4 Beloved, do not believe every spirit. Rather, test the spirits to see whether they are from God. Many false prophets, you see, have gone out into the world. 2 This is how we know God’s spirit: every spirit that agrees that Jesus the Messiah has come in the flesh is from God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This spirit is actually the spirit of the Antimessiah. You have heard that it was coming, and now it is already in the world.
4 But you, children, are from God, and you have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 5 They are from the world, and that is why they speak from the world, and why the world listens to them. 6 We are from God; people who know God listen to us, but people who are not from God do not listen to us. That is how we can tell the spirit of truth from the spirit of error.
7 Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God, and all who love are fathered by God and know God. 8 The one who does not love has not known God, because God is love. 9 This is how God’s love has appeared among us: God sent his only son into the world, so that we should live through him. 10 Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his son to be the sacrifice that would atone for our sins. 11 Beloved, if that’s how God loved us, we ought to love one another in the same way. 12 Nobody has ever seen God. If we love one another, God abides in us and his love is completed in us. 13 That is how we know that we abide in him, and he in us, because he has given us a portion of his spirit. 14 And we have seen and bear witness that the father sent the son to be the world’s saviour. 15 Anyone who confesses that Jesus is God’s son, God abides in them and they abide in God. 16 And we have known and have believed the love which God has for us.
God is love; those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. 17 This is what makes love complete for us, so that we may have boldness and confidence on the day of judgment, because just as he is, so are we within this world. 18 There is no fear in love; complete love drives out fear. Fear has to do with punishment, and anyone who is afraid has not been completed in love. 19 We love, because he first loved us. 20 If someone says, ‘I love God’, but hates their brother or sister, that person is a liar. Someone who doesn’t love a brother or sister whom they have seen, how can they love God, whom they haven’t seen? 21 This is the command we have from him: anyone who loves God should love their brother or sister too.
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