Jesus Is Our Helper
1My dear children, I write this letter to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone sins, we have Jesus Christ to help us. He always did what was right, so he is able to defend us before God the Father. 2Jesus is the way our sins are taken away. And he is the way all people can have their sins taken away too.
3If we obey what God has told us to do, then we are sure that we know him. 4If we say we know God but do not obey his commands, we are lying. The truth is not in us. 5But when we obey God’s teaching, his love is truly working in us. This is how we know that we are living in him. 6If we say we live in God, we must live the way Jesus lived.
Jesus Told Us to Love Others
7My dear friends, I am not writing a new command to you. It is the same command you have had since the beginning. This command is the teaching you have already heard. 8But what I write is also a new command. It is a true one; you can see its truth in Jesus and in yourselves. The darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.
9Someone might say, “I am in the light,” but if they hate any of their brothers or sisters in God’s family, they are still in the darkness. 10Those who love their brothers and sisters live in the light, and there is nothing in them that will make them do wrong. 11But whoever hates their brother or sister is in darkness. They live in darkness. They don’t know where they are going, because the darkness has made them blind.
12I write to you, dear children,
because your sins are forgiven through Christ.
13I write to you, fathers,
because you know the one who existed from the beginning.
I write to you, young people,
because you have defeated the Evil One.
14I write to you, children,
because you know the Father.
I write to you, fathers,
because you know the one who existed from the beginning.
I write to you, young people,
because you are strong.
The word of God lives in you,
and you have defeated the Evil One.
15Don’t love this evil world or the things in it. If you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. 16This is all there is in the world: wanting to please our sinful selves, wanting the sinful things we see, and being too proud of what we have. But none of these comes from the Father. They come from the world. 17The world is passing away, and all the things that people want in the world are passing away. But whoever does what God wants will live forever.
Don’t Follow the Enemies of Christ
18My dear children, the end is near! You have heard that the enemy of Christ is coming. And now many enemies of Christ are already here. So we know that the end is near. 19These enemies were in our group, but they left us. They did not really belong with us. If they were really part of our group, they would have stayed with us. But they left. This shows that none of them really belonged with us.
20You have the gift#2:20 gift Literally, “anointing.” This might mean the Holy Spirit. Or it might mean teaching or truth as in verse 24. Also in verse 27. that the Holy One#2:20 Holy One God or Christ. gave you. So you all know the truth. 21Do you think I am writing this letter because you don’t know the truth? No, I am writing because you do know the truth. And you know that no lie comes from the truth.
22So who is the liar? It is the one who says Jesus is not the Messiah. Whoever says that is the enemy of Christ—the one who does not believe in the Father or in his Son. 23Whoever does not believe in the Son does not have the Father, but whoever accepts the Son has the Father too.
24Be sure that you continue to follow the teaching you heard from the beginning. If you do that, you will always be in the Son and in the Father. 25And this is what the Son promised us—eternal life.
26I am writing this letter about those who are trying to lead you into the wrong way. 27Christ gave you a special gift. You still have this gift in you. So you don’t need anyone to teach you. The gift he gave you teaches you about everything. It is a true gift, not a false one. So continue to live in Christ, as his gift taught you.
28Yes, my dear children, live in him. If we do this, we can be without fear on the day when Christ comes again. We will not need to hide and be ashamed when he comes. 29You know that Christ always did what was right. So you know that all those who do what is right are God’s children.