2 John Lesson

How Do We Show God That We Love Him?


John’s three epistles were written in the same year, in close proximity to one another. 

Historians estimate the year they were written to be A.D. 90, or approximately sixty years after Jesus’s death, burial, and resurrection. 

Today, we will be looking at John’s second epistle, which is a short letter consisting of one chapter and only thirteen verses.

2 John repeats a lot of the same doctrine found in John’s other letters of the New Testament. 

In this letter, John refers to himself as, “The elder” and refers to his audience as, “The chosen lady and her children.” 

There is some discussion as to whether John is writing this letter to an actual lady and her children, or if these terms refer to a sister church.

In any case, the message remains the same:

  1. Love God,
  2. Demonstrate our love by obedience to His commandments,
  3. Beware of and avoid false teachers.

In today’s lesson, we will look at the first two bullet points:

  1. Loving God,
  2. Keeping His commandments.


How do we show God that we love Him?

By keeping His commandments!

That is what the Bible teaches, and that is what Jesus said, Himself in John’s Gospel:

  • “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” – John 14:15.

There is no ambiguity in the above scripture. 

It is clear and to the point. 

The way that we show God and Jesus that we love Them, is by keeping Their commandments. 

And while that is a simple concept to understand, putting it into practice can be more challenging, largely due to the relentless attacks of Satan. (1 Peter 5:8)

The first thing that we must do to keep God’s commandments is to know what they are.

And the only way to do that is to study the Bible regularly. 

It is not enough to simply follow our gut and do what we think is right. 

There are times when our gut will be wrong and not in accordance with God’s will, as written about in the following Proverb:

  • “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” – Proverbs 14:12.  

To be certain that we are living our lives in agreement with God’s commandments, we must understand what the Bible says, and be able to interpret it for ourselves. 

Paul wrote about this in his second letter to Timothy:

  • “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.” – 2 Timothy 2:15.


In John’s first epistle, four times he tells us that the way to show our love for God is by keeping his commandments:

  1. “By this, we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.” – 1 John 2:3,
  2. “The one who says, ‘I have come to know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” – 1 John 2:4,
  3. “But whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected.” – 1 John 2:5,
  4. “The one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.” – 1 John 2:6.

The above verses are fundamental to Christianity! 

They tell us two things:

  1. The most important commandment is to love God,
  2. We show our love to God by keeping His commandments.

Once we understand these two things, we know what we must do.

This begs the question, why do we sometimes fail to keep His commandments?

There are three answers to this question:

  1. We fail to keep God’s commandments because we are all sinners and Satan is constantly trying to tempt us,
  2. We fail to keep God’s commandments because the Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak (Mathew 26:41),
  3. We make a conscious decision to not follow His commandments.

We will look at these three bullet points one at a time, and then the lesson will be yours.


Make no mistake, the devil wants to destroy us! 

Peter wrote about this in his first epistle:

  • “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” – 1 Peter 5:8.

Nobody is immune to the attacks of Satan!  

Not even the Apostle Paul. 

In his letter to the Romans, Paul provided us with insight into his own struggles with sin. 

He admitted that although he understood the Law, he struggled to keep it.

Just like the rest of us!

  • “For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.” – Romans 7:19-20.

The good news for us is that if we resist the devil, he will flee from us and move on to an easier target (James 4:7).  

The even better news is that Jesus defeated death on the cross and promised His faithful followers an eternity in paradise with Him, God, and all the saints.

When we find ourselves tempted by Satan, we need to remove ourselves from that situation.

Sometimes that means that we literally get up and leave.

Other times, it simply means changing our focus to concentrate on the things that:

  1. Glorify God,
  2. Serve others.

Taking the focus off ourselves and placing it on glorifying God and serving others is a fantastic way to resist the evil advances of Satan!


If we want to show our love for God by keeping His commandments, but continuously fail to do that, we need to strengthen our faith.

According to the Bible, there are three things that we can do to increase our faith:

  1. Study the Bible,
  2. Pray for a stronger faith,
  3. Act on our faith.


If you search on Google the question, “How can I increase my faith,you will get more than 100,000,000 results! 

There certainly are a lot of opinions out there about how we can increase our faith.

The only opinion that matters is God’s, and the only way to get God’s opinion is to study the Bible.

Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans:

  • “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” – Romans 10:17.

When we read the Bible, we are exposed to the wisdom of God.   

As we read and understand it more, the wisdom that we acquire turns into hope.

And when we have hope in Jesus, there is no obstacle that we cannot overcome!


In Luke Chapter 17, Jesus warned His disciples about stumbling blocks that they would encounter.

His disciples responded by asking Jesus to:

The apostles understood the importance of asking God, through Jesus, to increase their faith.

We need to follow their example in our own lives and ask God, through Jesus, to strengthen our own faith.


You can have all the faith in the world, but if you never act on that faith, is it really faith? 

True faith compels us to act! 

Consider the following passage taken from the Book of James:

  • “What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith, but he has no works? Can that faith save him?  If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so, faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.” – James 2:14-17.

As the above scripture so powerfully points out, we can have all the faith in the world, but faith alone will not help that person who needs a meal taken to them, or warm clothes. 

God needs workers in the field to do His will!

Disciples of Jesus are meant to live out their faith by being active.


The most important commandment in the Bible is to love God with all our hearts, minds, and souls (Mathew 22:35-38).

The way that we demonstrate our love for God is by following His commandments.

Jesus said:

  • “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” – John 14:15.

And while we cannot keep His commandments perfectly, we need to try. 

The character is in the trying!

There is an old saying:

  • “If you chase perfection, you just might catch excellence.” 

As Christians, we should strive to keep God’s commandments perfectly. 

Through regular Bible study and the encouragement of our Brothers and Sisters, our faith will grow over time.

In addition to studying the Bible, we need to pray to God for a stronger faith.

Then we need to act on it!

That is how we show our love for God!

By growing our faith, and then acting on it.

We will end today’s lesson with the following scripture taken from John’s second epistle:

  • “And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments.” – 2 John 6.



Today's lesson reinforced for me the importance of obeying God's commandments. In ALL things. One thought came to mind when thinking about how to apply today's lesson.


The "Stop, challenge, and choose" technique can be applied to any situation. From a spiritual standpoint, when facing a big decision, I can:

1) Stop - slow down and think before acting.
2) Challenge - Challenge myself by asking, "What scripture or scriptures apply to this situation? What are they telling me to do?
3) Choose - choose to obey the Gospel and follow what God's commands are telling me to do.


Thank you, John. I am facing a big decision. I will search scriptures for my answers.