1 Consider what proof the father has given us of his love, in allowing us to be called the sons of God: therefore the world does not know us, because it knew him not. 2 beloved, we are now the sons of God, tho' it does not yet appear what we shall be: but we know, that when this change shall be, his immediate presence will give us a divine resemblance. 3 he that hath such an expectation should purify himself, even as he is pure.
4 he that is vitious, is lawless: for sin is the transgression of the law. 5 and you know that he appear'd to abolish our sins; and that he was himself without sin. 6 whosoever adheres to him, sinneth not: whosoever sinneth, hath not seen him, he does not know him.
7 dear children, let no man deceive you: only he that acts justly is just, as he is just. 8 he that lives in sin, imitates the devil; for the devil was a sinner from the beginning. for this purpose the son of God appeared, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 9 whosoever is born of God, does not commit sin; for the divine principle remaineth in him: he will not sin, because he is born of God. 10 In this the children of God are distinguished from the children of the devil: he that does not practise virtue, and fraternal benevolence, is not of God. 11 for this is the doctrine that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 12 not acting like Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother: but why did he slay him? because his own actions were evil, and his brother's were virtuous. 13 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. 14 as for us, we know, that we have passed from a state of death to that of life, because we love our brethren: he that does not love his brother, is in a destructive state. 15 whosoever hateth his brother, has the disposition of a murderer: and you know that no murderer has any title to eternal life.
16 this is the proof of the divine love, Christ expos'd his life for us: and we ought to expose our lives for the brethren. 17 he that possesses the enjoyments of life, and seeing his brother in want, has no compassion for him, how can he be said to have any divine love?
18 my dear children, let not our love be only in the language of our lips, but in the real effects of the heart. 19 Hereby we shall know that we are true professors, and set our consciences securely at rest. 20 for if our conscience condemn us, God knows us better than we do our selves, he knoweth all things.
21 beloved, if our heart condemn us not, we may securely confide in God. 22 whatever we ask, we shall receive it of him, because we keep his commandments, and do what is agreeable to him. 23 now this is his commandment, that we believe in his son Jesus Christ, and that we love one another, as he commanded us. 24 he that observes his commandments, dwelleth in God, and God in him: and hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the spirit which he hath given us.