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1 John 4:11-21 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

11 Dear friends, if God loved us in this way, we also must love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God.[a] If we love one another, God remains in[b] us and His love is perfected in us.

13 This is how we know that we remain in Him and He in us: He has given assurance to us from His Spirit. 14 And we have seen and we testify that the Father has sent His Son as the world’s Savior. 15 Whoever confesses[c] that Jesus is the Son of God—God remains in him and he in God. 16 And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and the one who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him.

17 In this, love is perfected with us so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment, for we are as He is in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment.[d] So the one who fears has not reached perfection in love. 19 We love[e] because He first loved us.

Keeping God’s Commands

20 If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For the person who does not love his brother he has seen cannot love the God he has not seen.[f] 21 And we have this command from Him: The one who loves God must also love his brother.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 John 4:12 Since God is an infinite being, no one can see Him in His absolute essential nature; Ex 33:18-23.
  2. 1 John 4:12 Or remains among
  3. 1 John 4:15 Or acknowledges
  4. 1 John 4:18 Or fear has its own punishment or torment
  5. 1 John 4:19 Other mss add Him
  6. 1 John 4:20 Other mss read has seen, how is he able to love . . . seen? (as a question)

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