1 John 4Expanded Bible (EXB)
Warning Against False Teachers
4 ·My dear friends [L Beloved], many false prophets [Deut. 13:1–5; 18:14–22; Mark 13:22] have gone out into the world. So do not ·believe [trust] every spirit, but test the spirits to see if they are from God [C the false teachers evidently claimed that their teaching was from the Spirit; 1 Cor. 12:1–3; 14:29; 1 Thess. 5:19–21]. 2 This is how you can ·know [recognize] God’s Spirit: Every spirit [C a teacher/prophet claiming inspiration from the Spirit] who ·confesses [acknowledges] that Jesus Christ came ·to earth as a human [L in the flesh] is from God. 3 And every spirit who ·refuses to say this about Jesus [L does not confess/acknowledge Jesus] is not from God [2 John 7]. It is the spirit of the ·enemy of Christ [L antichrist; 2:18, 22], which you have heard is coming, and now he is already in the world.
4 ·My dear children [2:1], you ·belong to [L are from] God and have ·defeated [conquered; overcome] them [C the antichrists/false teachers]; because ·God’s Spirit, who is in you, is greater than the devil, who is in the world [L that which is in you is greater than that which is in the world]. 5 And they ·belong to [L are from] the world, so what they say is from the world, and the world ·listens to [hears; obeys] them. 6 But we ·belong to [are from] God, and those who know God ·listen to [hear; obey] us. But those who are not from God do not ·listen to [hear; obey] us. That is how we ·know [recognize] the Spirit that is true and the spirit that ·is false [deceives; errs].
Love Comes from God
7 ·Dear friends [L Beloved], ·we should [let us] love each other, because love comes from God. Everyone who loves has ·become God’s child [L been begotten/fathered by God] and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God ·showed [revealed] his love to us: He sent his one and only Son into the world so that we could have life through him. 10 This is what real love is: It is not our love for God; it is God’s love for us. He sent his Son ·to die in our place to take away our sins [as the atoning sacrifice/T propitiation for our sins; see 2:2].
11 ·Dear friends [Beloved], if God loved us ·that much [or in this way; John 3:16] we also should love each other. 12 No one has ever seen God [C God the Father; John 1:18], but if we love each other, God ·lives [remains; abides] ·in [or among] us, and his love ·is made perfect [is made complete; comes to full expression] in us.
13 [L By this] We know that we ·live [abide; remain] in God and he ·lives [abides; remains] in us, because he gave us [L of; from; 3:24] his Spirit [C we share in his Spirit]. 14 We have seen and can ·testify [witness; proclaim] that the Father sent his Son ·to be [or as] the Savior of the world. 15 Whoever ·confesses [acknowledges] that Jesus is the Son of God has God ·living [abiding; remaining] inside, and that person ·lives [abides; remains] in God. 16 And so we ·know [have come to know] the love that God has for us, and we ·trust [believe; rely on] that love.
God is love. Those who ·live [abide; remain] in love ·live [abide; remain] in God, and God ·lives [abides; remains] in them. 17 This is how love ·is made perfect [is made complete; comes to full expression] ·in [or among] us: that we can ·be without fear [have boldness; have confidence; 2:28; 3:21; 5:14] on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him [C probably referring to Christ, our example of love]. 18 ·Where God’s love is, there is no fear [L There is no fear in love], because ·God’s perfect love drives out fear [T perfect love casts out fear]. It is punishment that makes a person fear, so love is not made ·perfect [complete] in the person who fears [C fear of punishment, not an appropriate fear of God; compare Prov. 1:7; 2 Cor. 7:15; Phil. 2:12].
19 We love because ·God [L he] first loved us. 20 If people say, “I love God,” but hate their brothers or sisters [C fellow believers], they are liars. [L For] Those who do not love their brothers and sisters [C fellow believers], whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have never seen. 21 And ·God gave us this command [L we have this command from him]: Those who love God must also love their brothers and sisters [C fellow believers; John 13:34].
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.
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.
It looks like you’re already subscribed to Bible Gateway Plus! To manage your subscription, visit your Bible Gateway account settings.
Try Bible Gateway Plus, a brand-new service that lets you experience Bible Gateway free of banner ads! It also gives you instant access to over 40 Bible study and inspirational devotional books, including the NIV Study Bible. With Bible Gateway Plus, you can experience and understand God's Word in life-changing new ways, without the distraction of ads. Try it free for 30 days—you can cancel at any time. Following your 30-day free trial, Bible Gateway Plus is only $3.99/month.
Three easy steps to start your free trial subscription to Bible Gateway Plus.