Here's how we can be sure that we know God in the right way: Keep his commandments.
If someone claims, "I know him well!" but doesn't keep his commandments, he's obviously a liar. His life doesn't match his words.
But the one who keeps God's word is the person in whom we see God's mature love. This is the only way to be sure we're in God.
Anyone who claims to be intimate with God ought to live the same kind of life Jesus lived.
My dear friends, I'm not writing anything new here. This is the oldest commandment in the book, and you've known it from day one. It's always been implicit in the Message you've heard.
On the other hand, perhaps it is new, freshly minted as it is in both Christ and you - the darkness on its way out and the True Light already blazing!
Anyone who claims to live in God's light and hates a brother or sister is still in the dark.
It's the person who loves brother and sister who dwells in God's light and doesn't block the light from others.
But whoever hates is still in the dark, stumbles around in the dark, doesn't know which end is up, blinded by the darkness.
I remind you, my dear children: Your sins are forgiven in Jesus' name.
You veterans were in on the ground floor, and know the One who started all this; you newcomers have won a big victory over the Evil One.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)