These small group studies of 2 John contain outlines, cross-references, Bible study discussion questions, and applications.  Visit our library of inductive Bible studies for more in depth inductive studies on this and other books of the Bible you can use in your small group.

2 John 1:-6 Bible Study with Discussion Questions, Teaching Points, and Cross References

2 John 1-6

Walk in Love and Truth

Summary- John is able to love the elect lady  and her children in truth because he and others have known the truth, and it abides in them now and forever. In truth and love, he sends grace, peace and mercy to them from God the Father and the Son. He rejoices greatly that some of her children are walking in the truth, as commanded by the Father. He pleads with them as he has from the beginning, to love one another. The love that they are to exercise is manifested in their walking in obedience to His commandments, which they have heard from the beginning.

Central Teaching- Walk in truth and love according to the commandments which we have heard from the beginning.

Key Verse- 6

Key Words- elect lady, children, love, truth, abides, forever, grace, mercy, peace, walk, commandments, new, beginning, one another

Ten things this passage says-

  1. John and all those who had known the truth loved the elect lady and her children in truth.
  2. Their true love was enabled by the truth that was in them then and forever.
  3. God the Father and the Son are the givers of grace, mercy and peace.
  4. It is because of love and truth that God gives us grace, mercy and peace.
  5. Some of the recipients of this letter were walking in the truth.
  6. God’s commandments are a measuring stick by which we measure truth and our obedience to truth. There is absolute truth.
  7. The commandment to love one another is not new, but has been heard from the beginning.
  8. Loving one another is important, and should be a key point on which we encourage one another and teach our students.
  9. We show love by walking according to His commandments.
  10. God’s commandments don’t change, nor should our obedience to them waver.

Ten things this passage does NOT say-

  1. John and his fellow believers only loved out of a sense of emotion or obligation, or else were merely putting on a display of love for selfish reasons of their own.
  2. Truth changes with the times. What is true for one generation may not be true for the next. We should be flexible in our interpretation of what “truth” is.
  3. Grace, mercy and peace can come from sources outside of God and His Son.
  4. The Father and the Son give us grace, mercy and peace in a deceptive and/or unloving way.
  5. All of the recipients of John’s letter were walking in the truth, and we should necessarily expect that all of our students and fellow believers will do the same.
  6. There is no absolute truth, or if there is, we have no way of discerning what it is. Certainly, God does not tell us.
  7. Loving one another is a new concept, with no precedent or example from which we might learn how to do it.
  8. Loving one another is not so important. As long as we have correct doctrine, a vast knowledge of the Bible, and numerous good works, it is enough.
  9. It’s not necessary to obey His commandments in order to love.
  10. God’s commandments have changed over time, and we must constantly reinterpret what it means to obey them.

What does this passage teach me about God?

He loves in truth.

He is truth.

He gives us truth now and forever.

He is the giver of grace, mercy and peace, in truth and love.

He rejoices when His children walk in the truth.

He commands us in the way we should go.

His commandments are unchanging.

He demands obedience as proof of love.

He does not consider one-time obedience to be true love. We must walk in obedience in order to show our love for Him.

Questions-

Who do you think “the elder” is? Why did he call himself that? V 1

Who do you think “the chosen lady” and “her children” are? V 1

What is the basis of the love that John had for these people? V 1

Why is it significant that the basis for our love as Christians is truth? V 2

What is the truth that abides in us and will be with us forever? V 2 The Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:6), the Holy Spirit (1 John 5:6)  or the Bible (John 17:17).

Why do you think “grace, mercy and peace” are mentioned specifically here? V 3

Why does it mention that these gifts are our from God the Father and from Jesus Christ? V 3

Why is it significant that these three gifts are ours “in truth and love”? V 3

What do you think John means by “some” of your children? Do you think that true Christians will walk in the truth all the time? V 4

What does it mean to “walk in the truth”? V 4

Why are we to walk in the truth? V 4

Why is it important to understand that the command to love is not a new commandment? V 5

When did we first hear this commandment? V 5

What do you think it means to “love one another”? V 5

What is love, according to this verse? V 6

Why did he mention commandments, and then only commandment? V 6

Why is it significant that we have heard the same commandments since the beginning? V 6

Cross References-

2 John 1-

1 Peter 5:1

 Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your  fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed,

3 John 1

 The elder to the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth.

Eph 1:4-5

4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will,

1 Thess 1:3-4

3 constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father, 4 knowing, brethren beloved by God,His choice of you;

2 Thess 2:13-14

13 But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. 14 It was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 1:22-23

22 Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, 23 for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.

1 John 3:18

18 Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.

John 8:32

32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”

Gal 2:5

5 But we did not yield in subjection to them for even an hour, so that the truth of the gospel would remain with you.

Gal 5:7

7 You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth?

Col 1:5

5 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven, of which you previously heard in the word of truth,

2 Thess 2:13

13 But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.

1 Tim 2:4

4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Heb 10:26

For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,

1 John 2:21

21 I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie is of the truth.

2 John 2-

1 Cor 9:23

23 I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it.

2 Cor 4:5

5 For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake.

John 15:7

7 “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

Col 3:16

16 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

2 Tim 1:5

5 For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well.

1 Peter 1:23-25

23 for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God. 24 For,

“ALL FLESH IS LIKE GRASS,

AND ALL ITS GLORY LIKE THE FLOWER OF GRASS.

THE GRASS WITHERS,

AND THE FLOWER FALLS OFF,

25 BUT THE WORD OF THE LORD ENDURES FOREVER.”

And this is the word which was preached to you.

1 John 2:14

14 I have written to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.

1 John 2:17

17 The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.

Deut 6:6

6 ” These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart.

1 John 1:8

8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.

1 John 1:10

10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.

1 John 2:24

24 As for you, let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.

1 John 2:27

27 As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.

3 John 3

3 For I was very glad when brethren came and testified to your truth, that is, how you are walking in truth.

2 John 3-

Rom 1:7

7 to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as  saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Tim 1:2

2 To Timothy,my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

1 John 2:23-24

 23 Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also. 24 As for you, let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.

1 John 4:10

10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be  the propitiation for our sins.

Gal 5:6

6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.

1 Tim 1:14

14 and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus.

2 Tim 1:12-13

 13 Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.

Num 6:23-26

23 “Speak to Aaron and to his sons, saying, ‘Thus you shall bless the sons of Israel. You shall say to them:

24 The LORD  bless you, and keep you;

25 The LORD  make His face shine on you,

And be gracious to you;

26 The LORD  lift up His countenance on you,

And give you peace.’

Gal 1:3

3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,

2 Peter 1:17

17 For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, “This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased”

2 John 4-

Phil 4:10

But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity.

1 Thess 2:19-20

19 For who is our hope or joy or crown of exultation? Is it not even you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming? 20 For you are our glory and joy.

1 Thess 3:6-10

6 But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and has brought us good news of your faith and love, and that you always think kindly of us, longing to see us just as we also long to see you, 7 for this reason, brethren, in all our distress and affliction we were comforted about you through your faith; 8 for now we really live, if you stand firm in the Lord. 9 For what thanks can we render to God for you in return for all the joy with which we rejoice before our God on your account, 10 as we night and day keep praying most earnestly that we may see your face, and may complete what is lacking in your faith?

3 John 3-4

3 For I was very glad when brethren came and testified to your truth, that is, how you are walking in truth. 4 I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.

Hos 14:9

9 Whoever is wise, let him understand these things;

Whoever is discerning, let him know them.

For the ways of the LORD are right,

And the righteous will walk in them,

But transgressors will stumble in them.

Mal 2:7

6 ” True instruction was in his mouth and unrighteousness was not found on his lips; he walked with Me in peace and uprightness, and he turned many back from iniquity.

Eph 5:2

2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.

1 John 1:6-7

6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; 7 but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

1 John 2:6

6 the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.

Ps 26:3

3 For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes,

And I have walked in Your truth.

Ps 86:11

11 Teach me Your way, O LORD;

I will walk in Your truth;

 Unite my heart to fear Your name.

Ps 119:30

30 I have chosen the faithful way;

I have placed Your ordinances before me.

Prov 23:15

15 My son, if your heart is wise,

My own heart also will be glad;

Prov 27:11

11 Be wise, my son, and make my heart glad,

That I may reply to him who reproaches me.

Rom 1:12

12 that is, that I may be encouraged together with you while among you, each of us by the other’s faith, both yours and mine.

Rom 6:17

17 But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed,

Phil 2:2

2 make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.

Philem 7

7 For I have come to have much joy and comfort in your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you, brother.

2 John 5-

1 John 2:7-8

7 Beloved, I am not writing a new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning; the old commandment is the word which you have heard. 8 On the other hand, I am writing a new commandment to you, which is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true Light is already shining.

1 John 3:11

11 For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another;

John 13:34-35

34 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  35 ” By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

John 15:12

“This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.

Gal 5:22

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

Eph 5:2

2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.

1 Thess 4:9

9 Now as to the love of the brethren, you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another;

Heb 13:1

Let love of the brethren continue.

1 Peter 1:22-23

22 Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, 23 for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.

1 Peter 4:8

8 Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.

2 Peter 1:7

7 and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.

1 John 3:13-18

13 Do not be surprised, brethren, if the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death. 15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. 16 We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.

1 John 3:23

23 This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us.

1 John 4:7-12

 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be  the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.

1 John 4:20

20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.

2 John 6-

John 14:15

15 ” If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.

John 14:21

21 ” He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.”

John 15:10

10 ” If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

John 15:14

14 “You are My friends if you do what I command you.

Rom 13:8-10

8 Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. 9 For this, “YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, YOU SHALL NOT STEAL, YOU SHALL NOT COVET,” and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

Gal 5:13-14

13 For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.”

1 John 5:3

3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.

1 John 5:15

15 And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.

1 John 2:24

24 As for you, let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.

Ex 20:6

6 but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

Ezek 36:27

27 “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.

Heb 13:1

Let love of the brethren continue.

Study 2 John 7-13