1 Do not believe every spirit, beloved, but test the spirits to see if they come from God; for many false prophets have emerged in the world.
2 You can recognize the Spirit of God by this: every spirit which confesses Jesus as the Christ incarnate comes from God, 3 and every spirit which does not confess Jesus [incarnate] does not come from God. This latter is the spirit of antichrist; you were told it was coming, and here it is already in the world.
4 My dear children, you belong to God, and you have conquered all such, for He who is within you is greater than he who is in the world. 5 They belong to the world, therefore they speak as inspired by the world, and the world listens to them: 6 we belong to God ??he who knows God listens to us, he who does not belong to God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love belongs to God, and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God; 8 he who does not love, does not know God, for God is love. 9 This is how the love of God has appeared for us, by God sending his only Son into the world, so that by him we might live. 10 Love lies in this, not in our love for him but in his love for us ??in the sending of his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God had such love for us, we ought to love one another. 12 God no one has ever seen; but if we love one another, then God remains within us, and love for him is complete in us.
13 This is how we may be sure we remain in him and he in us, because he has given us a share in his own Spirit; 14 and we have seen, we can testify, that the Father has sent the Son as the Saviour of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that 'Jesus is the Son of God,' in him God remains, and he remains in God; 16 well, we do know, we have believed, the love God has for us. God is love, and he who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him.
17 Love is complete with us when we have absolute confidence about the day of judgment, since in this world we are living as He lives. 18 Love has no dread in it; no, love in its fulness drives all dread away, for dread has to do with punishment ??anyone who has dread, has not reached the fulness of love. 19 We love, because He loved us first.
20 If anyone declares, 'I love God,' and yet hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who will not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot possibly love the God whom he has never seen. 21 And we get this command from him, that he who loves God is to love his brother as well.