1Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but #1 Cor. 14:29test the spirits, whether they are of God; because #Matt. 24:5many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2By this you know the Spirit of God: #(Rom. 10:8–10); 1 Cor. 12:3; 1 John 5:1Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, 3and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.
4You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than #John 14:30; 16:11he who is in the world. 5#John 3:31They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and #John 15:19; 17:14the world hears them. 6We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. #(1 Cor. 2:12–16)By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
Knowing God Through Love
7#1 John 3:10, 11, 23Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who #1 Thess. 4:9; (1 John 3:14)loves is born of God and knows God. 8He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9#Rom. 5:8In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten #Is. 9:6, 7; John 3:16Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10In this is love, #Titus 3:5not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son #1 John 2:2to be the propitiation for our sins. 11Beloved, #Matt. 18:33if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
Seeing God Through Love
12#John 1:18; 1 Tim. 6:16; 1 John 4:20No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. 13#John 14:20By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. 14And #John 1:14we have seen and testify that #John 3:17; 4:42; 1 John 2:2the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. 15#(Rom. 10:9); 1 John 3:23; 4:2; 5:1, 5Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and #(1 John 3:24)he who abides in love abides in God, and God #(John 14:23)in him.
The Consummation of Love
17Love has been perfected among us in this: that #(James 2:13); 1 John 2:28we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. 18There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 19#1 John 4:10We love Him because He first loved us.
Obedience by Faith
20#(1 John 2:4)If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God #1 Pet. 1:8; 1 John 4:12whom he has not seen? 21And #Lev. 19:18; (Matt. 5:43, 44; 22:39); John 13:34this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.