1 This letter comes from the elder* Understood to be John. to the chosen lady† The “chosen lady” could refer to a church, or to a specific Christian lady. Similarly in verse 13. and her children, whom I love in the truth. Not just from me, but from everyone who knows the truth, 2 because the truth lives in us and will be with us forever. 3 May grace, mercy and peace continue to be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and in love.
4 I was delighted to discover that some of your children are following the truth, just as the Father commanded us. 5 Now I'm telling you, dear lady, not as a new instruction, but following what we've understood from the beginning, that we should love one another. 6 This is what love is: we should follow God's commands. The command, just as you heard right from the beginning, is that you should live in love.‡ Or “that you should behave this way.”
7 I'm telling you this because many deceivers have left and gone out into the world. They don't accept that Jesus Christ has come as a human being. Anyone like this is a deceiver and an antichrist. 8 Be careful that you don't lose what we've worked so hard for, and that you receive all that you should.
9 All those who become extremists§ Literally, “who go too far.” and don't continue to follow the teaching of Christ don't have God with them. Those who continue to follow the teaching of Christ have both the Father and the Son with them. 10 If people come to you and don't show evidence of Christ's teaching, don't take them in, don't welcome them— 11 for if you encourage them you share in their evil work.
12 I have so many things to tell you that I won't write any more with paper and ink, for I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face. How happy that would make us! 13 Greetings to you from the children of your chosen sister.
*1:1 Understood to be John.
†1:1 The “chosen lady” could refer to a church, or to a specific Christian lady. Similarly in verse 13.
‡1:6 Or “that you should behave this way.”
§1:9 Literally, “who go too far.”