17 Now, 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? 18 Dear children, we must show love through actions that are sincere, not through empty words.
19 This is how we will know that we belong to the truth and how we will be reassured in his presence. 20 Whenever our conscience condemns us, we will be reassured that God is greater than our conscience and knows everything. 21 Dear friends, if our conscience doesn’t condemn us, we can boldly look to God 22 and receive from him anything we ask. We receive it because we obey his commandments and do what pleases him. 23 This is his commandment: to believe in his Son, the one named Jesus Christ, and to love each other as he commanded us. 24 Those 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.
Test People Who Say They Have God’s Spirit
4 Dear friends, don’t believe all people who say that they have the Spirit. Instead, test them. See whether the spirit they have is from God, because there are many false prophets in the world. 2 This is how you can recognize God’s Spirit: Every person who declares that Jesus Christ has come as a human has the Spirit that is from God. 3 But every person who doesn’t declare that Jesus Christ has come as a human has a spirit that isn’t from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist that you have heard is coming. That spirit is already in the world.
4 Dear children, you belong to God. So you have won the victory over these people, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 5 These people belong to the world. That’s why they speak the thoughts of the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We belong to God. The person who knows God listens to us. Whoever doesn’t belong to God doesn’t listen to us. That’s how we can tell the Spirit of truth from the spirit of lies.
God’s Love Lives in His People
7 Dear friends, we must love each other because love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born from God and knows God. 8 The person who doesn’t love doesn’t know God, because God is love. 9 God has shown us his love by sending his only Son into the world so that we could have life through him. 10 This is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the payment for our sins. 11 Dear friends, if this is the way God loved us, we must also love each other. 12 No one has ever seen God. If we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us. 13 We know that we live in him and he lives in us because he has given us his Spirit.
14 We have seen and testify to the fact that the Father sent his Son as the Savior of the world. 15 God lives in those who declare that Jesus is the Son of God, and they live in God. 16 We have known and believed that God loves us. God is love. Those who live in God’s love live in God, and God lives in them.
17 God’s love has reached its goal in us. So we look ahead with confidence to the day of judgment. While we are in this world, we are exactly like him with regard to love. 18 No fear exists where his love is. Rather, perfect love gets rid of fear, because fear involves punishment. The person who lives in fear doesn’t have perfect love.
19 We love because God loved us first. 20 Whoever says, “I love God,” but hates another believer is a liar. People who don’t love other believers, whom they have seen, can’t love God, whom they have not seen. 21 Christ has given us this commandment: The person who loves God must also love other believers.
Those Who Believe in Jesus Are God’s Children
5 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Messiah has been born from God. Everyone who loves the Father also loves his children. 2 We know that we love God’s children when we love God by obeying his commandments. 3 To love God means that we obey his commandments. Obeying his commandments isn’t difficult 4 because everyone who has been born from God has won the victory over the world. Our faith is what wins the victory over the world. 5 Who wins the victory over the world? Isn’t it the person who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
6 This Son of God is Jesus Christ, who came by water and blood. He didn’t come with water only, but with water and with blood. The Spirit is the one who verifies this, because the Spirit is the truth. 7 There are three witnesses: 8 the Spirit, the water, and the blood. These three witnesses agree.
9 We accept human testimony. God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony that he has given about his Son. 10 Those who believe in the Son of God have the testimony of God in them. Those who don’t believe God have made God a liar. They haven’t believed the testimony that God has given about his Son.
11 This is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is found in his Son. 12 The person who has the Son has this life. The person who doesn’t have the Son of God doesn’t have this life.
13 I’ve written this to those who believe in the Son of God so that they will know that they have eternal life.
14 We are confident that God listens to us if we ask for anything that has his approval. 15 We know that he listens to our requests. So we know that we already have what we ask him for.
16 If you see another believer committing a sin that doesn’t lead to death, you should pray that God would give that person life. This is true for those who commit sins that don’t lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I’m not telling you to pray about that. 17 Every kind of wrongdoing is sin, yet there are sins that don’t lead to death.
18 We know that those who have been born from God don’t go on sinning. Rather, the Son of God protects them, and the evil one can’t harm them.
19 We know that we are from God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.
20 We know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding so that we know the real God. We are in the one who is real, his Son Jesus Christ. This Jesus Christ is the real God and eternal life.
21 Dear children, guard yourselves from false gods.