See what sort of love the Father has given to us: that we should be called children of God, and we are! Because of this the world does not know us: because it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that whenever he is revealed we will be like him, because we will see him just as he is. And everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as that one is pure.

Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. And you know that that one was revealed in order that he might take away sins, and in him there is no sin. Everyone who resides in him does not sin. Everyone who sins has neither seen him nor known him. Little children, let no one deceive you: the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as that one is righteous. The one who practices sin is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. For this reason the Son of God was revealed: in order to destroy the works of the devil. Everyone who is fathered by God does not practice sin, because his seed resides in him, and he is not able to sin, because he has been fathered by God. 10 By this the children of God and the children of the devil are evident: everyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, namely, the one who does not love his brother.

God is Love, so Love One Another

11 For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning: that we should love one another, 12 not as Cain, who was of the evil one and violently murdered his brother. And for what reason[a] did he violently murder him? Because his deeds were evil and the deeds of his brother were righteous.

13 Do not marvel,[b] brothers, if the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed over from death to life because we love the brothers. The one who does not love remains in death. 15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that every murderer does not have eternal life residing in him. 16 We have come to know love by this: that he[c] laid down his life on behalf of us, and we ought to lay down our lives on behalf of the brothers. 17 But whoever has the world’s material possessions and observes his brother in need[d] and shuts his heart against him, how does the love of God reside in him?

18 Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. 19 By this[e] we know that we are of the truth and will convince our heart before him, 20 that[f] if our heart condemns us, that God is greater than our heart and knows all things. 21 Dear friends, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God, 22 and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what is pleasing in his sight[g]. 23 And this is his commandment: that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he commanded us[h]. 24 And the one who keeps his commandments resides in him, and he in him. And by this we know that he resides in us: by the Spirit whom he has given to us.


  1. 1 John 3:12 Literally “on account of what”
  2. 1 John 3:13 Some manuscripts have “And do not marvel”
  3. 1 John 3:16 Literally “that one” (referring to Jesus Christ)
  4. 1 John 3:17 Literally “having need”
  5. 1 John 3:19 Some manuscripts have “And by this”
  6. 1 John 3:20 Or “because”
  7. 1 John 3:22 Literally “in the sight of him”
  8. 1 John 3:23 Literally “he gave us commandment”