Jesus Is Our Helper
My 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. Jesus is the way our sins are taken away. And he is the way all people can have their sins taken away too.
If we obey what God has told us to do, then we are sure that we know him. If we say we know God but do not obey his commands, we are lying. The truth is not in us. But when we obey God’s teaching, his love is truly working in us. This is how we know that we are living in him. If we say we live in God, we must live the way Jesus lived.
Jesus Told Us to Love Others
My 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. But 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.
Someone 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. 10 Those who love their brothers and sisters live in the light, and there is nothing in them that will make them do wrong. 11 But 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.
12 I write to you, dear children,
because your sins are forgiven through Christ.
13 I 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.
14 I 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.
15 Don’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. 16 This 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. 17 The 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
18 My 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. 19 These 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.
20 You have the gift* that the Holy One gave you. So you all know the truth. 21 Do 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.
22 So who is the liar? It is the one who says Jesus is not the Messiah. Whoever says that is the enemy of Christthe one who does not believe in the Father or in his Son. 23 Whoever does not believe in the Son does not have the Father, but whoever accepts the Son has the Father too.
24 Be 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. 25 And this is what the Son promised us—eternal life.
26 I am writing this letter about those who are trying to lead you into the wrong way. 27 Christ 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.
28 Yes, 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. 29 You know that Christ always did what was right. So you know that all those who do what is right are God’s children.
* 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. 2:20 Holy One God or Christ.