Believe in Jesus Christ
1Everyone who believes that Jesus is God's Messiah has become a child of God. And if we love God, our Father, we will also love his other children too. 2How do we know that we really love God's children? We know it when we love God and we do what he tells us to do. 3Because, if we really love God, we will obey his words. And what he tells us to do is not difficult for us to obey. 4Because we have become God's children, we can live in a good way. We can refuse to live like people who belong to this world. We are able to win against the world because we trust Jesus Christ. 5It is only people who believe that Jesus is the Son of God who can do that. Only they can refuse to live like the people who belong to this world.
6Jesus Christ is the man that God sent into the world. John baptized Jesus in water. When Jesus died, his blood poured out. God showed that Jesus is his Son with the water and with the blood. It was not only with the water of Jesus' baptism. It was also with the blood of his death. God's Holy Spirit also shows us that Jesus is God's Son. The Holy Spirit always says what is true. 7So there are three things that show us clearly that Jesus came from God: 8Those things are the Holy Spirit, the water of Jesus' baptism and the blood of his death on the cross. These all show us the same thing, that Jesus came from God. #5:8 When John baptized Jesus, God spoke from heaven. He said, ‘This is my Son.’ See Matthew 17:5; Mark 9:7; Luke 9:35. When Jesus died on the cross, he did that as a sacrifice to save us from our sins. His blood was the blood of a sacrifice offered to God.
9We believe people who tell us about things that they know. So even more, we can believe what God says. He has told us what is true about his Son. So we should believe his message.
10Anyone who believes in Jesus, the Son of God, will know that what God says is true. But anyone who does not believe God is saying that God tells lies. He does not believe the message that God has told us clearly about his Son. 11This is what God has told us: God has given us life with him that never ends. We receive this life when we believe in his Son, Jesus. 12So whoever belongs to the Son has this true life. But anyone who does not belong to the Son of God does not have this true life.
Christians have true life with God
13I have written these things to you who believe that Jesus is the Son of God. I want you to know that you have true life with God for ever. 14Also, we can really trust God to help us when we turn to him. We know that he will hear us. When we ask for anything that he wants us to have, he listens to us. 15Since we know that, we also know that God will give to us the things that we ask for. It is like we have already received those things from him.
16If you see that another Christian is doing something bad, this is what you should do. If it is a sin that does not cause death, pray that God will help him. Then God will help that person to live for ever with him. That is for a sin which does not cause death. But there is a sin that causes death. If another Christian does that, I am not saying that you should pray for God to help that person. 17Any wrong thing that a person does is sin. But not all sins cause death. #5:17 ‘A sin that causes death’ is when someone does a bad thing that takes him completely away from life with God. A sin like that causes a person to die in their spirit, so that they can no longer live with God for ever.
18Nobody who has become a child of God continues to do wrong things. Instead, the Son of God keeps him safe. #5:18 Or: God keeps his children safe. Satan cannot do anything to hurt a child of God. 19We know that we belong to God. We know that Satan rules all the people who belong to this world. 20We also know that the Son of God has come into the world. He has helped us to understand what is true. As a result, we know the only true God. We are united with this true God, because we belong to his Son, Jesus Christ. He is the true God. He is the one who gives us life with God for ever.
21My little children, be careful to keep away from idols. #5:21 John is writing this letter to help Christians to know God better. He wants them to be sure that they have true life with God. If we trust in Jesus as the Son of God, we become God's children. God will hear us when we pray to him. He will give us the good things that he chooses for us. God will keep us safe from the power of Satan. He will help us to do what is good, so that we do not continue to do wrong things.