1The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth; 2For the truth’s sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us for ever. 3Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.
4I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father. 5And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. 6And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it. 7For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. 8Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. 9Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. 10If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: 11For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.
12Having many things to write unto you, I would not write with paper and ink: but I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face, that our joy may be full. 13The children of thy elect sister greet thee. Amen.
1I, the elder, am writing this letter.
I am sending it to the lady chosen by God and to her children. I love all of you because of the truth. I’m not the only one who loves you. So does everyone who knows the truth. 2I love you because of the truth that is alive in us. This truth will be with us forever.
3God the Father and Jesus Christ his Son will give you grace, mercy and peace. These blessings will be with us because we love the truth.
4It has given me great joy to find some of your children living by the truth. That’s just what the Father commanded us to do. 5Dear lady, I’m not writing you a new command. I’m writing a command we’ve had from the beginning. I’m asking that we love one another. 6The way we show our love is to obey God’s commands. He commands you to lead a life of love. That’s what you have heard from the beginning.
7I say this because many people have tried to fool others. These people have gone out into the world. They don’t agree that Jesus Christ came in a human body. People like this try to trick others. These people are like the great enemy of Christ. 8Watch out that you don’t lose what we have worked for. Make sure that you get your full reward. 9Suppose someone thinks they know more than we do. So they don’t follow Christ’s teaching. Then that person doesn’t belong to God. But whoever follows Christ’s teaching belongs to the Father and the Son. 10Suppose someone comes to you and doesn’t teach these truths. Then don’t take them into your house or welcome them. 11Anyone who welcomes them shares in their evil work.
12I have a lot to write to you. But I don’t want to use paper and ink. I hope I can visit you instead. Then I can talk with you face to face. That will make our joy complete.
13The children of your sister, who is chosen by God, send their greetings.