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.
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)