Test People Who Say They Have God’s Spirit
1 Dear friends, don’t believe all people who say that they have the Spirit. Instead, test them. See whether the spirit they have is from God, because there are many false prophets in the world. 2 This is how you can recognize God’s Spirit: Every person who declares that Jesus Christ has come as a human has the Spirit that is from God. 3 But every person who doesn’t declare that Jesus Christ has come as a human has a spirit that isn’t from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist that you have heard is coming. That spirit is already in the world.
4 Dear children, you belong to God. So you have won the victory over these people, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 5 These people belong to the world. That’s why they speak the thoughts of the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We belong to God. The person who knows God listens to us. Whoever doesn’t belong to God doesn’t listen to us. That’s how we can tell the Spirit of truth from the spirit of lies.
God’s Love Lives in His People
7 Dear friends, we must love each other because love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born from God and knows God. 8 The person who doesn’t love doesn’t know God, because God is love. 9 God has shown us his love by sending his only Son into the world so that we could have life through him. 10 This is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the payment for our sins. 11 Dear friends, if this is the way God loved us, we must also love each other. 12 No one has ever seen God. If we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us. 13 We know that we live in him and he lives in us because he has given us his Spirit.
14 We have seen and testify to the fact that the Father sent his Son as the Savior of the world. 15 God lives in those who declare that Jesus is the Son of God, and they live in God. 16 We have known and believed that God loves us. God is love. Those who live in God’s love live in God, and God lives in them.
17 God’s love has reached its goal in us. So we look ahead with confidence to the day of judgment. While we are in this world, we are exactly like him ⌊with regard to love⌋. 18 No fear exists where his love is. Rather, perfect love gets rid of fear, because fear involves punishment. The person who lives in fear doesn’t have perfect love.
19 We love because God loved us first. 20 Whoever says, “I love God,” but hates another believer is a liar. People who don’t love other believers, whom they have seen, can’t love God, whom they have not seen. 21 Christ has given us this commandment: The person who loves God must also love other believers.