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1 John 3 Good News Translation (GNT)

Children of God

See how much the Father has loved us! His love is so great that we are called God's children—and so, in fact, we are. This is why the world does not know us: it has not known God. My dear friends, we are now God's children, but it is not yet clear what we shall become. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he really is. Everyone who has this hope in Christ keeps himself pure, just as Christ is pure.

Whoever sins is guilty of breaking God's law, because sin is a breaking of the law. You know that Christ appeared in order to take away sins,[a] and that there is no sin in him. So everyone who lives in union with Christ does not continue to sin; but whoever continues to sin has never seen him or known him.

Let no one deceive you, my children! Whoever does what is right is righteous, just as Christ is righteous. Whoever continues to sin belongs to the Devil, because the Devil has sinned from the very beginning. The Son of God appeared for this very reason, to destroy what the Devil had done.

Those who are children of God do not continue to sin, for God's very nature is in them; and because God is their Father, they cannot continue to sin. 10 Here is the clear difference between God's children and the Devil's children: those who do not do what is right or do not love others are not God's children.

Love One Another

11 The message you heard from the very beginning is this: we must love one another. 12 We must not be like Cain; he belonged to the Evil One and murdered his own brother Abel. Why did Cain murder him? Because the things he himself did were wrong, and the things his brother did were right.

13 So do not be surprised, my friends, if the people of the world hate you. 14 We know that we have left death and come over into life; we know it because we love others. Those who do not love are still under the power of death. 15 Those who hate others are murderers, and you know that murderers do not have eternal life in them. 16 This is how we know what love is: Christ gave his life for us. We too, then, ought to give our lives for others! 17 If we are rich and see others in need, yet close our hearts against them, how can we claim that we love God? 18 My children, our love should not be just words and talk; it must be true love, which shows itself in action.

Courage before God

19 This, then, is how we will know that we belong to the truth; this is how we will be confident in God's presence. 20 If our conscience condemns us, we know that God is greater than our conscience and that he knows everything. 21 And so, my dear friends, if our conscience does not condemn us, we have courage in God's presence. 22 We receive from him whatever we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. 23 What he commands is that we believe in his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as Christ commanded us. 24 Those who obey God's commands live in union with God and God lives in union with them. And because of the Spirit that God has given us we know that God lives in union with us.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 John 3:5 sins; some manuscripts have our sins.
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

1 John 3 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he[a] is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.

Everyone who commits sin is guilty of lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he was revealed to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him sins; no one who sins has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Everyone who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. Everyone who commits sin is a child of the devil; for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The Son of God was revealed for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. Those who have been born of God do not sin, because God’s seed abides in them;[b] they cannot sin, because they have been born of God. 10 The children of God and the children of the devil are revealed in this way: all who do not do what is right are not from God, nor are those who do not love their brothers and sisters.[c]

Love One Another

11 For this is the message you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 12 We must not be like Cain who was from the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous. 13 Do not be astonished, brothers and sisters,[d] that the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed from death to life because we love one another. Whoever does not love abides in death. 15 All who hate a brother or sister[e] are murderers, and you know that murderers do not have eternal life abiding in them. 16 We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us—and we ought to lay down our lives for one another. 17 How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister[f] in need and yet refuses help?

18 Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action. 19 And by this we will know that we are from the truth and will reassure our hearts before him 20 whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 21 Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have boldness before God; 22 and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we obey his commandments and do what pleases him.

23 And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. 24 All who obey his commandments abide in him, and he abides in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit that he has given us.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 John 3:2 Or it
  2. 1 John 3:9 Or because the children of God abide in him
  3. 1 John 3:10 Gk his brother
  4. 1 John 3:13 Gk brothers
  5. 1 John 3:15 Gk his brother
  6. 1 John 3:17 Gk brother
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

1 John 3 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

See what love the Father has lavished on us in letting us be called God’s children! For that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it has not known him. Dear friends, we are God’s children now; and it has not yet been made clear what we will become. We do know that when he appears, we will be like him; because we will see him as he really is.

And everyone who has this hope in him continues purifying himself, since God is pure. Everyone who keeps sinning is violating Torah — indeed, sin is violation of Torah. You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and that there is no sin in him. So no one who remains united with him continues sinning; everyone who does continue sinning has neither seen him nor known him.

Children, don’t let anyone deceive you — it is the person that keeps on doing what is right who is righteous, just as God is righteous. The person who keeps on sinning is from the Adversary, because from the very beginning the Adversary has kept on sinning. It was for this very reason that the Son of God appeared, to destroy these doings of the Adversary. No one who has God as his Father keeps on sinning, because the seed planted by God remains in him. That is, he cannot continue sinning, because he has God as his Father. 10 Here is how one can distinguish clearly between God’s children and those of the Adversary: everyone who does not continue doing what is right is not from God.

Likewise, anyone who fails to keep loving his brother is not from God. 11 For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning: that we should love each other 12 and not be like Kayin, who was from the Evil One and murdered his own brother. Why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil, and his brother’s were righteous. 13 Don’t be amazed, brothers, if the world hates you. 14 We, for our part, know that we have passed from death to life because we keep loving the brothers. The person who fails to keep on loving is still under the power of death. 15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.

16 The way that we have come to know love is through his having laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers! 17 If someone has worldly possessions and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how can he be loving God? 18 Children, let us love not with words and talk, but with actions and in reality!

19 Here is how we will know that we are from the truth and will set our hearts at rest in his presence: 20 if our hearts know something against us, God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 21 Dear friends, if our hearts know nothing against us, we have confidence in approaching God; 22 then, whatever we ask for, we receive from him; because we are obeying his commands and doing the things that please him.

23 This is his command: that we are to trust in the person and power of his Son Yeshua the Messiah and to keep loving one another, just as he commanded us. 24 Those who obey his commands remain united with him and he with them.

Here is how we know that he remains united with us: by the Spirit whom he gave us.

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

1 John 3 The Message (MSG)

What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it—we’re called children of God! That’s who we really are. But that’s also why the world doesn’t recognize us or take us seriously, because it has no idea who he is or what he’s up to.

2-3 But friends, that’s exactly who we are: children of God. And that’s only the beginning. Who knows how we’ll end up! What we know is that when Christ is openly revealed, we’ll see him—and in seeing him, become like him. All of us who look forward to his Coming stay ready, with the glistening purity of Jesus’ life as a model for our own.

4-6 All who indulge in a sinful life are dangerously lawless, for sin is a major disruption of God’s order. Surely you know that Christ showed up in order to get rid of sin. There is no sin in him, and sin is not part of his program. No one who lives deeply in Christ makes a practice of sin. None of those who do practice sin have taken a good look at Christ. They’ve got him all backward.

7-8 So, my dear children, don’t let anyone divert you from the truth. It’s the person who acts right who is right, just as we see it lived out in our righteous Messiah. Those who make a practice of sin are straight from the Devil, the pioneer in the practice of sin. The Son of God entered the scene to abolish the Devil’s ways.

9-10 People conceived and brought into life by God don’t make a practice of sin. How could they? God’s seed is deep within them, making them who they are. It’s not in the nature of the God-begotten to practice and parade sin. Here’s how you tell the difference between God’s children and the Devil’s children: The one who won’t practice righteous ways isn’t from God, nor is the one who won’t love brother or sister. A simple test.

11 For this is the original message we heard: We should love each other.

12-13 We must not be like Cain, who joined the Evil One and then killed his brother. And why did he kill him? Because he was deep in the practice of evil, while the acts of his brother were righteous. So don’t be surprised, friends, when the world hates you. This has been going on a long time.

14-15 The way we know we’ve been transferred from death to life is that we love our brothers and sisters. Anyone who doesn’t love is as good as dead. Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know very well that eternal life and murder don’t go together.

16-17 This is how we’ve come to understand and experience love: Christ sacrificed his life for us. This is why we ought to live sacrificially for our fellow believers, and not just be out for ourselves. If you see some brother or sister in need and have the means to do something about it but turn a cold shoulder and do nothing, what happens to God’s love? It disappears. And you made it disappear.

When We Practice Real Love

18-20 My dear children, let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love. This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality. It’s also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it. For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves.

21-24 And friends, once that’s taken care of and we’re no longer accusing or condemning ourselves, we’re bold and free before God! We’re able to stretch our hands out and receive what we asked for because we’re doing what he said, doing what pleases him. Again, this is God’s command: to believe in his personally named Son, Jesus Christ. He told us to love each other, in line with the original command. As we keep his commands, we live deeply and surely in him, and he lives in us. And this is how we experience his deep and abiding presence in us: by the Spirit he gave us.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson

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