Carefulness concerning evil doctrine. Compare with 1 Corinthians to see how serious we need to be about evil Doctrine. Evil Doctrine is warned of in:
  • 2 John – concerning the person of Christ
  • Galatians – concerning the work of Christ.
Gnosticism. The word Gnostic comes from the Greek word ‘gnosis’, which means knowledge. Gnosticism arose from a group of evil workers who claimed to have higher light, or “secret wisdom”. This movement began in the days of the apostles, and continued into the 5th century. Before John died the seeds of Gnosticism had been sown… perhaps even before Paul's death. John’s epistles are written to defend against it. He refers to the Gnostics as "the deceivers" (2 John 1:7), and those that "go forward and abide not in the doctrine of Christ" (2 John 1:9). Paul speaks of the Gnostic system as "oppositions of false-named knowledge" (1 Tim. 6:20). Peter warns of their false teaching, and Jude warns of its moral effect on the Christian testimony. In this evil system, the Greek tendency to spiritualize and allegorize took over. To them, the spiritual was good, and matter was evil. Thus, they rejected the incarnation, because it was connecting the human with the divine. The Gnostics would try to separate “Jesus” from “Christ”, by making Christ an emanation (a shining out from a source) from God that was united to a mere man named Jesus at his baptism, but returned to God before Jesus’ death on the cross. In doing so, this evil system annulled the incarnation and the atonement. Gnosticism made Jesus a mere man, and even made their false-Christ less than God, because an emanation is less than its source. They taught that Christ was sent to make known the good God of heaven, and to expose the mischievous Demiurge (or, Jehovah of the Old Testament), who made the “evil world of matter”. The doctrine of the New Testament anticipates this irreverent and wicked system of doctrine by stating the simple truth of Christ's Person and work. Many of the false cults today are, in a sense, a modern form of Gnosticism.

Greeting (vv.1-3)

1 The elder to the elect lady and her children, whom “I” love in truth, and not “I” only but also all who have known the truth, 2 for the truth’s sake which abides in us and shall be with us to eternity. 3 Grace shall be with you, mercy, peace from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.

Walking in Truth and Love (vv.4-6)

4 I rejoiced greatly that I have found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received commandment from the Father. 5 And now I beseech thee, lady, not as writing to thee a new commandment, but that which we have had from the beginning, that we should love one another. 6 And this is love, that we should walk according to his commandments. This is the commandment, according as ye have heard from the beginning, that ye might walk in it.

Detecting and Rejecting False Teachers (vv.7-11)

7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world, they who do not confess Jesus Christ coming in flesh — this is the deceiver and the antichrist. 8 See to yourselves, that we may not lose what we have wrought, but may receive full wages. 9 Whosoever goes forward and abides not in the doctrine of the Christ has not God. He that abides in the doctrine, “he” has both the Father and the Son. 10 If any one come to you and bring not this doctrine, do not receive him into the house, and greet him not; 11 for he who greets him partakes in his wicked works.

Conclusion (vv.12-13)

12 Having many things to write to you, I would not with paper and ink; but hope to come to you, and to speak mouth to mouth, that our joy may be full. 13 The children of thine elect sister greet thee.  
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