3 See ywhat kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called zchildren of God; and so we are. The reason why athe world does not know us is that bit did not know him. 2 Beloved, we are zGod’s children cnow, and what we will be dhas not yet appeared; but we know that ewhen he appears1 fwe shall be like him, because gwe shall see him as he is. 3 And everyone who hthus hopes in him ipurifies himself as he is pure.
4 Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; jsin is lawlessness. 5 You know that khe appeared in order to ltake away sins, and min him there is no sin. 6 No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; nno one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. 7 Little children, olet no one deceive you. pWhoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. 8 qWhoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was rto destroy the works of the devil. 9 sNo one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s2 seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God. 10 By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, tnor is the one who udoes not love his brother.
Love One Another
11 For vthis is the message that you have heard from the beginning, wthat we should love one another. 12 We should not be like xCain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? yBecause his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous. 13 Do not be surprised, brothers,3 zthat the world hates you. 14 We know that awe have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. 15 bEveryone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that cno murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
16 By this we know love, that dhe laid down his life for us, and ewe ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 17 But fif anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet gcloses his heart against him, hhow does God’s love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not ilove in word or talk but in deed and jin truth.
19 By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; 20 for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. 21 Beloved, kif our heart does not condemn us, lwe have confidence before God; 22 and mwhatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and ndo what pleases him. 23 And this is his commandment, othat we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and plove one another, qjust as he has commanded us. 24 rWhoever keeps his commandments abides in God,4 and God5 in him. And sby this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.
Test the Spirits
4 Beloved, tdo not believe every spirit, but utest the spirits to see whether they are from God, for vmany wfalse prophets xhave gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: yevery spirit that confesses that zJesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 and every spirit athat does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and bnow is in the world already. 4 Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for che who is in you is greater than dhe who is in the world. 5 eThey are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and fthe world listens to them. 6 We are from God. gWhoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know hthe Spirit of truth and ithe spirit of error.
God Is Love
7 Beloved, jlet us love one another, for love is from God, and kwhoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 lAnyone who does not love does not know God, because mGod is love. 9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that nGod sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, onot that we have loved God nbut that he loved us and sent his Son to be pthe propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 qNo one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and rhis love is perfected in us.
13 sBy this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14 And twe have seen and testify that uthe Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of vthe world. 15 wWhoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 So xwe have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. yGod is love, and zwhoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this ais love perfected with us, so that bwe may have confidence for the day of judgment, because cas he is so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but dperfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not abeen perfected in love. 19 eWe love because he first loved us. 20 fIf anyone says, “I love God,” and ghates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot1 love God hwhom he has not seen. 21 And ithis commandment we have from him: jwhoever loves God must also love his brother.
Overcoming the World
5 kEveryone who believes that lJesus is the Christ has been born of God, and meveryone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. 2 nBy this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. 3 For othis is the love of God, that we pkeep his commandments. And qhis commandments are not burdensome. 4 For reveryone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—sour faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes tthat Jesus is the Son of God?
Testimony Concerning the Son of God
6 This is he who came uby water and blood—Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And vthe Spirit is the one who testifies, because wthe Spirit is the truth. 7 For there are three that testify: 8 the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree. 9 xIf we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God ythat he has borne concerning his Son. 10 Whoever believes in the Son of God zhas the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God ahas made him a liar, bbecause he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son. 11 And this is the testimony, that God gave us ceternal life, and dthis life is in his Son. 12 eWhoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
That You May Know
13 I write fthese things to you who gbelieve in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life. 14 And this is hthe confidence that we have toward him, that iif we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.
16 If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and jGod1 will give him life—to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. kThere is sin that leads to death; lI do not say that one should pray for that. 17 mAll wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that does not lead to death.
18 We know that neveryone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but ohe who was born of God pprotects him, and the evil one does not touch him.
19 We know that we are from God, and qthe whole world lies in the power of the evil one.
20 And we know that the Son of God has come and rhas given us understanding, so that we may know shim who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and teternal life. 21 Little children, ukeep yourselves from idols.
1 aThe elder to the elect lady and her children, bwhom I love in truth, and not only I, but also all who cknow dthe truth, 2 ebecause of the truth that abides in us and will be with us forever:
3 fGrace, mercy, and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ the Father’s Son, in truth and love.
Walking in Truth and Love
4 gI rejoiced greatly to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as we were commanded by the Father. 5 And now I ask you, dear lady—hnot as though I were writing you a new commandment, but the one we have had from the beginning—ithat we love one another. 6 And jthis is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just kas you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it. 7 For lmany deceivers mhave gone out into the world, nthose who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist. 8 Watch yourselves, oso that you may not lose what we1 have worked for, but pmay win a full reward. 9 Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, qdoes not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching qhas both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, rdo not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, 11 for whoever greets him stakes part in his wicked works.
12 tThough I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink. uInstead I hope to come to you and talk face to face, vso that our joy may be complete.
13 The children of your elect sister greet you.
1 aThe elder to the beloved Gaius, bwhom I love in truth.
2 Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul. 3 For cI rejoiced greatly when the brothers1 came and testified to your truth, as indeed you are walking in the truth. 4 I have no greater joy than to hear that dmy children are walking in the truth.
Support and Opposition
5 Beloved, it is a faithful thing you do in all your efforts for ethese brothers, fstrangers as they are, 6 who testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their journey in a manner gworthy of God. 7 For they have gone out for the sake of hthe name, iaccepting nothing from the Gentiles. 8 Therefore we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth.
9 I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority. 10 So if I come, I will bring up what he is doing, talking wicked nonsense against us. And not content with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers, and also stops those who want to and puts them out of the church.
11 Beloved, jdo not imitate evil but imitate good. kWhoever does good is from God; lwhoever does evil has not seen God. 12 Demetrius mhas received a good testimony from everyone, and from the truth itself. We also add our testimony, and nyou know that our testimony is true.
13 oI had much to write to you, but I would rather not write with pen and ink. 14 I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face.
15 Peace be to you. The friends greet you. Greet the friends, peach by name.