2 John Lesson

Loving God


All three of John’s epistles were written either at the same time or close to one another.  Historians point to A.D. 90 as the year they were written.  Today, we will be looking at John’s second epistle.  It is a short letter consisting of 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 bykeeping His commandments,
  3. Beware of and avoid false teachers.

In today’s lesson, we will look at the first two bullet points, loving God and 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, as recorded 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 says clearly and simply that we show our love to God and Jesus by obeying their commandments. And while that is a simple concept to understand, putting it into practice can be more challenging, largely in part to the relentless attacks of the devil (1 Peter 5:8).

The only way to learn God’s commandments is to study the Bible. Our salvation is too important to rely on the advice of others, or to simply do what we “feel is right.” The Bible warns us that we cannot always trust our own instincts. Satan is a master of deception who will try to deceive us every chance that he gets. If we are not able to interpret the Bible for ourselves, we are putting our souls at risk. Consider the following warning from the Book of Proverbs:

  • “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, there are no shortcuts. We must read the Bible 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.

To show our love for God, we need to keep His commandments. That starts with a solid understanding of the Bible!


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!  If we know that the most important commandment is to love God and that we show our love to God by keeping His commandments, 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.

For the remainder of today’s lesson, we will look at the things we can do to combat Satan and help us successfully show God that we love Him.


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 Romans 7, Paul provides us with insight into his own struggles with sin. He admits that although he understands the Law, he struggles 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 has promised His followers an eternity in paradise with Him, God, and all the saints.

When we find ourselves being tempted by Satan, we must challenge ourselves to remove ourselves from the situation. Sometimes that means that we literally get up and leave, and other times it means that we simply refocus our attention to the things that glorify God and 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 obey God’s commandments to show our love for Him, but struggle to do it, we need to strengthen our faith. The Bible teaches us that there are three specific things we can do to increase our faith:

  1. Study the Bible,
  2. Pray for increased faith,
  3. Acting on our faith.


If you search on GOOGLE, “How can I increase my faithyou will get more than 100,000,000 results! There are a lot of opinions about what we are supposed to do to increase our faith. But what does the Bible say about increasing one’s faith?

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 all the wisdom of God.     As we read it more and more, will be filled with hope as we hear stories about spending eternity in heaven with God, Jesus, and all the saints.   If we want to increase our faith, the first thing we need to do is commit to studying God’s word.


In Luke 17, Jesus is warning His disciples to be on guard and to look out for stumbling blocks. Jesus said to His disciples:

  • “Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.”   – Luke 17:3-4.

The apostles heard what Jesus said. They responded:

If we want to increase our faith, the first thing that we need to do is study the Bible regularly. The second thing that we need to do is to follow the example of those that were closest to Jesus, His apostles. The apostles understood the importance of asking God, through Jesus, to increase their 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 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 that needs a meal taken to them, or warm clothes. God needs workers in the field to do His will!


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 taught us the importance of keeping God’s commandments when He said:

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

And while we cannot keep His commandments perfectly, as Jesus did, 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, we should be able to keep more of God’s commandments as our faith matures.

In addition to studying the Bible, we need to pray to God to have a stronger faith, and then act on it. When we do these things, we will find ourselves drawing nearer to God, who in turn, will draw nearer to us.

We will conclude today’s lesson with the following scripture:

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


Virtual Bible Study

1) What did today’s Bible study make you think and feel?
2) How can you apply what you have just learned to something specific that is happening in your life?


Click To View The Discussion
Virtual Bible Study

1) What did today’s Bible study make you think and feel?
2) How can you apply what you have just learned to something specific that is happening in your life?