1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
2 by this you may distinguish the spirit of God: "every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is from God. 3 and every spirit that does not own that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is not from God." this is that anti-christian spirit which you have heard was to come, and even now it appears in the world.
4 ye are of God, my dear children, and you have overcome them: because he that is in you, is superior to him that is in the world. 5 they are of the world: therefore their doctrine is worldly, and the world are their disciples. 6 we are of God: he that knoweth God, heareth us; he that is not of God, heareth not us. by this we distinguish the spirit of truth from the spirit of imposture.
7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth, is born of God, and knoweth God. 8 he that has not social affection, does not know God; for God is love. 9 by this was the love of God displayed towards us, in that God sent his only begotten son into the world, that we might live thro' him. 10 and what heightens his love, was this, that it was not we who first loved God, but it was he that first loved us, and sent his son to expiate our sins. 11 beloved, if God so loved us, we ought to love one another. 12 no man hath ever seen God. if we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and our love for him is then sincere.
13 Hereby we know that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his spirit. 14 and we have seen, and do testify, that the father hath sent the son to be the saviour of the world. 15 whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. 16 and we have known, and are convinced that God hath loved us. God is love; and he that cultivates social affection, dwelleth in God, and God in him.
17 the divine love to us will be in the highest degree, if our condition in this world be the same as was that of Christ Jesus; so that we may appear with confidence in the day of judgment. 18 Fear is a stranger to love; for perfect loves excludes all fear: since pain is the object of fear, he that is affected with fear, cannot be sincere in his love. 19 let us love him; since he first loved us.
20 if a man says he loves God, and yet hates his brother, he is a lyar: for he that does not love his brother, who is before his eyes, how can he love God who is invisible? 21 besides, 'tis a commandment we have receiv'd from him, that he who would love God, must love his brother also.