In our study, we will look at the impossibility of fellowship with those who deny the deity of Jesus Christ. As we saw in his first letter, true fellowship is believers gathering to share in the things of God. That first letter was written to the church in general but this one is not. It was written to correct a situation that had invaded a local body of believers and that situation was fellowship with deceivers and antichrists.
"The elder, To the chosen lady and her children, whom I love in the truth - and not I only, but also all who know the truth - because of the truth, which lives in us and will be with us forever:" NIV translation
John introduces himself as "the elder" and it could be that he was talking about his office within the church or it could have been a reference to his age as he was about 90 years old when he wrote this letter.
The letter is addressed to a certain woman who was a follower of Jesus Christ. It is interesting to note that the word "truth" appears alongside love and is repeated twice in this passage. He says that he loves her because of the presence and work of the Holy Spirit which leads us into truth which is Jesus Christ.
"Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father's Son, will be with us in truth and love." NIV translation
Truth is presented again alongside of love and we see here what is contained in them. God is love and, because of that, He could not leave us in our fallen state. We throw the word around without much thought in our world today but love is not passive; it is word backed by action. Love itself does not save us from our sinful state as God loves even those who are on the road to judgment and hell. That love led to the actions of mercy and grace. Mercy is the fact that God provided a replacement to take the judgment on our behalf and so we do not get what we deserved. Mercy itself does not save because it is the provision of the way but we would not have sought it on our own. Grace is the act of God coming to us individually and presenting to us what we could not get on our own. Jesus was and is that replacement and that is why He could say that He is the Truth (see John 14:6). Because of that mercy and grace, we have peace (a right relationship) with the Father.