1 1 The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth; and not I only, but also all they that know the truth; 2 for the truth's sake which abideth in us, and it shall be with us for ever: 3 Grace, mercy, peace shall be with us, from God the Father, and from Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.
Abide in the Doctrine of Christ
4 I rejoice greatly that I have found [certain] of thy children walking in truth, even as we received commandment from the Father.
5 And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote to thee a new commandment, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. 6 And this is love, that we should walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, even as ye heard from the beginning, that ye should walk in it.
7 For many deceivers are gone forth into the world, [even] they that confess not that Jesus Christ cometh in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. 8 Look to yourselves, that ye lose not the things which we have wrought, but that ye receive a full reward. 9 Whosoever goeth onward and abideth not in the teaching of Christ, hath not God: he that abideth in the teaching, the same hath both the Father and the Son.
12 Having many things to write unto you, I would not [write them] with paper and ink: but I hope to come unto you, and to speak face to face, that your joy may be made full. 13 The children of thine elect sister salute thee.
Gaius' Hospitality Commended
5 Beloved, thou doest a faithful work in whatsoever thou doest toward them that are brethren and strangers withal; 6 who bare witness to thy love before the church: whom thou wilt do well to set forward on their journey worthily of God: 7 because that for the sake of the Name they went forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles. 8 We therefore ought to welcome such, that we may be fellow-workers for the truth.
The Opposition of Diotrephes
9 I wrote somewhat unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. 10 Therefore, if I come, I will bring to remembrance his works which he doeth, prating against us with wicked words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and them that would he forbiddeth and casteth [them] out of the church.
The Good Report concerning Demetrius
11 Beloved, imitate not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: he that doeth evil hath not seen God.
12 Demetrius hath the witness of all [men], and of the truth itself: yea, we also bear witness: and thou knowest that our witness is true.
13 I had many things to write unto thee, but I am unwilling to write [them] to thee with ink and pen: 14 but I hope shortly to see thee, and we shall speak face to face. Peace [be] unto thee. The friends salute thee. Salute the friends by name.
Judgment on False Teachers
3 Beloved, while I was giving all diligence to write unto you of our common salvation, I was constrained to write unto you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered unto the saints. 4 For there are certain men crept in privily, [even] they who were of old written of beforehand unto this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. 5 Now I desire to put you in remembrance, though ye know all things once for all, that the Lord, having saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. 6 And angels that kept not their own principality, but left their proper habitation, he hath kept in everlasting bonds under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. 7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them, having in like manner with these given themselves over to fornication and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the punishment of eternal fire.
8 Yet in like manner these also in their dreamings defile the flesh, and set at nought dominion, and rail at dignities. 9 But Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing judgment, but said, The Lord rebuke thee. 10 But these rail at whatsoever things they know not: and what they understand naturally, like the creatures without reason, in these things are they destroyed. 11 Woe unto them! For they went in the way of Cain, and ran riotously in the error of Balaam for hire, and perished in the gainsaying of Korah. 12 These are they who are hidden rocks in your love-feasts when they feast with you, shepherds that without fear feed themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn leaves without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; 13 Wild waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the blackness of darkness hath been reserved forever. 14 And to these also Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, Behold, the Lord came with ten thousands of his holy ones,
15 to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their works of ungodliness which they have ungodly wrought, and of all the hard things which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. 16 These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their lusts (and their mouth speaketh great swelling [words]), showing respect of persons for the sake of advantage.
Warnings and Exhortations
17 But ye, beloved, remember ye the words which have been spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; 18 That they said to you, In the last time there shall be mockers, walking after their own ungodly lusts. 19 These are they who make separations, sensual, having not the Spirit. 20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. 22 And on some have mercy, who are in doubt; 23 and some save, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
24 Now unto him that is able to guard you from stumbling, and to set you before the presence of his glory without blemish in exceeding joy, 25 to the only God our Saviour, through Jesus Christ our Lord, [be] glory, majesty, dominion and power, before all time, and now, and for evermore. Amen.