Christ, Our Answer for Sin
1You are my dear children, and I write these things to you so that you won’t sin. But if anyone does sin, we continually have a forgiving Redeemer who is face-to-face with the Father: Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 2He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
The New Commandment
3Here’s how we can be sure that we’ve truly come to know God: if we keep his commands. 4If someone claims, “I have come to know God by experience,” yet doesn’t keep God’s commands, he is a phony and the truth finds no place in him. 5But the love of God will be perfected within the one who obeys God’s Word.
We can be sure that we’ve truly come to live in intimacy with God, 6not just by saying, “I am intimate with God,” but by walking in the footsteps of Jesus.
7Beloved, I’m not writing a new commandment to you, but an old one that you had from the beginning, and you’ve already heard it. 8Yet, in a sense, it is a new commandment, as its truth is made manifest both in Christ and in you, because the darkness is disappearing and the true light is already blazing.
9Anyone who says, “I am in the light,” while holding hatred in his heart toward a fellow believer is still in the darkness. 10But the one who truly loves a fellow believer lives in the light, and there is nothing in him that will cause someone else to stumble. 11But whoever hates a fellow believer lives in the darkness—stumbling around in the dark with no clue where he is going, for he is blinded by the darkness.
Three Stages of Spiritual Maturity
12I remind you, dear children: your sins have been permanently removed because of the power of his name.
13I remind you, fathers and mothers: you have a relationship with the One who has existed from the beginning.
And I remind you, young people: you have defeated the Evil One.
14I write these things to you, dear children, because you truly have a relationship with the Father. I write these things, fathers and mothers, because you have had a true relationship with him who is from the beginning. And I write these things, young people, because you are strong, the Word of God is treasured in your hearts, and you have defeated the Evil One.
A Warning Not to Love the World
15Don’t set the affections of your heart on this world or in loving the things of the world. The love of the Father and the love of the world are incompatible. 16For all that the world can offer us—the gratification of our flesh, the allurement of the things of the world, and the obsession with status and importance—none of these things come from the Father but from the world. 17This world and its desires are in the process of passing away, but those who love to do the will of God live forever.
Believing in Jesus
18Dear children, the end of this age is near! You have heard that Antichrist is arising, and in fact, many enemies of Christ have already appeared, and this is how we know that we are living in the closing hour of this age. 19For even though they were once a part of us, they withdrew from us because they were never really of our number. For if they had truly belonged to us they would have continued with us. By leaving our community of believers they made it obvious that they never really belonged to us.
20But the Holy One has anointed you and you all know the truth. 21So I’m writing you not because you don’t know the truth, but because you do know it, and no lie belongs to the truth.
The Power of the Truth
22Who is the real liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ. He is the real antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. 23Whoever rejects the Son rejects the Father. Whoever embraces the Son embraces the Father also. 24So you must be sure to keep the message burning in your hearts; that is, the message of life you heard from the beginning. If you do, you will always be living in close fellowship with the Son and with the Father. 25And he himself has promised us the never-ending life of the ages to come!
26I’ve written these things about those who are attempting to lead you astray. 27But the wonderful anointing you have received from God is so much greater than their deception and now lives in you. There’s no need for anyone to keep teaching you. His anointing teaches you all that you need to know, for it will lead you into truth, not a counterfeit. So just as the anointing has taught you, remain in him.
28And now, dear children, remain in him, so that when he is revealed we may have joyful confidence and not be ashamed when we stand before him at his appearing.
29If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who lives in righteousness has been divinely fathered by him.