Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world.
This is the way to find out if they have the Spirit of God: If a prophet acknowledges that Jesus Christ became a human being, that person has the Spirit of God.
If a prophet does not acknowledge Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist. You have heard that he is going to come into the world, and he is already here.
But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won your fight with these false prophets, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.
These people belong to this world, so they speak from the world's viewpoint, and the world listens to them.
But we belong to God; that is why those who know God listen to us. If they do not belong to God, they do not listen to us. That is how we know if someone has the Spirit of truth or the spirit of deception.
Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
But anyone who does not love does not know God -- for God is love.
God showed how much he loved us by sending his only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him.
This is real love. It is not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.
Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.
No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love has been brought to full expression through us.
And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us.
Furthermore, we have seen with our own eyes and now testify that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.
All who proclaim that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God.
We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in him. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.
And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we are like Christ here in this world.
Such love has no fear because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of judgment, and this shows that his love has not been perfected in us.
We love each other a as a result of his loving us first.
If someone says, "I love God," but hates a Christian brother or sister, b that person is a liar; for if we don't love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we have not seen?
And God himself has commanded that we must love not only him but our Christian brothers and sisters, too.
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)