Test The Spirits. The Spirit From God Confesses Christ
4 Beloved, do not be believing every spirit, but be testing the spirits[a]to see if they are from God, because many false-prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know[b] the Spirit[c]of God: every spirit that is confessing Jesus Christ as having come in the flesh is from God. 3 And every spirit that is not confessing Jesus is not from God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist— which, you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world. 4 You are from[d] God, little children, and you have overcome them, because greater is the One in you than the one in the world. 5 They are from[e] the world. For this reason they are speaking from the world, and the world is listening-to them. 6 We are from God. The one knowing God is listening-to us. He who is not from God is not listening-to us. From this, we know the Spirit[f]of truth and the spirit of error[g].
Be Loving One Another, Because The Love Is From God
7 Beloved, let us be loving one another. Because the love[h] is from God! And everyone loving has been born[i] from God, and knows God. 8 The one not loving did not know God, because God is love.
God Made His Love Known To Us By Sending His Son
9 By this God’s love was made-known among[j] us: that God has sent-forth His only-born[k] Son into the world in order that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love— not that we have loved God, but that He loved us, and sent-forth His Son to be the satisfaction[l] for our sins.
We Ought To Be Loving As He Loved Us
11 Beloved, if God loved us in-this-manner[m], we also ought to be loving one another.
Love Makes the Unseen God Visible In Us, Together With Our Confession of Christ
12 No one has ever seen God; if we are loving[n] one another, God is abiding in us, and His love[o] has been perfected[p] in us. 13 By this[q] we know that we are abiding in Him and He in us: because He has given to us of His Spirit. 14 And we have seen, and are testifying that the Father has sent-forth the Son to be Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God is abiding in him and he in God. 16 And we have come-to-know and have believed the love which God has in us.
Love Demonstrates Our Mutual Relationship With God, And Gives Us Confidence
God is love; and the one abiding in the love is abiding in God, and God is abiding in him. 17 By this[r], the love has been perfected with[s] us in order that we may have confidence on the day of judgment. Because just as that One is[t], we also are, in this world. 18 Fear[u] is not in love— rather, perfect love throws fear out, because fear has punishment. And the one fearing has not been perfected in love. 19 We are loving because[v]He first loved us.
Not Loving One Another As He Commanded Proves That We Do Not Love God
20 If someone claims that “I love God” and is hating his brother, he is a liar. For the one not loving his brother whom he has seen cannot be loving God Whom he has not seen. 21 And we have this commandment from Him: that the one loving God should be loving his brother also.
1 John 4:1That is, spiritual manifestations; expressions of a professed ‘spiritual gift’, as this word is used in 1 Cor 14:12.
1 John 4:12Or, brought to its goal, brought to full development.
1 John 4:13John knows love cannot stand alone as a witness that God is abiding in us, so he now inseparably links it to two other witnesses, the Spirit and our confession of Christ.
1 John 4:17That is, by this mutual abiding just mentioned, God’s love has been brought to its goal with us, that we may have confidence.
1 John 4:17That is, together with us, along with our cooperation; or, among us, in our mutual love as Christians.
1 John 4:17is... we also are. That is, abiding in the Father’s love; or, reflecting God’s love or character.
1 John 4:18This is a negative reason why such love produces confidence (v 17). Fear is part of a performance-based relationship, with penalties for failure. A mutually-abiding love relationship has no such fear, but rather brings confidence. This is the Greek word order. Or, There is no fear in-connection-with love.
1 John 4:19This is a positive reason why such love produces confidence. Our love is the result of the relationship, not the cause of it.
You'll get this book and many others when you join Bible Gateway Plus. Learn more
You must be logged in to view your newly purchased content. Please log in below or if you don't have an account, creating one is easy and only takes a few moments. After you log in your content will be available in your library.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
For the best Bible Gateway experience, consider an upgrade to Bible Gateway Plus. For less than the cost of a latte each month, you'll get reduced banner ads and a huge digital Bible study library. Try it free for 30 days!