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 7-13 Bible Lesson with Discussion Questions, Verse by Verse Commentary, and Cross References

2 John 7-13

Embrace Sound Doctrine, Not Deceivers

Summary- There are many deceivers and antichrists who go out into the world spreading false doctrine that does not acknowledge  Jesus’ humanity. We must be careful not to believe them or help them, lest we lose some of our reward. If we sin and do not have a biblical understanding of Christ, we do not have God, but we have both God and Christ if we practice sound doctrine.


We must not accept people into our house who do not have biblical doctrine. Showing such people hospitality causes us to share in their evil deeds.


John would write more, but he hoped to see the recipient of the letter face to face, in order to make their joy full.


Central Teaching- Sound doctrine is of utmost importance, whether we are practicing it ourselves or showing hospitality to those who teach it.


Key Verse- 8


Key Words- deceivers, gone out, confess, flesh, antichrist, watch, lose, reward, transgresses, abide, doctrine, receive, greet, joy


Ten things this passage says-

  1. Many deceivers have gone out into the world.
  2. These deceivers and antichrists do not confess the humanity of Jesus Christ.
  3. We need to be careful not to lose our reward which we have worked for.
  4. If we sin and do not abide in the doctrine of Christ, we do not have God.
  5. If we abide in the doctrine of Christ, we have both the Father and the Son.
  6. We should not receive or greet anyone who comes to us without the proper biblical understanding of who Christ is.
  7. We must be discerning about who we help in ministry.
  8. If we help those who are spreading lies about Christ, we share in their evil deeds.
  9. Face to face communication provides fuller joy than letters.
  10. Everything John wrote is true, and will be carried out.

Ten things this passage does NOT say-

  1. There may have been deceivers in the past, and there may be more in the future, but this is the age of enlightenment, and no one would try to deceive us now.
  2. As long as we realize that Christ is God, it doesn’t really matter if we acknowledge his humanity.
  3. Once we have earned a reward, it is ours forever; there is no way we can lose it.
  4. God’s grace and mercy is so great that we don’t really have to be careful about our thoughts, words and deeds. Our actions have no consequences.
  5. People can have an unbiblical understanding of Christ’s Deity and humanity and still be Christians.
  6. As long as we are helping people, it doesn’t really  matter who we help, or how we help them.
  7. It’s okay to have fellowship with people who are preaching heresy against Christ.
  8. We can be careless is who we help, or even intentionally help someone who is involved in false teaching against Christ, and God will not hold us accountable for that.
  9. Personal contact is overrated. Letters, email, phone calls, etc. are enough.
  10. Some of what John wrote is questionable, unclear, and open to personal interpretation.

What does this passage teach us about God?

God’s truth is unchanging and incontrovertible.

He will not tolerate false teaching raised up against Him.
He gives rewards, and takes them away, based on our obedience to Him.

If we have Him, we have the Son also.

He requires us to be careful in our doctrine and in our ministry to others.

He is uncompromising towards those who practice evil or help those who practice evil.

He is truth, and He will fulfill everything He has written.


Where do many deceivers and antichrists choose to attack Christianity? Why is this particular point so key? V 7

What is the best way for us as Christians to guard against error? V 7

What should our response be to the appearance of these deceivers? V 8

What are some practical ways we can do this? V 8

What is a consequence of failing to use truth as a measure of who we should fellowship with? V 8

According to this verse, what is evidence of lack of salvation? V 9

What does it mean to “not abide in the teaching of Christ”? V 9

According to this verse, what is evidence of a saving faith? V 9

What does the statement “he has both the Father and the Son” indicate? V 9

What should our welcome be to false teachers who deliberately deceive about the doctrine of the person of Jesus Christ? V 10

What should our welcome be to believers who have different doctrine than we do, but on relatively minor points? V 10

What should our welcome be to unbelievers? V 10

Conversely, what kinds of people should we offer ready hospitality to? V 10

In what ways can we be hospitable to others? V 10

Why should we not receive false teachers into our homes, or greet them?  V 11

What would our welcome of such false teachers indicate to them and others?  V11

What are the eternal consequences of such actions? V 11

What response, if any, should we have to false teachers? V 11

John wrote that he hoped to come to them soon and speak “face to face.” What would that indicate that he was expecting of their hospitality towards him? V 12

Why would their joy be made full? V 12

Would this same fullness of joy be possible if they were showing hospitality towards false teachers and deceivers? What could you say is necessary for joy to be made full? V 12

Who do “the children of your chosen sister” refer to? V 13

Who is the “chosen sister”? V 13

Why does John end the book with “Amen”? V 13

Cross References-

2 John 7-

2 Peter 2:1-3

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. 2 Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; 3 and in their  greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.

1 John 2:18-22

18 Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out,  so that it would be shown that they all are not of us. 20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know. 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. 22 Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son.

1 John 4:1

 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

John 1:14

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

1 Tim 3:16-4:1

16 By common confession, great is the mystery of godliness:

He who was revealed in the flesh,

Was vindicated in the Spirit,

 Seen by angels,

 Proclaimed among the nations,

 Believed on in the world,

 Taken up in glory.

1 John 4:2

2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God;

Rev 12:9

9 And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

Rev 13:14

14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life.

1 John 4:3

3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.

Luke 21:8

8 And He said, “See to it that you are not misled; for many will come in My name, saying, ‘ I am He,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not go after them.

2 John 8-

Matt 10:41

He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward. And he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward.

Matt 25:40

And the King will answer and say to them, “Assuredly. I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.”

Matt 24:4-5

4 And Jesus answered and said to them, ” See to it that no one misleads you.

Matt 24:24-25

24 “For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.  25 “Behold, I have told you in advance.

Mark 9:41

For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in My name, because you belong to Christ, assuredly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.

Mark 13:5-6

5 And Jesus began to say to them, “See to it that no one misleads you.  6 “Many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He!’ and will mislead many.

Rev 3:10

11′ I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown.

Gal 3:4

4 Did you suffer so many things in vain —  if indeed it was in vain?

Gal 4:11

11 I fear for you, that perhaps I have labored over you in vain.

Phil 3:16

16 however, let us keep living by that same  standard to which we have attained.

Heb 10:35

35 Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.

John 4:36

36 “Already he who reaps is receiving wages and is gathering fruit for life eternal; so that he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together.

1 Cor 3:8

8 Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor.

1 Cor 3:10-17

10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. 11 For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each man’s work will become evident;  for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work.14 If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. 16 Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, he must become foolish, so that he may become wise.

2 Cor 5:9;10

Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

Ps 19:11

11 Moreover, by them Your servant is warned;

In keeping them there is great reward.

Prov 13:13

13 The one who despises the word will be in debt to it,

But the one who fears the commandment will be rewarded.

Col 2:18-19

Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God.

Col 3:24-25

Knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality.

2 John 9-

John 15:6

6 “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.

1 John 2:22-24

22 Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. 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.

John 7:16-17

16 So Jesus answered them and said, ” My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me.  17 ” If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself.

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.

Titus 2:10

10 not pilfering, but showing all good faith so that they will adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect.

Heb 6:1

Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,

Matt 11:27

27 ” All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.

John 5:23

23 so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.

John 14:6

6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

Heb 3:14

14 For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end,

1 John 1:3

3 what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.

2 John 10-

Rom 16:17-18

17 Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. 18 For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting.

1 Cor 5:11

11 But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler — not even to eat with such a one.

Gal 1:8-9

8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! 9 As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!

2 Tim 3:5-6

5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. 6 For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses,

Titus 3:10

10 Reject a factious man after a first and second warning,

Prov 19:27

27 Cease listening, my son, to discipline,

And you will stray from the words of knowledge.

Matt 9:11

11 When the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, ” Why is your Teacher eating with the tax collectors and sinners?”

Matt 18:17

17 “If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.

2 Cor 7:2

2 Make room for us in your hearts; we wronged no one, we corrupted no one, we took advantage of no one.

Eph 5:11

11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them;

2 John 11-

Ps 50:18

18 “When you see a thief, you are pleased with him,

And you associate with adulterers.

Eph 5:11

11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them;

1 Tim 5:22

22 Do not lay hands upon anyone too hastily and thereby shareresponsibility for the sins of others; keep yourself free from sin.

Rev 18:4

4 I heard another voice from heaven, saying, ” Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues;

Lev 19:17

17’You shall not hate your fellow countryman in your heart; you may surely reprove your neighbor, but shall not incur sin because of him.

2  John 12-

John 16:12

12 “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now

3 John 13-14

13 I had many things to write to you, but I am not willing to write them to you with pen and ink; 14 but I hope to see you shortly, and we will speak face to face.

Rom 15:24

24 whenever I go to Spain — for I hope to see you in passing, and to be helped on my way there by you, when I have first enjoyed your company for a while

1 Cor 16:5-7

5 But I will come to you after I go through Macedonia, for I am going through Macedonia; 6 and perhaps I will stay with you, or even spend the winter, so that you may send me on my way wherever I may go. 7 For I do not wish to see you nowjust in passing; for I hope to remain with you for some time, if the Lord permits.

Philem 22

22 At the same time also prepare me a lodging, for I hope that through your prayers I will be given to you.

Heb 13:19

19 And I urge you all the more to do this, so that I may be restored to you the sooner.

Num 12:8

8 With him I speak mouth to mouth,

Even openly, and not in dark sayings,

And he beholds the form of the LORD.

Why then were you not afraid

To speak against My servant, against Moses?”

John 15:11

11 ” These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.

John 16:24

24 ” Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full.

John 17:13

“But now I come to You; and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My joy made full in themselves.

2 Tim 1:4

4 longing to see you, even as I recall your tears, so that I may be filled with joy.

1 John 1:4

4 These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.

2 John 13-

1 Peter 5:13

13 She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you greetings, and so does my son, Mark.

2 Cor 13:13

13 All the saints greet you.

2 Tim 4:21

21 Make every effort to come before winter. Eubulus greets you, also Pudens and Linus and Claudia and all the brethren.

1 Peter 1:2

2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.

Study 3 John 1-8
Join Our Newsletter

We want to help you study the Bible, obey the Bible, and teach the Bible to others. We have therefore created a library of almost one thousand (and growing) inductive Bible studies, which are available for free. This takes a lot of time and hard work.

Help us continue to create Bible study resources by supporting Study and Obey for as little as $1.


Sharing is caring!