process of incarnation that God has been dispensed to us in the Son with the Father (1 John 2:23) to be our enjoyment and reality (John 1:1, 14). In the incarnated God we have the Son in His redemption and the Father in His life. We are thus redeemed and regenerated to be one with God organically that we may partake of and enjoy Him in salvation and in life. Hence, to deny the incarnation is to reject this divine enjoyment; but to abide in the truth of incarnation is to have God, as the Father and the Son, for our portion in the eternal salvation and in the divine life.

  • Not only teach it as a theory but bring it as a reality.

  • A heretic, an antichrist (v. 7; 1 John 2:22), a false prophet (1 John 4:1), one who denies the divine conception and deity of Christ, as today's modernists do. Such a one we must reject, not receiving him into our house nor greeting him. Thus we will not have any contact with him or any share in his heresy, heresy that is blasphemous to God and contagious like leprosy.

  • The Greek word means be happy, rejoice, hail; it is used for greeting or bidding farewell.

  • Just as bringing to others the divine truth of the wonderful Christ is an excellent deed (Rom. 10:15), so spreading the satanic heresy, which defiles the glorious deity of Christ, is an evil work. It is a blasphemy and abomination to God. It is also a damage and curse to men. No one who is a believer in Christ and a child of God should have any share in this evil! Even to greet such an evil one is prohibited! A severe and clear separation from this evil should be maintained!

  • The apostle expressed his desire for a deeper and richer fellowship with the church member for fullness of joy in the enjoyment of the divine life (1 John 1:2-4).

  • Lit., mouth to mouth.

  • Some MSS read, your.

  • This indicates what an intimate fellowship with the church members and what an endearing care for them the aged elder had.

    In carrying out his mending ministry with the divine life of the Triune God, the aged apostle John's endearing care for the believers was that the believers would walk in God's truth. God's truth is that the Triune God was incarnated to be the God-man, Christ, who had both divinity and humanity, who through crucifixion accomplished eternal redemption and through resurrection became the all-inclusive life-giving Spirit as the ultimate expression of the processed Triune God, to be received by those who repent and believe in Him, as their life and as their everything. The aged apostle's desire was that the believers would love one another in this truth by the divine love of the Triune God to express Him. This truth, this reality, became the genuineness in the apostle's walk, the divine virtue expressed in his redeemed humanity. He loved the believers whom he cared for, in the genuineness of the divine virtue. His love toward the believers was his living, in which the reality, the truth, of the Triune God was joined to the love of the Triune God. Based on this love, he also earnestly hoped that the believers whom he cared for would be the same as he, that they would love one another and have nothing to do with the heretics, those who went beyond the truth concerning the Trinity. The aged apostle's desire was that the believers whom he cared for would remain continually in the divine truth to enjoy the Father and the Son by the Spirit unto eternity.

  • That she did not join in the greeting may indicate that she had died.

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