Presenting a Biblical response by concerned former Seventh-day Adventists to the Sabbath School Bible Study Guide.

This website is NOT connected to the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The offical Seventh-day Adventist Church website is linked here.

HOME | 2009 | THIRD QUARTER | WEEK 12 | DAY 1 | DAY 2 | DAY 3 | DAY 4 | DAY 5 | DAY 6 | DAY 7


Commentary on "John's Letter to the Chosen Lady"



Day 2: Sunday, September 13, 2009


John addresses the letter to “the chosen lady and her children.” The phrase can be interpreted as referring either to a literal individual or to a group of believers, possibly a local church. It is unclear whether John is speaking literally or symbolically; but in either case, it is clear that the recipients are believers of the truth, the gospel of Jesus Christ.

 The word “truth” appears repeatedly in this section. 2 Thess. 2:10 refers to the “love of the truth” which is an essential part of coming to faith in Jesus Christ. In Revelation, everyone who “loves and practices lying” is condemned to be “outside” the heavenly city. In contrast, we who believe in Jesus have been given “another Helper,” the “Spirit of truth” (the Holy Spirit), who will “be with [us] forever.” In Ephesians 6, we are commanded to “gird our loins with truth” (the belt of truth, the first among several elements of the armor of God), with which we can “stand firm against the schemes of the devil.” Jesus says, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:31-32). Truly, the truth is most precious to us who believe in Jesus – not just knowing the truth, but walking in it: letting all we do be motivated by our faith in Jesus.

The lesson does well to point out that real love only exists in the context of truth. Paul writes, “speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all things into Him who is the head, even Christ” (Ephesians 4:15). Indeed, one of the primary ways we are called love others is to tell them the truth; truth is the foundation of healthy relationships.  Without truth, the relationship is not real and love is impossible. Again, Paul writes: “Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self…” (Colossians 3:9-10). The “new self” is our identity in Jesus Christ, the fact that “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). 

Paul writes about true love:

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).

This is the love of God our Father for us, the “perfect love that casts out fear” (1 John 4:18). He gives us the ability to love one another by the Holy Spirit (“the fruit of the Spirit is love…”), not by our own strength or ability. Loving others is only possible when we have been loved. Let us draw near, then, to God through Jesus Christ, to receive his love, that we may love others as he has loved us.



  1. The letter’s recipient can be interpreted to be either a lady known to John or a local church.
  2. Truth is most precious to us who believe.  It sets us free, brings us to God, and gives us eternal salvation and good hope.
  3. Real love only exists in the context of truth.  Healthy relationships are only possible when people are truthful with one another.
  4. The power to love comes from God alone; when we receive his love, we are enabled to pour it out on others. Thus, He is glorified since it came from Him, and others are blessed (we are too!).


Footnote: for a full discussion of whom the letter was addressed to, see The Epistles of St John by Alfred Plummer, pages 57-58; here is a link:




Copyright 2009 All rights reserved. Revised September 12, 2009. This website is published by Life Assurance Ministries, Glendale, Arizona, USA, the publisher of Proclamation! Magazine. Contact email:

The Sabbath School Bible Study Guide and the corresponding E.G. White Notes are published by Pacific Press Publishing Association, which is owned and operated by the Seventh-day Adventist church. The current quarter's editions are pictured above.


Official Adventist Resources

Standard Edition Study Guide Week 12

Teacher's Edition Study Guide Week 12

Easy Reading Edition Study Guide Week 12

Search the Complete Published Ellen G. White Writings