How to Recognize the Spirit of God
1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to determine if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses Jesus Christ#Or “confesses Jesus as Christ who has come in the flesh” (see also 2 John 7) has come in the flesh is from God, 3and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God, and this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.
4You are from God, little children, and have conquered them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 5They are from the world; therefore#Literally “because of this” they speak from the world and the world listens to them. 6We are from God. The one who knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of deceit.
God’s Love Revealed
7Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been fathered by God and knows God. 8The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9By this the love of God is revealed in us: that God sent his one and only Son into the world in order that we may live through him. 10In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation#Or “expiation”; or “atoning sacrifice” for our sins.
11Dear friends, if God loved us in this way, we also ought to love one another. 12No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God resides in us and his love is perfected in us. 13By this we know that we reside in him and he in us: that#Or “because” he has given us of his Spirit. 14And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.
15Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God resides in him and he in God. 16And we have come to know and have believed the love that God has in us. God is love, and the one who resides in love resides in God, and God resides in him. 17By this love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment, because just as that one is, so also are we in this world. 18There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear includes punishment, and the one who is afraid has not been perfected in love. 19We love, because he first loved us.
20If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar, for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen is not able to love God whom he has not seen. 21And this is the commandment we have from him: that the one who loves God should love his brother also.