1 John 2 Expanded Bible (EXB)
Jesus Is Our Helper
2 My ·dear children [L little children; C a term of endearment], I write ·this letter [L these things] to you so you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have a ·helper [counselor; advocate; Rom. 8:34] in the presence of the Father—Jesus Christ, ·the One who does what is right [or the Righteous One]. 2 He ·died in our place to take away [is the atoning sacrifice/T propitiation for] our sins [C his death pays the penalty and removes God’s anger from us; 4:10; Rom. 3:25; Heb. 2:17], and not only our sins but the sins of ·all people [L the whole world].
3 We ·can be sure [know] that we know ·God [L him] if we ·obey [keep] his commands. 4 Anyone who says, “I know ·God [L him],” but does not ·obey [keep] ·God’s [L his] commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. 5 But if someone ·obeys [keeps] ·God’s teaching [L his word], then in that person ·God’s love [or love for God] has ·truly reached its goal [been fulfilled/perfected/completed]. This is how we can be sure we are ·living in God [L in him]: 6 Whoever says that he ·lives [abides; remains] in God must ·live [L walk] as ·Jesus lived [L he walked].
The Command to Love Others
7 ·My dear friends [L Beloved], I am not writing a new command to you but an old command you have had from the beginning [3:23; John 13:34]. It is the ·teaching [L word] you have already heard. 8 But also I am writing a new command to you, ·and you can see its truth in Jesus [L which is true in him] and in you, ·because [or that] the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.
9 Anyone who ·says [claims; C as do the false teachers; see 2:18–19], “I am in the light,” [C following God’s goodness and truthfulness] but hates a brother or sister [C fellow Christian], is still in the darkness. 10 Whoever loves a brother or sister ·lives [abides; remains] in the light and ·will not cause anyone to stumble in his faith [or he will not stumble in his faith; L there is no cause of stumbling in him; C the “stumbling” may be either by apostasy or sin; John 6:61; 16:1; Rom. 14:13; Rev. 2:14]. 11 But whoever hates a brother or sister is in darkness, ·lives [L walks] in darkness, and does not know where to go, because the darkness has ·made that person blind [L blinded his eyes].
12 I write to you, dear children [2:1],
15 Do not love the world or the things ·in [associated with] the world. If you love the world, the love ·of [or for] the Father is not in you [James 4:4]. 16 [L For] ·These are the ways of [All that is in/associated with] the world: ·wanting to please our sinful selves [L the desire/lust of the flesh], ·wanting the sinful things we see [L the desire/lust of the eyes], and ·being too proud of what we have [L the pride of life/possessions]. None of these come from the Father, but all of them come from the world. 17 The world and ·everything that people want in it [L its desire/lust] are passing away [1 Cor. 7:31], but the person who does ·what God wants [the will of God] ·lives [abides; remains] forever.
Reject the Enemies of Christ
18 My dear children [2:1], ·these are the last days [L it is the last hour; C suggesting urgency, though not claiming the end was near]. [L Just as] You have heard that the ·enemy of Christ [L antichrist] is coming, and now many ·enemies of Christ [L antichrists; C false teachers; 2:22; 2 John 7] are already here. This is how we know that ·these are the last days [L it is the last hour]. 19 ·These enemies of Christ were in our fellowship, but they left us [L They went out from us; C probably to form a rival fellowship]. They never really belonged to us [L But they were not of us]; [L For] if they had been a part of us, they would have ·stayed [remained; abided] with us. But they left, ·and this shows [or so that it would be shown] that none of them really belonged to us.
20 You have the ·gift [L anointing; C probably the Holy Spirit and/or the spiritual gift of the Word of God applied to their hearts; v. 24; 1 Sam. 16:13; Is. 61:1; John 16:13; 2 Cor. 1:21–22] that the Holy One gave you [L from the Holy One; C a reference to God the Father (Ps. 71:22) or more likely Jesus Christ (Mark 1:24; John 6:69)], so you all ·know the truth[a] [or have knowledge; L know]. 21 I do not write to you because you do not know the truth but because you do know the truth. And you know that no lie comes from the truth.
22 Who is the liar? It is the person who ·does not accept [denies; repudiates] Jesus as the ·Christ [Messiah; Anointed One]. This is the ·enemy of Christ [L antichrist]: the person who ·does not accept [denies; repudiates] the Father and ·his [the] Son. 23 Whoever ·does not accept [denies; repudiates] the Son does not have the Father. But whoever ·confesses [acknowledges; accepts] the Son has the Father, too.
24 [L As for you] Be sure you ·continue to follow [abide/remain in] ·the teaching [L what] you heard from the beginning [C when they first became Christians; 1 Tim. 6:3; 2 Tim. 1:13; Titus 1:9; 2 Pet. 3:2; Jude 17, 20]. If you ·continue to follow [abide/remain in] what you heard from the beginning, you will [L also; indeed] ·stay [abide; remain] in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is ·what the Son [L the promise which he himself] promised to us—·life forever [eternal life; 1 Tim. 4:8; 2 Tim. 1:1].
26 I ·am writing [or have written] ·this letter [L these things] about those people who are ·trying to lead you the wrong way [deceiving you; leading you astray]. 27 [L As for you] ·Christ gave you a special gift that is still in you [L The anointing that you received from him abides/remains in you; 2:20], so you do not need ·any other teacher [L anyone to teach you; Jer. 31:34]. [L But just as] His ·gift [L anointing] teaches you about everything, and it is true, not false. So ·continue to live in Christ, as his gift taught you [L just as he taught you, abide/remain in him].
28 ·Yes [Now], my dear children [2:1], ·live [abide; remain] in him so that when ·Christ comes back [L he appears/is revealed], we can be ·without fear [confident] and not be ashamed [L of him] ·in his presence [at his coming]. 29 ·Since [If] you know that ·Christ [L he] is righteous, you know that all who ·do right [practice righteousness] ·are God’s children [L have been born of/begotten by him].