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Overview of 2 and 3 John


-2 JOHN-

AUTHOR: The Book of 2 John does not directly name its author, however, all the evidence points to the author as John the beloved disciple who also wrote the Gospel of John.

DATE OF WRITING:   Most likely written about the same time as 1 and 3 John, between A.D. 85-95.

BRIEF SUMMARY AND PURPOSE OF WRITING:  The Book of 2 John is addressed to "the chosen lady and her children."  This could either have been a lady of important standing in the church or a code which refers to the local church and its congregation. In those days when Christians were being persecuted such coded salutations were often used.  The message of this letter is largely concerned with an urgent warning concerning deceivers who were not teaching the exact doctrine of Christ and who maintained that Jesus did not actually rise in the flesh but only in spirit.  As an apostle and witness who saw and heard the risen Christ in the flesh, John is very anxious that true believers should be aware of these false teachers and have nothing to do with them.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:  It's extremely important that we compare everything we see, hear, and read that claims to be "Christian" with the truth of the Scriptures.   We can never allow ourselves to forget that falsehood is one of Satan's most devious and dangerous weapons.  If we're not careful, we can be taken in by a new and interesting idea or principle that appears to be based on Scripture but upon closer examination, is, in fact, a deviation from the Word of God.

-3 JOHN-


BRIEF SUMMARY AND PURPOSE OF WRITING:  He makes three points:  First, he writes to praise and encourage Gaius in his ministry of hospitality to the itinerant messengers who were going from place to place to preach the Gospel of Christ, and commended the fact that he showed care for them whether they were known to him or complete strangers.  Second, he warns and condemns the behavior of Diotrephes, a domineering leader who had taken over one of the churches in the province of Asia and has refused to recognize John's apostolic authority or submit to his directions. Third, Before John concludes his letter, he also commends the example of Demetrius, of whom he has heard excellent reports.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:  John, as consistent with all his writings, places great emphasis on the importance of walking in the truth of the Gospel.  Hospitality, support, and encouragement for our fellow Christians are some of the main precepts of the teachings of Jesus, and Gaius was obviously an outstanding example of this ministry. We should also show hospitality to those who minister the Word, welcoming them into our churches and homes. Those who are servants of the gospel deserve our support and encouragement.  We likewise need to always be careful to only follow the example of those whose words and actions are in complete harmony with the Gospel, and to be discerning enough to identify men like Diotrephes, cited above, whose self-centered leadership style was far from the example that Jesus taught.