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1 John 2Living Bible (TLB)

My little children, I am telling you this so that you will stay away from sin. But if you sin, there is someone to plead for you before the Father. His name is Jesus Christ, the one who is all that is good and who pleases God completely. He is the one who took God’s wrath against our sins upon himself and brought us into fellowship with God; and he is the forgiveness for our sins,[a] and not only ours but all the world’s.

And how can we be sure that we belong to him? By looking within ourselves: are we really trying to do what he wants us to?

Someone may say, “I am a Christian; I am on my way to heaven; I belong to Christ.” But if he doesn’t do what Christ tells him to, he is a liar. But those who do what Christ tells them to will learn to love God more and more. That is the way to know whether or not you are a Christian. Anyone who says he is a Christian should live as Christ did.

Dear brothers, I am not writing out a new rule for you to obey, for it is an old one you have always had, right from the start. You have heard it all before. Yet it is always new, and works for you just as it did for Christ; and as we obey this commandment, to love one another, the darkness in our lives disappears and the new light of life in Christ shines in.

Anyone who says he is walking in the light of Christ but dislikes his fellow man is still in darkness. 10 But whoever loves his fellow man is “walking in the light” and can see his way without stumbling around in darkness and sin. 11 For he who dislikes his brother is wandering in spiritual darkness and doesn’t know where he is going, for the darkness has made him blind so that he cannot see the way.

12 I am writing these things to all of you, my little children, because your sins have been forgiven in the name of Jesus our Savior. 13 I am saying these things to you older men because you really know Christ, the one who has been alive from the beginning. And you young men, I am talking to you because you have won your battle with Satan. And I am writing to you younger boys and girls because you, too, have learned to know God our Father.

14 And so I say to you fathers who know the eternal God, and to you young men who are strong with God’s Word in your hearts, and have won your struggle against Satan: 15 Stop loving this evil world and all that it offers you, for when you love these things you show that you do not really love God; 16 for all these worldly things, these evil desires—the craze for sex, the ambition to buy everything that appeals to you, and the pride that comes from wealth and importance—these are not from God. They are from this evil world itself. 17 And this world is fading away, and these evil, forbidden things will go with it, but whoever keeps doing the will of God will live forever.

18 Dear children, this world’s last hour has come. You have heard about the Antichrist who is coming—the one who is against Christ—and already many such persons have appeared. This makes us all the more certain that the end of the world is near. 19 These “against-Christ” people used to be members of our churches, but they never really belonged with us or else they would have stayed. When they left us it proved that they were not of us at all.

20 But you are not like that, for the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you know the truth. 21 So I am not writing to you as to those who need to know the truth, but I warn you as those who can discern the difference between true and false.

22 And who is the greatest liar? The one who says that Jesus is not Christ. Such a person is antichrist, for he does not believe in God the Father and in his Son. 23 For a person who doesn’t believe in Christ, God’s Son, can’t have God the Father either. But he who has Christ, God’s Son, has God the Father also.

24 So keep on believing what you have been taught from the beginning. If you do, you will always be in close fellowship with both God the Father and his Son. 25 And he himself has promised us this: eternal life.

26 These remarks of mine about the Antichrist are pointed at those who would dearly love to blindfold you and lead you astray. 27 But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, in your hearts, so that you don’t need anyone to teach you what is right. For he teaches you all things, and he is the Truth, and no liar; and so, just as he has said, you must live in Christ, never to depart from him.

28 And now, my little children, stay in happy fellowship with the Lord so that when he comes you will be sure that all is well and will not have to be ashamed and shrink back from meeting him. 29 Since we know that God is always good and does only right, we may rightly assume that all those who do right are his children.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 John 2:2 he is the forgiveness for our sins, or “he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins.”
Living Bible (TLB)

The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

1 John 2New International Version (NIV)

My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

Love and Hatred for Fellow Believers

We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God[a] is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.

Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard. Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining.

Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister[b] is still in the darkness. 10 Anyone who loves their brother and sister[c] lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. 11 But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.

Reasons for Writing

12 I am writing to you, dear children,
    because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name.
13 I am writing to you, fathers,
    because you know him who is from the beginning.
I am writing to you, young men,
    because you have overcome the evil one.

14 I write to you, dear children,
    because you know the Father.
I write to you, fathers,
    because you know him who is from the beginning.
I write to you, young men,
    because you are strong,
    and the word of God lives in you,
    and you have overcome the evil one.

On Not Loving the World

15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father[d] is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.

Warnings Against Denying the Son

18 Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.

20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth.[e] 21 I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth. 22 Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist—denying the Father and the Son. 23 No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.

24 As for you, see that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is what he promised us—eternal life.

26 I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray. 27 As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.

God’s Children and Sin

28 And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.

29 If you know that he is righteous, you know that everyone who does what is right has been born of him.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 John 2:5 Or word, God’s love
  2. 1 John 2:9 The Greek word for brother or sister (adelphos) refers here to a believer, whether man or woman, as part of God’s family; also in verse 11; and in 3:15, 17; 4:20; 5:16.
  3. 1 John 2:10 The Greek word for brother and sister (adelphos) refers here to a believer, whether man or woman, as part of God’s family; also in 3:10; 4:20, 21.
  4. 1 John 2:15 Or world, the Father’s love
  5. 1 John 2:20 Some manuscripts and you know all things
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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