1 Every person who believes that Jesus is the Christ [i.e., God's specially chosen one] has been [spiritually] conceived [and eventually born] by God. And everyone who [continually] loves God, who did the conceiving, also [must continually] love the person whom God has [spiritually] conceived. 2 This is [one] way we know that we love God's [spiritually reborn] children: [It is] when we love God and obey what He commands us to do. 3 For this is [real evidence of] our love for God: [It is] obeying what He commands us to do. And obeying His commands does not cause us any grief [or, unpleasantness]. 4 For whoever [Note: The Greek says "whatever"] is [spiritually] conceived [and eventually born] by God will overcome [the evil influence of] the world. And this is [how] that victory can be gained over the world: [It is through] our faith [in God]. 5 And who is the person who can overcome [the evil influence of] the world? [It is] the one who [truly] believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
6 This Jesus is the one whose coming [to earth was introduced] by water [at His immersion. See Matt. 3:13] and [completed] by blood [at His crucifixion, John 19:17-37]. He did not come by the water only, but by the water and by the blood. And it is the Holy Spirit who gives testimony [at both of these events], because the Holy Spirit is [always] the truth. [See John 16:13]. 7 For there are three who give their testimony [about Jesus]: 8 The Holy Spirit [through His Word], and the water [through His immersion] and the blood [through His crucifixion]; and these three agree together [in giving testimony about Him]. 9 If we [are willing to] accept the testimony of people about matters, [surely we ought to accept that] the testimony of God is more reliable; because the testimony of God is that He has presented [confirming] testimony concerning [the identity and mission of] His Son. 10 The person who [sincerely] believes in God's Son has the evidence [of it] within his heart, [confirming God's testimony]. The person who does not believe God [i.e., what He says about Jesus], accuses Him of lying, because he has not accepted the [irrefutable] testimony of God concerning [the identity and mission of] His Son. 11 And this is the testimony [of God]: He gave to us [the hope of] never ending life, and this life is [available through fellowship] in His Son.
12 The person who has the Son [in his heart] possesses this "life;" the one who does not have the Son of God does not possess this "life." 13 I have written these things to you people, who believe in the name [i.e., in the person and work] of the Son of God, so that you can have assurance that you have [the hope of] never ending life. [See Titus 1:2; 3:7; Mark 10:30].
14 And this is [how we can express] boldness in our relationship with God: Whatever we ask [of God, in prayer], so long as it is in harmony with His will for us, [we know] He hears our request. 15 And if we can be sure that He hears our request for whatever we ask [of Him], we can [also] be certain that we [will] have whatever we have requested from Him.
16 If anyone [of you] observes his brother [or sister] sinning [in a way that would not lead] to [spiritual] death, he should ask [God, in prayer, to help that person], and God will give him [spiritual] life, [that is], to such ones, provided their sin is not leading to [spiritual] death. There is such a sin that leads to [spiritual] death. [See Heb. 6:4-6; I Tim. 5:6; Heb. 10:26-27; II Pet. 2:20-22]. I am not suggesting that you should ask [God, in prayer] about such a situation. 17 All wrongdoing is sinful, and [yet] there is a situation where [a person's] sin does not lead [him] to [spiritual] death.
18 We know that every person who has been [spiritually] conceived [by God and eventually born] does not continue in [a life of] sin, but God's one and only conceived [Son] keeps him [from continuing to sin], and the evil one [i.e., Satan] does not continue to touch him [i.e., continue to control his life].
19 We [also] know that we are [children] of God and that the people of the whole world lie under [the control of] the evil one [i.e., Satan].
20 And [in addition], we know that the Son of God has come [in a physical body, See 4:2] and has given us understanding, so that we can know the True One [i.e., God], and that we are in [fellowship with] the True One, even His Son Jesus Christ. This Son is the true God and eternal life.
21 Little children [i.e., dear ones], protect yourselves from [worshiping] idols.