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.
51Whoever believes that Jesus is the Messiah is a child of God; and whoever loves a father loves his child also. 2This is how we know that we love God's children: it is by loving God and obeying his commands. 3
For our love for God means that we obey his commands. And his commands are not too hard for us, 4because every child of God is able to defeat the world. And we win the victory over the world by means of our faith. 5Who can defeat the world? Only the person who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
6Jesus Christ is the one who came with the water of his baptism and the blood of his death. He came not only with the water, but with both the water and the blood. And the Spirit himself testifies that this is true, because the Spirit is truth. 7There are three witnesses: 8the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and all three give the same testimony. 9We believe human testimony; but God's testimony is much stronger, and he has given this testimony about his Son. 10So all who believe in the Son of God have this testimony in their own hearts; but those who do not believe God have made him out to be a liar, because they have not believed what God has said about his Son. 11
The testimony is this: God has given us eternal life, and this life has its source in his Son. 12Whoever has the Son has this life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
13I am writing this to you so that you may know that you have eternal life — you that believe in the Son of God. 14We have courage in God's presence, because we are sure that he hears us if we ask him for anything that is according to his will. 15He hears us whenever we ask him; and since we know this is true, we know also that he gives us what we ask from him.
16If you see your brother or sister commit a sin that does not lead to death, you should pray to God, who will give them life. This applies to those whose sins do not lead to death. But there is sin which leads to death, and I do not say that you should pray to God about that. 17All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin which does not lead to death.
18We know that none of God's children keep on sinning, for the Son of God keeps them safe, and the Evil One cannot harm them.
19We know that we belong to God even though the whole world is under the rule of the Evil One.
20We know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we know the true God. We live in union with the true God — in union with his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and this is eternal life.
21My children, keep yourselves safe from false gods!