1 Dearly beloved, stop believing every so-called spiritual utterance, but keep testing them to see whether they come from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
2 In this way you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spiritual utterance which owns that Jesus Christ has come in human form comes from God, 3 and no spiritual utterance which disowns Jesus can come from God; it is the utterance of Antichrist. You have heard that it is coming, and right now it is already in the world.
4 You are children of God, dear children, and you have conquered these men, because He who is in our hearts is greater than he who is in the world. 5 They are children of the world; this is why they speak what the world inspires, and why the world listens to them. 6 We are children of God. Whoever knows God by experience listens to us; whoever is not a child of God does not listen to us. This is the way to distinguish a true spiritual utterance from one that is false.
7 Dearly beloved, let us practice loving one another, because love originates with God, and everyone who practices loving is a child of God and knows God by experience. 8 Whoever does not love has never come to know God by experience, because God is love. 9 This is the way God's love for us has been shown, namely, God has sent His only Son into the world that we through Him might have life. 10 In this way is seen the true love, not that we loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dearly beloved, if God has loved us so, we ought to love one another too. 12 No one has ever seen God; yet if we practice loving one another, God remains in union with us, and our love for Him attains perfection in our hearts,
13 By the fact that He has given us a portion of His Spirit we can be sure that we remain in union with Him and He in union with us. 14 We have seen and now testify that the Father has sent His Son to be the Saviour of the world. 15 Whoever owns that Jesus is the Son of God, God remains in union with him and he in union with God. 16 So we know by experience and trust the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever continues to love continues in union with God and God in union with him.
17 Our love attains perfection through our having perfect confidence about the day of judgment, because here in this world we are living as He did. 18 There is no fear in love, and perfect love drives out fear, because fear pertains to punishment, and no one who is subject to fear has attained perfection in love. 19 We love, because He loved us first.