GOD'S WORD® Translation
1Consider this: The Father has given us his love. He loves us so much that we are actually called God's dear children. And that's what we are. For this reason the world doesn't recognize us, and it didn't recognize him either. 2Dear friends, now we are God's children. What we will be isn't completely clear yet. We do know that when Christ appears we will be like him because we will see him as he is. 3So all people who have this confidence in Christ keep themselves pure, as Christ is pure.
4Those who live sinful lives are disobeying God. Sin is disobedience. 5You know that Christ appeared in order to take away our sins. He isn't sinful. 6Those who live in Christ don't go on sinning. Those who go on sinning haven't seen or known Christ. 7Dear children, don't let anyone deceive you. Whoever does what God approves of has God's approval as Christ has God's approval. 8The person who lives a sinful life belongs to the devil, because the devil has been committing sin since the beginning. The reason that the Son of God appeared was to destroy what the devil does. 9Those who have been born from God don't live sinful lives. What God has said lives in them, and they can't live sinful lives. They have been born from God. 10This is the way God's children are distinguished from the devil's children. Everyone who doesn't do what is right or love other believers isn't God's child.
11The message that you have heard from the beginning is to love each other. 12Don't be like Cain. He was a child of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did Cain murder his brother? Because the things Cain did were evil and the things his brother did had God's approval.
13Brothers and sisters, don't be surprised if the world hates you. 14We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love other believers. The person who doesn't grow in love remains in death. 15Everyone who hates another believer is a murderer, and you know that a murderer doesn't have eternal life. 16We understand what love is when we realize that Christ gave his life for us. That means we must give our lives for other believers. 17Now, suppose a person has enough to live on and notices another believer in need. How can God's love be in that person if he doesn't bother to help the other believer? 18Dear children, we must show love through actions that are sincere, not through empty words. 19This is how we will know that we belong to the truth and how we will be reassured in his presence. 20Whenever our conscience condemns us, we will be reassured that God is greater than our conscience and knows everything. 21Dear friends, if our conscience doesn't condemn us, we can boldly look to God 22and receive from him anything we ask. We receive it because we obey his commandments and do what pleases him.
23This is his commandment: to believe in his Son, the one named Jesus Christ, and to love each other as he commanded us. 24Those who obey Christ's commandments live in God, and God lives in them. We know that he lives in us because he has given us the Spirit.