1(See what sort of love the Father has given to us: that we should be called God’s children – and indeed we are! For this reason the world does not know us: because it did not know him. 2Dear friends, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that whenever it is revealed we will be like him, because we will see him just as he is. 3And everyone who has this hope focused on him purifies himself, just as Jesus is pure).
4Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; indeed, sin is lawlessness. 5And you know that Jesus was revealed to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. 6Everyone who resides in him does not sin; everyone who sins has neither seen him nor known him. 7Little children, let no one deceive you: The one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as Jesus is righteous. 8The one who practices sin is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was revealed: to destroy the works of the devil. 9Everyone who has been fathered by God does not practice sin, because God’s seed resides in him, and thus he is not able to sin, because he has been fathered by God. 10By this the children of God and the children of the devil are revealed: Everyone who does not practice righteousness – the one who does not love his fellow Christian – is not of God.
God Is Love, So We Must Love One Another
11For this is the gospel message that you have heard from the beginning: that we should love one another, 12not like Cain who was of the evil one and brutally murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his deeds were evil, but his brother’s were righteous.
13Therefore do not be surprised, brothers and sisters, if the world hates you. 14We know that we have crossed over from death to life because we love our fellow Christians. The one who does not love remains in death. 15Everyone who hates his fellow Christian is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him. 16We have come to know love by this: that Jesus laid down his life for us; thus we ought to lay down our lives for our fellow Christians. 17But whoever has the world’s possessions and sees his fellow Christian in need and shuts off his compassion against him, how can the love of God reside in such a person?
18Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue but in deed and truth. 19And by this we will know that we are of the truth and will convince our conscience in his presence, 20that if our conscience condemns us, that God is greater than our conscience and knows all things. 21Dear friends, if our conscience does not condemn us, we have confidence in the presence of God, 22and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do the things that are pleasing to him. 23Now this is his commandment: that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he gave us the commandment. 24And the person who keeps his commandments resides in God, and God in him. Now by this we know that God resides in us: by the Spirit he has given us.