4 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit. Test the spirits to see if they belong to God. Many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 Here is how you can recognize the Spirit of God. Every spirit agreeing that Jesus Christ came in a human body belongs to God. 3 But every spirit that doesn’t agree with this does not belong to God. You have heard that the spirit of the great enemy of Christ is coming. Even now it is already in the world.
4 Dear children, you belong to God. You have not accepted the teachings of the false prophets. That’s because the one who is in you is powerful. He is more powerful than the one who is in the world. 5 False prophets belong to the world. So they speak from the world’s point of view. And the world listens to them. 6 We belong to God. And those who know God listen to us. But those who don’t belong to God don’t listen to us. That’s how we can tell the difference between the Spirit of truth and the spirit of lies.
We Love Because God Loved Us
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, because love comes from God. Everyone who loves has become a child of God and knows God. 8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 Here is how God showed his love among us. He sent his one and only Son into the world. He sent him so we could receive life through him. 10 Here is what love is. It is not that we loved God. It is that he loved us and sent his Son to give his life to pay for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God loved us this much, we should also love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God. But if we love one another, God lives in us. His love is made complete in us.
13 Here’s how we know that we are joined to him and he to us. He has given us his Holy Spirit. 14 The Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. We have seen it and are witnesses to it. 15 God lives in anyone who agrees that Jesus is the Son of God. This kind of person remains joined to God. 16 So we know that God loves us. We depend on it.
God is love. Anyone who leads a life of love is joined to God. And God is joined to them. 17 Suppose love is fulfilled among us. Then we can be without fear on the day God judges the world. Love is fulfilled among us when in this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. Instead, perfect love drives away fear. That’s because fear has to do with being punished. The one who fears does not have perfect love.
19 We love because he loved us first. 20 Suppose someone claims to love God but hates a brother or sister. Then they are a liar. They don’t love their brother or sister, whom they have seen. So they can’t love God, whom they haven’t seen. 21 Here is the command God has given us. Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.
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