There is no better description of love than that found here in 2 John 6: “And this is love, that we walk after His commandments.”  Does this not entirely agree with Paul, who wrote, “Love is the fulfilling of the law”?  James also is in harmony with this thought, for he wrote, “If ye fulfill the royal law, according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, ye do well.”  We love our brethren, not by simply feeling tender sentiments towards them within our own selves, but by behaving towards them in such a fashion as directed by the Word of God.   We sacrifice our own interests, time, pleasures, and goods for their well-being.  We gird up the loins of our minds to even rebuke them when it is becoming, and to accept rebuke from them when we ourselves are overtaken in a fault.  Christian love is based upon the duties encoded in the law of God.  Without a knowledge of the moral duties required by that law, we truly have no accurate conception of the kind of love God requires of us.  We must take care that our conceptions of love are informed by holy Scripture, rather than by Hollywood and the surrounding culture.

Love was the commandment which John always stressed to his hearers.  He reminded them that love to God and love for one another is the very thing they had heard from the beginning.  Here, by “from the beginning” it is almost certain that he refers to the beginning of the Gospel ministry among them.  Doubtless the apostles were faithful to repeat to their hearers what they had heard from Christ, that the greatest commandment is that we love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength, and that the second is like unto it, that we love our neighbors as ourselves.  And, of course, as has already been pointed out, they would have preached that new commandment, that we love one another even as Christ loved us.  Thus, we see that it was no new doctrine which John was writing to the elect lady and her children, but one dating back to the ministry of Jesus, and in some sense all the way back to the giving of the Mosaic law.