Warning Against False Teachers
1My dear friends, many false prophets have gone out into the world. So do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see if they are from God. 2This is how you can know God’s Spirit: Every spirit who confesses that Jesus Christ came to earth as a human is from God. 3And every spirit who refuses to say this about Jesus is not from God. It is the spirit of the enemy of Christ, which you have heard is coming, and now he is already in the world.
4My dear children, you belong to God and have defeated them; because God’s Spirit, who is in you, is greater than the devil, who is in the world. 5And they belong to the world, so what they say is from the world, and the world listens to them. 6But we belong to God, and those who know God listen to us. But those who are not from God do not listen to us. That is how we know the Spirit that is true and the spirit that is false.
Love Comes from God
7Dear friends, we should love each other, because love comes from God. Everyone who loves has become God’s child and knows God. 8Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9This is how God showed his love to us: He sent his one and only Son into the world so that we could have life through him. 10This is what real love is: It is not our love for God; it is God’s love for us. He sent his Son to die in our place to take away our sins.
11Dear friends, if God loved us that much we also should love each other. 12No one has ever seen God, but if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is made perfect in us.
13We know that we live in God and he lives in us, because he gave us his Spirit. 14We have seen and can testify that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God has God living inside, and that person lives in God. 16And so we know the love that God has for us, and we trust that love.
God is love. Those who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. 17This is how love is made perfect in us: that we can be without fear on the day God judges us, because in this world we are like him. 18Where God’s love is, there is no fear, because God’s perfect love drives out fear. It is punishment that makes a person fear, so love is not made perfect in the person who fears.
19We love because God first loved us. 20If people say, “I love God,” but hate their brothers or sisters, they are liars. Those who do not love their brothers and sisters, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have never seen. 21And God gave us this command: Those who love God must also love their brothers and sisters.