1Dear friends, don’t trust every spirit, but put the spirits to the test to find out whether they’re from God, for there are many false prophets out there in the world. 2How can you recognize God’s Spirit? Every spirit that accepts Jesus Christ came with a human body is from God; 3while every spirit that doesn’t accept Jesus, that spirit isn’t from God. In fact it is the spirit of the antichrist which you heard was coming, and which is already in the world.
4But you belong to God, my friends, and you have defeated them#4:4. Referring back to the false prophets and the spirit that inspires them., for the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 5They belong to the world, so they speak like people of the world, and the world listens to them. 6We belong to God and whoever knows God listens to us, while whoever doesn’t belong to God doesn’t listen to us. This is how we can distinguish the spirit of truth from the spirit of deception.
7Dear friends, let’s go on loving one another, for love comes from God. All those who love are born of God and know God. 8Those who don’t love don’t know God, for God is love. 9How was God’s love shown to us? God sent his one and only Son into the world so that we could live through him. 10This is love! It’s not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and he sent his Son to be the reconciliation for our sins.
11Friends, if this is the way God loves us, we ought to love one another like this too. 12No one has ever seen God. However, if we love one another then God lives in us, and his love is fulfilled in us. 13How can we know that we live in him, and that he lives in us? He’s given us the ability to love#4:13. Implied. by his Spirit.
14For we are witnesses to what we have seen and testify that the Father sent the Son as the Savior of the world. 15God lives in everyone who declares that Jesus is the Son of God, and they live in God. 16We have experienced and trusted in the love that God has for us. God is love, and those who live in love, live in God, and God lives in them. 17This is how love is made complete in us so that we can be confident on judgment day: by the fact that we live just like him in this world. 18Where there is love there can be no fear. God loves us completely, and this love drives all our fears away. If we do fear, it’s because we fear being punished, and this shows that we have not been fully re-made by the completeness of God’s love. 19We love because he loved us first. 20Anyone who says, “I love God,” but hate a Christian brother or sister, is a liar. Anyone who doesn’t love a brother whom they can see, can’t love God whom they can’t see. 21This is the command he gave to us: those who love God love their brothers and sisters too.