The book of 2 John places great importance on the saint's unity, fellowship, and love among each other. These relationships are only fully realized through a united knowledge, understanding, and common abiding in truth. The truth is the "gospel of our salvation" (Ephesians 1:13). The results of walking in truth is joy and peace. This joy and peace exist between the faithful and God and the faithful and others who strive to please God in this life (2 John 1:3-4). The apostle John brought these points out to the "elect lady/' to whom this epistle is addressed. John issues a warning to the elect lady and all of us today saying, "Look to yourselves, that ye loose not the things which we have wrought but that ye receive a full reward" (2 John 8). Love and abiding in truth will bring great spiritual success now and forevermore.
John warns the "elect lady/' that many false teachers had gone forth in the world (2 John 1:7). These men and women ("whosoever" - 2 John 9) had the capacity to deceive the saints and cause them to lose their mutual fellowship, unity, love, and eternal soul. The elect lady is warned to be on guard against these teachers (2 John 1:8). A test is given at 2 John 9 that resembles the test of 1 John 3:10; 4:6. Those who do not abide in the teachings of Jesus Christ have no part in fellowship with God or brethren (2 John 1:9). John warned the elect lady not to be receptive to nor support anyone who would bring other doctrines before her. John concluded the letter by expressing his earnest desire to see her face to face.
A brief overview helps us to understand the events during the days 2 John was written. There continued to be men and women who went about preaching doctrines of men and leading astray many brethren. The unity, fellowship, and love of the church was threatened then and now by these deceivers. John's plea, to his beloved elect lady in the truth, was to know God's word so that she would be able to distinguish the "spirit of error from the spirit of truth" (see 1 John 4:6). To give those in error an ear is to make oneself susceptible to falling from the grace of God to another doctrine (see Galatians 1:6-7). The battle for souls was waged then and now. Let us expose and never give place to false teachers for the sake of our own eternal soul, their soul, and the souls of others who may be swayed by their erring doctrines(Ephesians 5:11).
John C Robertson