1See what kind of love the Father has given to us in that we should be called God’s children, and that is what we are! Because the world didn’t recognize him, it doesn’t recognize us.
2Dear friends, now we are God’s children, and it hasn’t yet appeared what we will be. We know that when he appears we will be like him because we’ll see him as he is. 3And everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself even as he is pure. 4Every person who practices sin commits an act of rebellion, and sin is rebellion. 5You know that he appeared to take away sins, and there is no sin in him. 6Every person who remains in relationship to him does not sin. Any person who sins has not seen him or known him.
Practicing sin or righteousness
7Little children, make sure no one deceives you. The person who practices righteousness is righteous, in the same way that Jesus is righteous. 8The person who practices sin belongs to the devil, because the devil has been sinning since the beginning. God’s Son appeared for this purpose: to destroy the works of the devil. 9Those born from God don’t practice sin because God’s DNA#Or genetic character remains in them. They can’t sin because they are born from God. 10This is how God’s children and the devil’s children are apparent: everyone who doesn’t practice righteousness is not from God, including the person who doesn’t love a brother or sister. 11This is the message that you heard from the beginning: love each other. 12Don’t behave like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he kill him? He killed him because his own works were evil, but the works of his brother were righteous.
Loving each other
13Don’t be surprised, brothers and sisters, if the world hates you. 14We know that we have transferred from death to life, because we love the brothers and sisters. The person who does not love remains in death. 15Everyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him. 16This is how we know love: Jesus laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17But if a person has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need and that person doesn’t care—how can the love of God remain in him?
18Little children, let’s not love with words or speech but with action and truth. 19This is how we will know that we belong to the truth and reassure our hearts in God’s presence. 20Even if our hearts condemn us, God is greater than our hearts and knows all things. 21Dear friends, if our hearts don’t condemn us, we have confidence in relationship to God. 22We receive whatever we ask from him because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. 23This is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love each other as he commanded us. 24The person who keeps his commandments remains in God and God remains in him; and this is how we know that he remains in us, because of the Spirit that he has given to us.