1Behold #(John 3:16; Eph. 2:4–7; 1 John 4:10)what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that #(John 1:12)we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, #John 15:18, 21; 16:3because it did not know Him. 2Beloved, #(Is. 56:5; Rom. 8:15, 16)now we are children of God; and #(Rom. 8:18, 19, 23)it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, #Rom. 8:29; 2 Pet. 1:4we shall be like Him, for #(Ps. 16:11)we shall see Him as He is. 3#1 John 4:17And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
Sin and the Child of God
4Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and #Rom. 4:15; 1 John 5:17sin is lawlessness. 5And you know #1 John 1:2; 3:8that He was manifested #(Is. 53:5, 6); John 1:29; (2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 9:26)to take away our sins, and #(2 Cor. 5:21); 1 John 2:29in Him there is no sin. 6Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him.
7Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. 8#Matt. 13:38; John 8:44; 1 John 3:10He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, #Luke 10:18; (Heb. 2:14)that He might destroy the works of the devil. 9Whoever has been #John 1:3; 3:3; (1 John 2:29; 4:7; 5:1, 4, 18); 3 John 11born of God does not sin, for #1 Pet. 1:23His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.
The Imperative of Love
10In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother. 11For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, #(John 13:34; 15:12); 1 John 4:7, 11, 21; 2 John 5that we should love one another, 12not as #Gen. 4:4, 8Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous.
13Do not marvel, my brethren, if #(John 15:18; 17:14)the world hates you. 14We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death. 15#Matt. 5:21; John 8:44Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that #(Gal. 5:20, 21; Rev. 21:8)no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
The Outworking of Love
16#(John 3:16)By this we know love, #John 10:11; 15:13; Gal. 2:20because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17But #Deut. 15:7whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?
18My little children, #Ezek. 33:31let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. 19And by this we know #John 18:37that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him. 20#(1 Cor. 4:4, 5)For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. 21Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, #(Heb. 10:22; 1 John 2:28; 5:14)we have confidence toward God. 22And #Ps. 34:15; (John 15:7); 1 John 5:14, 15whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments #John 8:29; Heb. 13:21and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. 23And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ #Matt. 22:39and love one another, as He gave us commandment.
The Spirit of Truth and the Spirit of Error
24Now #John 14:23he who keeps His commandments #John 14:21; 17:21abides in Him, and He in him. And #John 14:17; Rom. 8:9, 14, 16; 1 Thess. 4:8; 1 John 4:13by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.