1 I, 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. 2 I love you because of the truth that is alive in us. This truth will be with us forever.
3 God 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.
4 It 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. 5 Dear 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. 6 The 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.
7 I 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. 8 Watch out that you don’t lose what we have worked for. Make sure that you get your full reward. 9 Suppose 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. 10 Suppose someone comes to you and doesn’t teach these truths. Then don’t take them into your house or welcome them. 11 Anyone who welcomes them shares in their evil work.
12 I 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.
13 The children of your sister, who is chosen by God, send their greetings.