1 I am writing to you about Jesus Christ, the life-giving Word of God who has existed from the beginning. I have heard him. I have seen him with my eyes. I have looked upon him. I have touched him with my own hands.
2 Yes, the Life-giver was manifested to us. I testify to him, and I proclaim to you the everlasting Life-giver who was abiding with the Father and now has been manifested to all men.
3 I proclaim him to you, because I want you to share in our communion with the Father and with Jesus Christ, his Son. 4 Thus our joy will be complete.
5 This is the message I have heard from him and proclaim to you: God is light. There is no darkness in him at all. 6 If we claim communion with God while we lead lives of pagan darkness, we do not tell the truth and do not act according to the true faith.
7 But if we lead lives of Christian light in which God dwells, then we are in communion with God. Then the blood of Jesus Christ his Son will cleanse us from all sin.
8 When we claim that we have not sinned, we deceive ourselves and we do not tell the truth. 9 If we confess our sins, God will forgive our sins and will cleanse us from all iniquity. For he is merciful and generous. 10 When we claim that we have not sinned, we challenge his truthfulness and we reject his message.
1 My children, I am writing you this letter to keep you away from sin. But if anyone of you should sin, remember that Jesus Christ the righteous is our defender before God. 2 He is the expiator of our sins, and not of ours only, but also of the sins of all mankind.
OBEDIENCE AND LOVE
3 We may be sure that we know him when we obey his commandments. 4 Whoever claims to know him, but does not obey his commandments, is a liar and does not tell the truth.
5 Whoever obeys his Gospel possesses the perfect love of God in his heart. This is the way we know that we abide in him. 6 But whoever claims that he abides in him must live as he lived.
7 Brethren, I am not writing to tell you of a new doctrine. It is just the old, original doctrine that you have already heard. 8 But it sounds new when you practice it, as the Lord himself did. Undoubtedly darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.
9 Everyone who claims to be in the light, and yet hates his brother, is still in darkness. 10 Everyone who loves his brother dwells in the light and cannot be led astray by temptation. 11 Everyone who hates his brother is in darkness, lives in darkness, and does not know where he is going. Darkness has blinded his eyes.
12 I am writing to you, my children, because your sins have been forgiven for his sake. 13 I am writing to you, fathers, because you believe in the Lord who has existed from the beginning. 14 I am writing to you, young men, because you are strong, you have kept the divine Gospel in your hearts, and you have defeated the evil one. I am writing to you, my children, because you believe in the Father.
15 Do not love this sinful world and its pleasures. A man who loves this world cannot love the Father. 16 The passion of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the vain ambitions of life are not derived from the Father, but from this world. 17 Now, this world is passing away with all its passionate desires. But those who follow the will of God will endure forever.
18 Children, it is the last hour. As you have heard, Antichrist is coming. Indeed, many Antichrists have already appeared. So we know that it is the last hour. 19 They have gone out from our company, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had, they would have remained with us. When they withdrew, they made it clear that none of them really belonged to us.
20 You have been anointed by the heavenly Father, and you know everything. 21 I am not writing you this letter because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it. You also know that a lie cannot be a part of the true doctrine.
22 Now everyone who denies that Jesus is the Messiah is an impostor. He is the real Antichrist, because he repudiates both the Father and the Son. 23 For the man who repudiates the Son does not believe in the Father. 24 Stick to the original doctrine which you have received from the beginning. If you do, you will abide both in the Son and in the Father. 25 Then you will inherit the everlasting life which he has promised us.
26 I felt I had to write you about those who are trying to lead you astray. 27 Fortunately, the Holy Spirit whom you have received from your anointment, abides in you, and you do not need any other teacher. He will teach you about everything. He will tell you what is true and what is false. So follow his directions, and stick to him.
28 Now, my children, abide in him constantly. So when Christ is manifested, we can face him proudly without shrinking from him in shame. 29 You know that he is righteous, and you know that whoever lives righteously is his son.
CHILDREN OF GOD
1 See what great love the Father has shown us: He allows us to be called children of God. This is why men refuse to welcome me, because they refused to welcome Christ.
2 Now, my dear friends, we are children of God. But we do not know what we will become in the future. We only know that when Christ is manifested, we shall be like him. Then we shall see him as he really is.
3 Remember that everyone who has such a hope must earnestly strive to make himself as pure as Christ is. 4 Those who are committing sin break the Law of God. For sin is the violation of divine Law. 5 You also know that Christ has been manifested to take away our sins. For he is free from sin.
CHILDREN OF THE DEVIL
6 Those who abide in Christ cannot sin. Those who sin have never known him. 7 My children, let no one lead you astray. The man who lives righteously is righteous as God himself is righteous. 8 But the man who lives sinfully is a son of the devil. For the devil has sinned from the beginning. Now the Son of God was manifested for the very purpose of undoing the work of the devil.
9 No one born of God can commit sin. For the Holy Spirit of God abides in him. He cannot sin, because he is a child of God. 10 This is how the children of God and the children of the devil can be distinguished. The man who does not live righteously and does not love his brother is not a child of God. 11 For this is the basic commandment you have heard from the beginning: “Love one another.”
12 We must not be like Cain who was a child of the devil and butchered his brother. Now why did he butcher him? Because he was a wicked man, and his brother was a righteous man. 13 Therefore, my brethren, do not be surprised when wicked men hate you.
14 We know that we have passed out of death into life because we love our brethren. The man who does not love his brother dwells in death. 15 The man who hates his brother is a potential murderer. And you know that a murderer cannot inherit everlasting life in his heart.
16 We know what love means from Christ who laid down his life for us. Therefore we must also lay down our lives for our brethren.
17 A rich man who sees his brother in need, yet remains unmoved, can have no divine love in his heart. 18 My children, we must not love merely in words and in theory, but in deeds and in reality.
19 Thus we can be sure that we are children of the true faith, and satisfy our consciences in the sight of God. 20 If our consciences condemn us, we can be reassured that God is greater than our consciences, and he knows everything.
21 My dear friends, if our consciences do not condemn us, we can face God fearlessly, 22 and we can receive whatever we ask him for, because we observe his commandments and practice what pleases him.
23 Now this is his commandment: We must believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and we must love one another, as he himself instructed us. 24 All those who observe his commandments abide in him, and he in them. We know that he abides in us through the Holy Spirit he has given us.
1 My dear friends, do not trust every inspired prophet. Test them first to discover whether they come from God or not. For many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 This is how you can tell that a prophet comes from God. Every prophet who proclaims that Jesus Christ has appeared in the flesh comes from God.
3 On the contrary, every prophet who denies that Jesus Christ has appeared in the flesh does not come from God. He is really a prophet of Antichrist. You heard that he was coming. Now he and his agents are in the world already.
4 You come from God, my children, and you have overcome them, for the Christ within you is greater than the Antichrist of the world. 5 They belong to the world, they speak for the world, and the world listens to them.
UNION WITH GOD
6 We come from God. Everyone who believes in God listens to us. Thus we can distinguish truth from falsehood.
7 Dear friends, let us love one another. For love comes from God. 8 The man who does not love cannot believe in God. For God is love.
9 The divine love was manifested among us when God sent to the world his only-begotten Son to give us life. 10 His love consists, not in the fact that we loved him, but that he loved us and sent his Son to expiate our sins.
11 My dear friends, if God loved us so dearly, then we must also love one another similarly.
12 No one has ever seen God. But if we love one another, God abides in us, and his love is perfect within us. 13 We know that we abide in him and he in us by the fact that he has given us his Holy Spirit.
14 Moreover, we Apostles have seen for ourselves, and we can testify that the Father has sent his Son to become the savior of mankind. 15 Therefore everyone who proclaims that Jesus is the Son of God can be sure that God abides in him, and he in God.
GOD IS LOVE
16 We also know and believe that God loves us. As a matter of fact, God is love. Everyone who practices love can be sure that he abides in God, and God in him. 17 Our love becomes perfect, when we have confidence about the Day of Judgment, and when our life is similar to the life of Christ in this world.
18 There is no fear in love. For perfect love drives out fear. Moreover, fear has the connotation of punishment for guilt. Therefore no one who fears is perfect in love. 19 We love God, because he first loved us.
20 My dear friends, the man who says that he loves God, yet hates his brother, is a liar. For a man who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21 Remember that Christ commanded us to love God and our brethren also.
1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Messiah is a child of God. For whoever loves the Father, loves his Son also. 2 We can be sure that we love the children of God, only when we love God and obey his commandments. 3 Now his commandments are not heavy.
4 Everyone who is born of God overcomes the world. It is our faith which gives us victory over the world. 5 For whoever believes that Jesus is the Son of God can overcome the world.
6 Jesus Christ came through water and blood, not through water only, but through water and through blood. The Holy Spirit is the witness who proclaimed this truth. 7 For there are three witnesses in heaven, namely the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Now these three are one.
8 There are also three witnesses on earth, namely the Holy Spirit, Holy Baptism, and Holy Communion. These three agree also. 9 If we accept the testimony of men, the testimony of God is much stronger. For God himself has testified to the Son.
10 Whoever believes in the Son of God possesses this testimony in his heart. Whoever does not believe in God makes him a liar. For he does not believe the testimony which God has borne to his Son. 11 This testimony means that he has given us everlasting life through the Son of God.
12 Everyone who believes in the Son of God obtains everlasting life. No one who does not believe in the Son of God can obtain everlasting life. 13 I have written this letter to you who believe in the name of God to assure you that you already possess everlasting life by believing in the name of the Son of God.
14 This faith gives us the assurance that God will grant us whatever we ask for in accordance with his will. 15 Now if God grants our petitions, we know that we obtain whatever we ask him for.
16 Whoever sees his brother committing what is not a mortal sin can beseech God and he will grant life to any sinner who commits a venial sin. True, there are mortal sins. But I do not mean that anyone should pray for them. 17 Every sin is a violation of the Law of God. But some sins are not mortal.
18 We know that whoever is born of God cannot sin, because everyone who is born of God knows how to protect himself, and the devil does not touch him. 19 We know that we come from God and that the whole world is in the power of the devil.
20 We also know that the Son of God has come and has given us power to understand the true God and to abide in him through his Son, Jesus Christ. Thus we find the true God and everlasting life.
21 My children, keep away from false divinities. Amen.