21I am writing this to you, my children, so that you will not sin; but if anyone does sin, we have someone who pleads with the Father on our behalf — Jesus Christ, the righteous one. 2And Christ himself is the means by which our sins are forgiven, and not our sins only, but also the sins of everyone.
3If we obey God's commands, then we are sure that we know him. 4Those who say that they know him, but do not obey his commands, are liars and there is no truth in them. 5All those who obey his word are people whose love for God has really been made perfect. This is how we can be sure that we are in union with God: 6those who say that they remain in union with God should live just as Jesus Christ did.
My dear friends, this command I am writing to you is not new; it is the old command, the one you have had from the very beginning. The old command is the message you have already heard. 8However, the command I am now writing to you is new, because its truth is seen in Christ and also in you. For the darkness is passing away, and the real light is already shining.
9Those who say that they are in the light, yet hate their brothers and sisters, are in the darkness to this very hour. 10Those who love their brothers and sisters live in the light, and so there is nothing in them that will cause someone else2.10 someone else; or them. to sin. 11But those who hate their brothers and sisters are in the darkness; they walk in it and do not know where they are going, because the darkness has made them blind.
12I am writing to you, my children, because your sins are forgiven for the sake of Christ. 13I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who has existed from the beginning. I am writing to you, young people, because you have defeated the Evil One.
14I am writing to you, my children, because you know the Father. I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who has existed from the beginning. I am writing to you, young people, because you are strong; the word of God lives in you, and you have defeated the Evil One.
15Do not love the world or anything that belongs to the world. If you love the world, you do not love the Father. 16Everything that belongs to the world — what the sinful self desires, what people see and want, and everything in this world that people are so proud of — none of this comes from the Father; it all comes from the world. 17The world and everything in it that people desire is passing away; but those who do the will of God live for ever.
18My children, the end is near! You were told that the Enemy of Christ would come; and now many enemies of Christ have already appeared, and so we know that the end is near. 19These people really did not belong to our fellowship, and that is why they left us; if they had belonged to our fellowship, they would have stayed with us. But they left so that it might be clear that none of them really belonged to us.
20But you have had the Holy Spirit poured out on you by Christ, and so all of you know the truth. 21I am writing to you, then, not because you do not know the truth; instead, it is because you do know it, and you also know that no lie ever comes from the truth.
22Who, then, is the liar? It is those who say that Jesus is not the Messiah. Such people are the Enemies of Christ — they reject both the Father and the Son. 23For all those who reject the Son also reject the Father; those who accept the Son have the Father also.
24Be sure, then, to keep in your hearts the message you heard from the beginning. If you keep that message, then you will always live in union with the Son and the Father. 25And this is what Christ himself promised to give us — eternal life.
26I am writing this to you about those who are trying to deceive you. 27But as for you, Christ has poured out his Spirit on you. As long as his Spirit remains in you, you do not need anyone to teach you. For his Spirit teaches you about everything, and what he teaches is true, not false. Obey the Spirit's teaching, then, and remain in union with Christ.
28Yes, my children, remain in union with him, so that when he appears we may be full of courage and need not hide in shame from him on the Day he comes. 29You know that Christ is righteous; you should know, then, that everyone who does what is right is God's child.
See how much the Father has loved us! His love is so great that we are called God's children — and so, in fact, we are. This is why the world does not know us: it has not known God. 2My dear friends, we are now God's children, but it is not yet clear what we shall become. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he really is. 3Everyone who has this hope in Christ keeps himself pure, just as Christ is pure.
4Whoever sins is guilty of breaking God's law, because sin is a breaking of the law. 5
You know that Christ appeared in order to take away sins,3.5 sins; some manuscripts have our sins. and that there is no sin in him. 6So everyone who lives in union with Christ does not continue to sin; but whoever continues to sin has never seen him or known him.
7Let no one deceive you, my children! Whoever does what is right is righteous, just as Christ is righteous. 8Whoever continues to sin belongs to the Devil, because the Devil has sinned from the very beginning. The Son of God appeared for this very reason, to destroy what the Devil had done.
9None of those who are children of God continue to sin, for God's very nature is in them; and because God is their Father, they cannot continue to sin. 10This is the clear difference between God's children and the Devil's children: all who do not do what is right or do not love others are not God's children.
The message you heard from the very beginning is this: we must love one another. 12
We must not be like Cain; he belonged to the Evil One and murdered his own brother Abel. Why did Cain murder him? Because the things he himself did were wrong, but the things his brother did were right.
13So do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters, if the people of the world hate you. 14
We know that we have left death and come over into life; we know it because we love our brothers and sisters. Whoever does not love is still under the power of death. 15All who hate others are murderers, and you know that murderers have not got eternal life in them. 16This is how we know what love is: Christ gave his life for us. We too, then, ought to give our lives for our brothers and sisters! 17Rich people who see a brother or sister in need, yet close their hearts against them, cannot claim that they love God. 18My children, our love should not be just words and talk; it must be true love, which shows itself in action.
19This, then, is how we will know that we belong to the truth; this is how we will be confident in God's presence. 20If our conscience condemns us, we know that God is greater than our conscience and that he knows everything. 21And so, my dear friends, if our conscience does not condemn us, we have courage in God's presence. 22We receive from him whatever we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. 23
What he commands is that we believe in his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as Christ commanded us. 24Those who obey God's commands live in union with God and God lives in union with them. And because of the Spirit that God has given us we know that God lives in union with us.
41My dear friends, do not believe all who claim to have the Spirit, but test them to find out if the spirit they have comes from God. For many false prophets have gone out everywhere. 2This is how you will be able to know whether it is God's Spirit: anyone who acknowledges that Jesus Christ came as a human being has the Spirit who comes from God. 3But anyone who denies this about Jesus does not have the Spirit from God. The spirit that he has is from the Enemy of Christ; you heard that it would come, and now it is here in the world already.
4But you belong to God, my children, and have defeated the false prophets, because the Spirit who is in you is more powerful than the spirit in those who belong to the world. 5Those false prophets speak about matters of the world, and the world listens to them because they belong to the world. 6But we belong to God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever does not belong to God does not listen to us. This, then, is how we can tell the difference between the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
7Dear friends, let us love one another, because love comes from God. Whoever loves is a child of God and knows God. 8Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9And God showed his love for us by sending his only Son into the world, so that we might have life through him. 10This is what love is: it is not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the means by which our sins are forgiven.
11Dear friends, if this is how God loved us, then we should love one another. 12
No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God lives in union with us, and his love is made perfect in us.
13We are sure that we live in union with God and that he lives in union with us, because he has given us his Spirit. 14And we have seen and tell others that the Father sent his Son to be the Saviour of the world. 15If anyone declares that Jesus is the Son of God, he lives in union with God and God lives in union with him. 16And we ourselves know and believe the love which God has for us.
God is love, and those who live in love live in union with God and God lives in union with them. 17Love is made perfect in us in order that we may have courage on Judgement Day; and we will have it because our life in this world is the same as Christ's. 18There is no fear in love; perfect love drives out all fear. So then, love has not been made perfect in anyone who is afraid, because fear has to do with punishment.
19We love because God first loved us. 20If we say we love God, but hate our brothers and sisters, we are liars. For people cannot love God, whom they have not seen, if they do not love their brothers and sisters, whom they have seen. 21The command that Christ has given us is this: all who love God must love their brother or sister also.