My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if you do sin, there is someone to plead for you before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who pleases God completely. a2
He is the sacrifice for our sins. He takes away not only our sins but the sins of all the world.
And how can we be sure that we belong to him? By obeying his commandments.
If someone says, "I belong to God," but doesn't obey God's commandments, that person is a liar and does not live in the truth.
But those who obey God's word really do love him. That is the way to know whether or not we live in him.
Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Christ did.
Dear friends, I am not writing a new commandment, for it is an old one you have always had, right from the beginning. This commandment -- to love one another -- is the same message you heard before.
Yet it is also new. This commandment is true in Christ and is true among you, because the darkness is disappearing and the true light is already shining.
If anyone says, "I am living in the light," but hates a Christian brother or sister, b that person is still living in darkness.
Anyone who loves other Christians c is living in the light and does not cause anyone to stumble.
Anyone who hates a Christian brother or sister is living and walking in darkness. Such a person is lost, having been blinded by the darkness.
I am writing to you, my dear children, because your sins have been forgiven because of Jesus.
I am writing to you who are mature because you know Christ, the one who is from the beginning. I am writing to you who are young because you have won your battle with Satan.
I have written to you, children, because you have known the Father. I have written to you who are mature because you know Christ, the one who is from the beginning. I have written to you who are young because you are strong with God's word living in your hearts, and you have won your battle with Satan.
Stop loving this evil world and all that it offers you, for when you love the world, you show that you do not have the love of the Father in you.
For the world offers only the lust for physical pleasure, the lust for everything we see, and pride in our possessions. These are not from the Father. They are from this evil world.
And this world is fading away, along with everything it craves. But if you do the will of God, you will live forever.
Dear children, the last hour is here. You have heard that the Antichrist is coming, and already many such antichrists have appeared. From this we know that the end of the world has come.
These people left our churches because they never really belonged with us; otherwise they would have stayed with us. When they left us, it proved that they do not belong with us.
But you are not like that, for the Holy Spirit has come upon you, d and all of you know the truth.
So I am writing to you not because you don't know the truth but because you know the difference between truth and falsehood.
And who is the great liar? The one who says that Jesus is not the Christ. Such people are antichrists, for they have denied the Father and the Son.
Anyone who denies the Son doesn't have the Father either. But anyone who confesses the Son has the Father also.
So you must remain faithful to what you have been taught from the beginning. If you do, you will continue to live in fellowship with the Son and with the Father.
And in this fellowship we enjoy the eternal life he promised us.
I have written these things to you because you need to be aware of those who want to lead you astray.
But you have received the Holy Spirit, e and he lives within you, so you don't need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you all things, and what he teaches is true -- it is not a lie. So continue in what he has taught you, and continue to live in Christ.
And now, dear children, continue to live in fellowship with Christ so that when he returns, you will be full of courage and not shrink back from him in shame.
Since we know that God is always right, we also know that all who do what is right are his children.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)