Testing the Spirits
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2
By this *
the Spirit of God is known: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3
but every spirit that does not confess †
that Jesus ‡
Christ has come in the flesh is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and is now in the world already. 4
You are from God, little children, and you have overcome them, because greater is he who is in you than he who is in the world. 5
They are from the world; therefore what they say is from the world, and the world listens to them. 6
We are from God. Whoever 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 error.
God Is Love
7 Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 In this the love of God was revealed among us, that God sent his one and only Son into the world so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God loved us in this way, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God. If we love one another, God abides in us, and his love is perfected in us.
We know that we abide in him and he in us because he has given us his Spirit. 14
And we have seen and we testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. 15
If anyone confesses that §
Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16
And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us.
God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God *
abides in him. 17
By this, love is perfected among us, so that we may have confidence on the day of judgment, because as he is, so also are we in this world. 18
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. Whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 19
We love †
him because he first loved us. 20
If anyone says, “I love God,” and yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For he who does not love his brother whom he has ‡
seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? 21
And this is the commandment we have from him: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.