1 John 1
1We proclaim to you the one who existed from the beginning,*1:1 Greek What was from the beginning. whom we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is the Word of life. 2This one who is life itself was revealed to us, and we have seen him. And now we testify and proclaim to you that he is the one who is eternal life. He was with the Father, and then he was revealed to us. 3We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 4We are writing these things so that you may fully share our joy.*1:4 Or so that our joy may be complete; some manuscripts read your joy.
Living in the Light
5This is the message we heard from Jesus*1:5 Greek from him. and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. 6So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. 7But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.
8If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. 9But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. 10If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.
1 John 2
1My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. 2He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.
3And we can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments. 4If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. 5But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. 6Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.
A New Commandment
7Dear friends, I am not writing a new commandment for you; rather it is an old one you have had from the very beginning. This old commandment—to love one another—is the same message you heard before. 8Yet it is also new. Jesus lived the truth of this commandment, and you also are living it. For the darkness is disappearing, and the true light is already shining.
9If anyone claims, “I am living in the light,” but hates a fellow believer,*2:9 Greek hates his brother; also in 2:11. that person is still living in darkness. 10Anyone who loves a fellow believer*2:10 Greek loves his brother. is living in the light and does not cause others to stumble. 11But anyone who hates a fellow believer is still living and walking in darkness. Such a person does not know the way to go, having been blinded by the darkness.
12I am writing to you who are God’s children
because your sins have been forgiven through Jesus.*2:12 Greek through his name.
13I am writing to you who are mature in the faith*2:13 Or to you fathers; also in 2:14.
because you know Christ, who existed from the beginning.
I am writing to you who are young in the faith
because you have won your battle with the evil one.
14I have written to you who are God’s children
because you know the Father.
I have written to you who are mature in the faith
because you know Christ, who existed from the beginning.
I have written to you who are young in the faith
because you are strong.
God’s word lives in your hearts,
and you have won your battle with the evil one.
Do Not Love This World
15Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. 16For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. 17And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.
Warning about Antichrists
18Dear 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 last hour has come. 19These people left our churches, but they never really belonged with us; otherwise they would have stayed with us. When they left, it proved that they did not belong with us.
20But you are not like that, for the Holy One has given you his Spirit,*2:20 Greek But you have an anointing from the Holy One. and all of you know the truth. 21So I am writing to you not because you don’t know the truth but because you know the difference between truth and lies. 22And who is a liar? Anyone who says that Jesus is not the Christ.*2:22a Or not the Messiah. Anyone who denies the Father and the Son is an antichrist.*2:22b Or the antichrist. 23Anyone who denies the Son doesn’t have the Father, either. But anyone who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.
24So you must remain faithful to what you have been taught from the beginning. If you do, you will remain in fellowship with the Son and with the Father. 25And in this fellowship we enjoy the eternal life he promised us.
26I am writing these things to warn you about those who want to lead you astray. 27But you have received the Holy Spirit,*2:27a Greek the anointing from him. and he lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit*2:27b Greek the anointing. teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true—it is not a lie. So just as he has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ.
Living as Children of God
28And now, dear children, remain in fellowship with Christ so that when he returns, you will be full of courage and not shrink back from him in shame.
29Since we know that Christ is righteous, we also know that all who do what is right are God’s children.
1 John 3
1See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him. 2Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is. 3And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as he is pure.
4Everyone who sins is breaking God’s law, for all sin is contrary to the law of God. 5And you know that Jesus came to take away our sins, and there is no sin in him. 6Anyone who continues to live in him will not sin. But anyone who keeps on sinning does not know him or understand who he is.
7Dear children, don’t let anyone deceive you about this: When people do what is right, it shows that they are righteous, even as Christ is righteous. 8But when people keep on sinning, it shows that they belong to the devil, who has been sinning since the beginning. But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil. 9Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life*3:9 Greek because his seed. is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they are children of God. 10So now we can tell who are children of God and who are children of the devil. Anyone who does not live righteously and does not love other believers*3:10 Greek does not love his brother. does not belong to God.
Love One Another
11This is the message you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another. 12We must not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and killed his brother. And why did he kill him? Because Cain had been doing what was evil, and his brother had been doing what was righteous. 13So don’t be surprised, dear brothers and sisters,*3:13 Greek brothers. if the world hates you.
14If we love our brothers and sisters who are believers,*3:14 Greek the brothers; similarly in 3:16. it proves that we have passed from death to life. But a person who has no love is still dead. 15Anyone who hates another brother or sister*3:15 Greek hates his brother. is really a murderer at heart. And you know that murderers don’t have eternal life within them.
16We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister*3:17 Greek sees his brother. in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person?
18Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. 19Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God. 20Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything.
21Dear friends, if we don’t feel guilty, we can come to God with bold confidence. 22And we will receive from him whatever we ask because we obey him and do the things that please him.
23And this is his commandment: We must believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as he commanded us. 24Those who obey God’s commandments remain in fellowship with him, and he with them. And we know he lives in us because the Spirit he gave us lives in us.
1 John 4
Discerning False Prophets
1Dear 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. 2This is how we know if they have the Spirit of God: If a person claiming to be a prophet*4:2 Greek If a spirit; similarly in 4:3. acknowledges that Jesus Christ came in a real body, that person has the Spirit of God. 3But if someone claims to be a prophet and does not acknowledge the truth about Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist, which you heard is coming into the world and indeed is already here.
4But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. 5Those people belong to this world, so they speak from the world’s viewpoint, and the world listens to them. 6But we belong to God, and 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.
Loving One Another
7Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. 8But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
9God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 10This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.
11Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. 12No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.
13And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us. 14Furthermore, we have seen with our own eyes and now testify that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15All who declare that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God. 16We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love.
God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. 17And 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 live like Jesus here in this world.
18Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. 19We love each other*4:19 Greek We love. Other manuscripts read We love God; still others read We love him. because he loved us first.
20If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a fellow believer,*4:20 Greek hates his brother. that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? 21And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their fellow believers.*4:21 Greek The one who loves God must also love his brother.
1 John 5
Faith in the Son of God
1Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ*5:1 Or the Messiah. has become a child of God. And everyone who loves the Father loves his children, too. 2We know we love God’s children if we love God and obey his commandments. 3Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome. 4For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. 5And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.
6And Jesus Christ was revealed as God’s Son by his baptism in water and by shedding his blood on the cross*5:6 Greek This is he who came by water and blood.—not by water only, but by water and blood. And the Spirit, who is truth, confirms it with his testimony. 7So we have these three witnesses*5:7 A few very late manuscripts add in heaven—the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one. And we have three witnesses on earth.—8the Spirit, the water, and the blood—and all three agree. 9Since we believe human testimony, surely we can believe the greater testimony that comes from God. And God has testified about his Son. 10All who believe in the Son of God know in their hearts that this testimony is true. Those who don’t believe this are actually calling God a liar because they don’t believe what God has testified about his Son.
11And this is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have God’s Son does not have life.
13I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life. 14And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. 15And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.
16If you see a fellow believer*5:16 Greek a brother. sinning in a way that does not lead to death, you should pray, and God will give that person life. But there is a sin that leads to death, and I am not saying you should pray for those who commit it. 17All wicked actions are sin, but not every sin leads to death.
18We know that God’s children do not make a practice of sinning, for God’s Son holds them securely, and the evil one cannot touch them. 19We know that we are children of God and that the world around us is under the control of the evil one.
20And we know that the Son of God has come, and he has given us understanding so that we can know the true God.*5:20 Greek the one who is true. And now we live in fellowship with the true God because we live in fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ. He is the only true God, and he is eternal life.
21Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.*5:21 Greek keep yourselves from idols.