2 John 1:4
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as the Father commanded us.

New Living Translation
How happy I was to meet some of your children and find them living according to the truth, just as the Father commanded.

English Standard Version
I rejoiced greatly to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as we were commanded by the Father.

Berean Study Bible
I was overjoyed to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as the Father has commanded us.

Berean Literal Bible
I rejoiced exceedingly that I have found some of your children walking in truth, just as we have received a commandment from the Father.

New American Standard Bible
I was very glad to find some of your children walking in truth, just as we have received commandment to do from the Father.

King James Bible
I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
I was very glad to find some of your children walking in the truth, in keeping with a command we have received from the Father.

International Standard Version
I was overjoyed to find some of your children living truthfully, just as the Father has commanded us.

NET Bible
I rejoiced greatly because I have found some of your children living according to the truth, just as the Father commanded us.

New Heart English Bible
I rejoice greatly that I have found some of your children walking in truth, even as we have been commanded by the Father.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
I rejoiced much when I found some of your children walking in truth, according to the commandment which we have received from The Father.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I was very happy to find some of your children living in the truth as the Father has commanded us.

New American Standard 1977
I was very glad to find some of your children walking in truth, just as we have received commandment to do from the Father.

Jubilee Bible 2000
I have rejoiced greatly, for I have found of thy sons that they walk in the truth, as we have received the commandment from the Father.

King James 2000 Bible
I rejoiced greatly that I found some of your children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father.

American King James Version
I rejoiced greatly that I found of your children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father.

American Standard Version
I rejoice greatly that I have found certain of thy children walking in truth, even as we received commandment from the Father.

Douay-Rheims Bible
I was exceeding glad, that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father.

Darby Bible Translation
I rejoiced greatly that I have found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received commandment from the Father.

English Revised Version
I rejoice greatly that I have found certain of thy children walking in truth, even as we received commandment from the Father.

Webster's Bible Translation
I rejoiced greatly, that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father.

Weymouth New Testament
It is an intense joy to me to have found some of your children living true Christian lives, in obedience to the command which we have received from the Father.

World English Bible
I rejoice greatly that I have found some of your children walking in truth, even as we have been commanded by the Father.

Young's Literal Translation
I rejoiced exceedingly that I have found of thy children walking in truth, even as a command we did receive from the Father;
Study Bible
Walking in the Truth
3Grace, mercy, and peace be with us in truth and love from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father. 4I was overjoyed to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as the Father has commanded us. 5And now I urge you, dear lady—not as a new commandment to you, but one we have had from the beginning—that we love one another.…
Cross References
1 Corinthians 13:6
Love takes no pleasure in evil, but rejoices in the truth.

3 John 1:3
For I was overjoyed when the brothers came and testified about your devotion to the truth, in which you continue to walk.

3 John 1:4
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.
Treasury of Scripture

I rejoiced greatly that I found of your children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father.

rejoiced.

Philippians 4:10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care …

1 Thessalonians 2:19,20 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even …

1 Thessalonians 3:6-10 But now when Timotheus came from you to us, and brought us good tidings …

3 John 1:3,4 For I rejoiced greatly, when the brothers came and testified of the …

walking.

Hosea 14:9 Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he …

Malachi 2:6 The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in …

Galatians 2:14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth …

Ephesians 5:2,8 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us…

1 John 1:6,7 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, …

1 John 2:6 He that said he stays in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

(2) St. John had lately had opportunity of observing bow some of the matron's children proved their adherence to the truth by their daily conduct. Having congratulated her about this, he states the chief thing which he desires of her: the pure Christian love which implies every other grace and virtue; in other words, walking after the divine commandments. That this love should be pure, that these commandments should be unimpaired, it was necessary to remember that nothing new could be added to the original message of Christ. This warning was timely, because many errors had already appeared, especially that greatest error which denied the Incarnation. The family must, therefore, be on its guard, lest it should be cheated of its reward. The test was very simple: any advance beyond the doctrine of Christ. It would be better for the family not to entertain in their house any who had committed themselves to these doctrines of development (2John 1:4-11).

(2 a.) (4) I rejoiced . . .--Comp. Romans 1:8; 1Corinthians 1:4; 2Corinthians 1:3; Ephesians 1:3; Philippians 1:3; Colossians 1:3.

Of thy children.--Probably those met at home.

Walking in truth.--Comp. John 8:12; 1John 1:6-7; 1John 2:6; 3John 1:3-4.

As we have received a commandment.--That is, walking according to the revelation of God's will in Christ Jesus.

(2 b.) (5) Love is the Christian's moral disposition of mind, which embraces all other virtues and graces. It implies faith, because it is founded on Christian principle, and can only be tested by a right belief. It implies purity, because it is modelled on the love of God, and has abjured the old man. It implies unselfishness, because it desires the good of the other for his own sake and God's. It implies humility, because it distrusts itself, relies on God, and thinks more of the other than of itself. (Comp. John 13:14; John 15:12; 1 Corinthians 13; Ephesians 5:2; 1Peter 4:8; 1John 3:11; 1John 3:23; 1John 4:7; 1John 4:21.)

Not as though.--See the Notes on 1John 2:7-8; 1John 3:11.

(2 100) (6) The attitude of love in general, whether towards God or man, is best defined and described as "walking after God's commandments." It might have been thought that love would be a vague immeasurable feeling, differing chiefly in intensity; but the Christian disposition which is described as love is that practical and enlightened result of faith which naturally acts and expresses itself by following God's will in all things. (Comp. 1John 4:7; 1John 4:16.)

(2 d.) This is the commandment.--The sum of all God's commandments for us is this: that we should be doers of the word which we have heard since first Christ began to fulfil the Law and the Prophets, and not of any other. All development from what He said, or from what we have repeated from Him is disobedience and error. (Comp. 1John 2:24.)

(2 e.) The appearance of deceivers is the reason for this warning against false progress (2John 1:7).

The ground of his love for the matron and her family was that they held to the truth. He is proportionately anxious that they should not go beyond it through evil influences.

(7) Deceivers.--"Those who cause others to wander." (Comp. 1John 2:26; 1John 4:1-6; 1Timothy 4:1.)

Entered into the world.--Comp. 1John 2:19; 1John 4:1.

Confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.--Rather, confess not Jesus Christ coming in flesh. The Greek implies the idea only, without reference to time. (Comp. 1John 4:2-3.) The expression would include both those who denied that Jesus was the Messiah, and those who, for Gnostic theories, held Him to be only a phantom, declaring the Incarnation to be an impossibility.

This is . . .--Rather, the deceiver, and the antichrist--i.e., among all the human errors by which the influence of the Evil One is manifested, this is the most destructive. Those who adopt such errors are the most fatal deceivers and opponents of Christ and truth.

(2 f.) The warning (2John 1:8).

(8) Look to yourselves.--For the triple "we" in this verse, read "ye." The result of the error would be loss of the fellowship with the Father and the Son in truth and love. (Comp. Galatians 3:1-4; Galatians 4:11.)

Which we (or, ye) have wrought.--Their faith, hope, love, and the growth of the Christian graces.

A full reward.--The diminution of the reward would be in proportion to the gravity of the error. The reward would be the peace of God which passeth all understanding, the blessed stability, firmness, and joy which truth and love communicate. (Comp. Colossians 3:24; Galatians 4:2.)

(2 g.) The test (2John 1:9).

Progression beyond Christ's teaching, a sign of the absence of God; refusal to go beyond His lines a proof of the presence of Father and Son.

(9) Transgresseth.--Rather, goeth beyond. (Comp. Matthew 21:9; 1Timothy 1:18; 1Timothy 5:24; 2Timothy 3:7; 2Timothy 3:14; Titus 1:9.)

The doctrine of Christ.--That which Christ taught. (Comp. Matthew 7:28; Matthew 16:12; Matthew 22:33; Mark 1:22; Mark 4:2; Mark 12:38; John 8:31; Acts 2:42; Acts 5:28.)

Hath not God.--Comp. 1John 2:23; 1John 5:12.

(2 h.) Practical direction (2John 1:10-11).

Although it would be possible to love unbelievers, in the sense of earnestly desiring that they might come to a knowledge of the truth, it would be wrong--for sincere Christians it would be impossible--to hold out to them the right hand of fellowship. Especially dangerous would it be for the matron and her family. (Comp. 2Timothy 3:6.)

(10) If there come.--The construction implies that it was the case. St. John was dealing with facts. St. Paul held the same view (Romans 16:17; Galatians 1:8-9; Titus 3:10-11; and, in regard to morals, 1Corinthians 5:11; 1Corinthians 16:22).

This doctrine.--See 2John 1:9. He is not speaking of those who had never heard or been instructed in the doctrine of Christ; they would be less dangerous. He means those who deliberately altered the Apostolic teaching. And his reason is evidently chiefly the religious welfare of the matron and her family. The case supplies an important instruction in the theory of Christian social conduct.

Receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed.--These are no terms of ordinary politeness, which the Apostle does not forbid, but terms of close Christian intimacy and spiritual communion, the deliberate cultivation of personal acquaintance, fraternal intercourse. The highest sort of Christian brotherly love--love, that is, in its fulness and truth--can only find reciprocity in the same atmosphere of Christ, on the same basis, and in the same characteristics. (Comp. 2Corinthians 6:16.)

(11) Is partaker of his evil deeds.--Condones his false doctrine; puts himself in a position to accept it; shares the guilt of his disloyalty by sympathising with him; and in this way lowers his whole moral standard, doing an injury to "God, Christ, the Church, the truth, individual communities, and his own soul." If any interpret the exhortations to love in the Epistles of St. John too liberally, or by too low a measure, this passage is a wholesome corrective. In applying this teaching to modern times we should remember (1) that St. John is only speaking of those who deliberately deprave the doctrine of Christ in its great outlines; (2) that there may be much in ourselves, in our systems, in our quarrels, in our incrustations of divine truth, in our want of the sense of proportion in dealing with divine things, which may have hindered others from receiving Christ.

Verse 4. - I rejoice greatly that I have found (certain) of thy children walking in truth. The Revised Version is certainly right in rendering εὕρηκα "I have found" rather than "I found;" and it is probably right in rendering ἐχάρην "I rejoice" rather than "I rejoiced." It looks like the idiomatic "epistolary aorist," of which we have had probable instances in 1 John 2:21 and 26. In this idiom the point of view of the recipient of the letter is taken instead of that of the writer. In Latin the imperfect is used in a similar way - scribebam, dabamus; and sometimes the perfect, scripsi, misi, and the like (comp. Acts 23:30; Philippians 2:25, 28; Philemon 1:11, 19, 21. See Moulton's Winer, page 347). We are probably to understand this verse as a gentle intimation on the part of the elder that he has reason to know that certain others of her children are not walking in truth. Through the elect lady's too indiscriminate hospitality, some of her children have been seduced by the deceivers who have come to her bringing other doctrine than that of Christ. I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children,.... Not all, but some of them; for good parents have not always good children, or at least not all of them; Adam had a Cain, Abraham an Ishmael, and Isaac an Esau: God is pleased to show his discriminating grace in tribes and families, by taking some, and leaving others: it is a great mercy when any are called by grace, and instead of the fathers are the children: and this was the case of some of the children of this elect lady, they were

walking in the truth: in Christ, the truth, by faith, as they had received him; and in the truth of the Gospel, as they had embraced and professed it; they abode in it, and by it, and made a proficiency in the knowledge of it, which may be signified by walking, that being a progressive action: as also they walked according to it, and as became it; and likewise they walked in the truth of Gospel worship, discipline, and ordinances:

as we have received a commandment from the Father; and which has been made known by Jesus Christ, as his mind and will. Now as it is matter of joy and gladness to godly parents when their children walk in the paths of faith, truth, and holiness, so it is also to ministers of the Gospel, as well as to the angels in heaven; it gives them an inward pleasure and joy, and which is not only expressed by them, to such children and their parents, but is also abundant by many thanksgivings unto God. 4. I found—probably in one of his missionary tours of superintendence. See [2653]Introduction, at the end, and 2Jo 12; 3Jo 10, 14.

of thy children—some.

in truth—that is, in the Gospel truth.

as—even as. "The Father's commandment" is the standard of "the truth."1:4-6 It is good to be trained to early religion; and children may be beloved for their parents' sake. It gave great joy to the apostle to see children treading in their parents' steps, and likely in their turn to support the gospel. May God bless such families more and more, and raise up many to copy their example. How pleasing the contrast to numbers who spread irreligion, infidelity, and vice, among their children! Our walk is true, our converse right, when according to the word of God. This commandment of mutual Christian love, may be said to be a new one, in respect of its being declared by the Lord Christ; yet, as to the matter, it is old. And this is love to our own souls, that we obey the Divine commands. The foresight of the decay of this love, as well as of other apostacies, or fallings away, might engage the apostle to urge this duty, and this command, frequently and earnestly.
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