1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but put the spirits to the test to see whether they are from God; for many false teachers have gone out into the world.
2 The test by which you may recognize the Spirit of God is that every spirit which acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come as man is from God, 3 and that no spirit is from God which does not acknowledge this about Jesus. Such is the spirit of the anti-Christ; of whose coming you have heard, and it is already in the world.
4 As for you, dear children, you are God's children, and have successfully resisted them; for greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. 5 They are the world's children, and so their language is that of the world, and the world listens to them. We are God's children. 6 The man who is beginning to know God listens to us, but he who is not a child of God does not listen to us. By this test we can distinguish the Spirit of truth from the spirit of error.
7 Dear friends, let us love one another; for love has its origin in God, and every one who loves has become a child of God and is beginning to know God. 8 He who is destitute of love has never had any knowledge of God; because God is love. 9 God's love for us has been manifested in that He has sent His only Son into the world so that we may have Life through Him. 10 This is love indeed--we did not love God, but He loved us and sent His Son to be an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, if God has so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever yet seen God. If we love one another, God continues in union with us, and His love in all its perfection is in our hearts.
13 We can know that we are continuing in union with Him and that He is continuing in union with us, by the fact that He has given us a portion of His Spirit. 14 And we have seen and bear witness that the Father has sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. 15 Whoever acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God--God continues in union with him, and he continues in union with God. 16 And, as for us, we know the love which God has for us, and we confide in it. God is love, and he who continues to love continues in union with God, and God continues in union with him.
17 Our love will be manifested in all its perfection by our having complete confidence on the day of the Judgement; because just what He is, we also are in the world. 18 Love has in it no element of fear; but perfect love drives away fear, because fear involves pain, and if a man gives way to fear, there is something imperfect in his love. 19 We love because God first loved us.