International Standard Version
Test What People Say
2This is how you can recognize God’s Spirit: Every spirit who acknowledges that Jesus the Messiahb has become human—and remains so—is from God. 3But every spirit who does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist. You have heard that he is coming, and now he is already in the world. 4Little children, you belong to God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 5These people belong to the world. That is why they speak from the world’s perspective,c and the world listens to them. 6We belong to God. The person who knows God listens to us. Whoever does not belong to God does not listen to us. This is how we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of deceit.
God’s Love Lives in Us
7Dear friends, let us continuously love one another, because love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born from God and knows God. 8The person who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9This is how God’s love was revealed among us: God sent his unique Son into the world so that we might live through him. 10This is love: not that we have lovedd God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11Dear friends, if this is the way God loved us, we must also love one another. 12No one has ever seen God. If we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us. 13This is how we know that we abide in him and he in us: he has given us his Spirit.
14We have seen for ourselves and can testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15God abides in the one who acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, and he abides in God. 16We have come to know and rely one the love that God has for us. God is love, and the person who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17This is how love has been perfected among us: we will have confidence on the day of judgment because, during our time in this world, we are just like him. 18There is no fear where love exists.f Rather, perfect love banishes fear, for fear involves punishment, and the person who lives in fear has not been perfected in love.
19We loveg because Godh first loved us. 20Whoever says, “I love God,” but hates his brother is a liar. The one who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love the God whom he has not seen. 21And this is the commandment that we have from him: the person who loves God must also love his brother.
a 4:1 Or do not believe
b 4:2 Or Christ
c 4:5 Lit. from the world
d 4:10 Other mss. read we loved
e 4:16 Lit. believe in
f 4:18 Lit. in love
g 4:19 Other mss. read love him; still other mss. read love God
h 4:19 Lit. he