Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


2 John 1:5

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

That which we had from the beginning - The commandment to love one another was what they had heard from the first publication of Christianity, and what he wishes this excellent woman to inculcate on all those under her care. The mode of address here shows that it was a person, not a Church, to which the apostle wrote.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

And now I beseech thee, lady - Dr, “And now I entreat thee, Kyria,” ( κυρία kuriaSee the introduction, Section 2. If this was her proper name, there is no impropriety in supposing that he would address her in this familiar style. John was probably then a very old man; the female to whom the Epistle was addressed was doubtless much younger.

Not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee - John presumed that the command to love one another was understood as far as the gospel was known; and he might well presume it, for true Christianity never prevails anywhere without prompting to the observance of this law. See the notes at 1 Thessalonians 4:9.

But that which we had from the beginning - From the time when the gospel was first made known to us. See the notes at 1 John 2:7; 1 John 3:11.

That we love one another - That is, that there be among the disciples of Christ mutual love; or that in all circumstances and relations they should love one another, John 15:12, John 15:17. This general command, addressed to all the disciples of the Saviour, John doubtless means to say was as applicable to him and to the pious female to whom he wrote as to any others, and ought to be exercised by them toward all true Christians; and he exhorts her, as he did all Christians, to exercise it. It was a command upon which, in his old age, he loved to dwell; and he had little more to say to her than this, to exhort her to obey this injunction of the Saviour.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
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.
Ellen G. White
The Retirement Years, 164

After my husband died, one of our brethren, who thought a great deal of him, said, “Do not let them bury him, but pray to the Lord that He may bring him to life again.” I said, “No, no, although I realize my great loss, I will not do this,” I felt that he had done his work. No one but myself knew how great a load he had carried in the efforts we had put forth to advance the truth. He had done the work of three men. RY 164.1

Night after night, at the beginning of our work, when advancement seemed to be hindered on every hand, he would say, “Ellen, we must pray. We must not let go until we realize the power of God.” He would lie awake for hours, and say, “Oh, Ellen, I am so afflicted. Will you pray for me, that I may not fail or be discouraged.” Together we offered up our prayers, with strong crying and tears, until from his lips came the words, “Thank the Lord; He has spoken peace to me. I have light in the Lord. I will not fail. I will press the battle to the gates.” Would I have him suffer all this over again? No, no. I would in no case call him from his restful sleep to a life of toil and pain. He will rest until the morning of the resurrection. RY 164.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, 241-2

After the descent of the Holy Spirit the disciples went forth to proclaim a risen Saviour, their one desire the salvation of souls. They rejoiced in the sweetness of the communion with saints. They were tender, thoughtful, self-denying, willing to make any sacrifice for the truth's sake. In their daily association with one another they revealed the love that Christ had commanded them to reveal. By unselfish words and deeds they strove to kindle this love in other hearts. 8T 241.1

The believers were ever to cherish the love that filled the hearts of the apostles after the descent of the Holy Spirit. They were to go forward in willing obedience to the new commandment: “As I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” John 13:34. So closely were they to be united to Christ that they would be enabled to fulfill His requirements. The power of a Saviour who could justify them by His righteousness was to be magnified. 8T 241.2

But the early Christians began to look for defects in one another. Dwelling upon mistakes, giving place to unkind criticism, they lost sight of the Saviour and of the great love He had revealed for sinners. They became more strict in regard to outward ceremonies, more particular about the theory of the faith, more severe in their criticisms. In their zeal to condemn others they forgot their own errors. They forgot the lesson of brotherly love that Christ had taught. And, saddest of all, they were unconscious of their loss. They did not realize that happiness and joy were going out of their lives, and that soon they would walk in darkness, having shut the love of God out of their hearts. 8T 241.3

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