2John 1:1-3 The 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; For the truth’s sake, which dwells in us, and shall be with us for ever. Grace 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.
‘Elder’ John was an elder in three ways: By title, being an apostle and a preaching elder; by seniority, both as a Christian and as an apostle. He is thought to have been the oldest of the apostles, to have had the most years of Christian experience and to have been the only one to die a natural death; by age, being about 90 years old at this writing.
In the early days of the congregations, elders were the ministers and deacons, or teaching elders; those who served God for a period of time and had a good report from outside (1Tim 3:6-7) and were experienced in the Word (Acts 11:30; 14:23; 16:4; 20:17, 28; 21:18; 1Tim. 5:17; Tit.1:5; Jas. 5:14).
‘Elect’ from the Greek word eklektos meaning chosen, excellent, preeminent. All men are called to become God’s elect or chosen ones and can be if they will choose God (Matt. 11:28-30; 20:16; John 1:12; 3:16-20; 6:37; Eph. 1:4; 2Thess. 2:13; 1Tim. 2:4 Jas. 2:5;; 2Pet. 3:9; Rev. 17:14; 22:17).
‘Lady’ the Greek word kuria, the feminine of kurios; meaning Lord. It may signify some honourable woman to whom John addressed the epistle. She probably had a congregation in her home, just as the leaders, Euodias and Syntyche, two women of the congregation of Philippi had (Php. 4:2-3).
‘Her children’ this reference will be the same as Paul writing unto Timothy as his “own son” (1Tim. 1:2) which means a son in the gospel (Acts 16:1-3; 1Tim. 1:18; 2Tim. 1:2; 2:1).
‘I love in the truth’ this love is Christian love and so do all who love the truth. ‘In the truth’ refers to Christ who is the truth, for no greater love do we have than He who laid down His life (John 15:13). ‘Shall be with us for ever’ the doctrines of Christianity are eternal.
‘Grace be with you, mercy, and peace’ three things children of God receive of Him at the new birth. Even though grace cannot be withheld from a man because of demerit, lessened by demerit, or be mixed with the law of works; it does not prove that there are no conditions men must meet in order to get the benefits of grace. Not one scripture teaches unconditional grace, or that God gives grace to men who disobey the gospel. If so, then God is under obligation to save all, even sinners who disobey if He saves even one (Rom. 2:11). God is under obligation to saints only when they walk in the light and remain true to the gospel (1 John 1:7). He is not under obligation to sinners until they come to full obedience of the gospel (Rom. 6:1; 2Cor. 6:1; Gal. 1:6-8; 5:4; Heb. 12:15).
‘From God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ’ from both the Father and the Son of the Father, proving two distinct persons of the Trinity.
‘The Son of the Father’ the only time this expression is used. It emphasizes that Jesus is not the Father, but the Son of the Father (John 1:14, 18; 3:16). The incarnation is the very foundation of Christianity.