Test the Spirits

Beloved, (A)do not believe every spirit, but (B)test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for (C)many (D)false prophets (E)have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: (F)every spirit that confesses that (G)Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit (H)that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and (I)now is in the world already. Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for (J)he who is in you is greater than (K)he who is in the world. (L)They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and (M)the world listens to them. We are from God. (N)Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know (O)the Spirit of truth and (P)the spirit of error.

God Is Love

Beloved, (Q)let us love one another, for love is from God, and (R)whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. (S)Anyone who does not love does not know God, because (T)God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that (U)God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, (V)not that we have loved God (W)but that he loved us and sent his Son to be (X)the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 (Y)No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and (Z)his love is perfected in us.

13 (AA)By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14 And (AB)we have seen and testify that (AC)the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of (AD)the world. 15 (AE)Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 So (AF)we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. (AG)God is love, and (AH)whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this (AI)is love perfected with us, so that (AJ)we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because (AK)as he is so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but (AL)perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not (AM)been perfected in love. 19 (AN)We love because he first loved us. 20 (AO)If anyone says, “I love God,” and (AP)hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot[a] love God (AQ)whom he has not seen. 21 And (AR)this commandment we have from him: (AS)whoever loves God must also love his brother.

Overcoming the World

(AT)Everyone who believes that (AU)Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and (AV)everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. (AW)By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For (AX)this is the love of God, that we (AY)keep his commandments. And (AZ)his commandments are not burdensome. For (BA)everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—(BB)our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes (BC)that Jesus is the Son of God?

Testimony Concerning the Son of God

This is he who came (BD)by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And (BE)the Spirit is the one who testifies, because (BF)the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree. (BG)If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God (BH)that he has borne concerning his Son. 10 Whoever believes in the Son of God (BI)has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God (BJ)has made him a liar, (BK)because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son. 11 And this is the testimony, that God gave us (BL)eternal life, and (BM)this life is in his Son. 12 (BN)Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

That You May Know

13 I write (BO)these things to you who (BP)believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life. 14 And this is (BQ)the confidence that we have toward him, that (BR)if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.

16 If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and (BS)God[b] will give him life—to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. (BT)There is sin that leads to death; (BU)I do not say that one should pray for that. 17 (BV)All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that does not lead to death.

18 We know that (BW)everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but (BX)he who was born of God (BY)protects him, and the evil one does not touch him.

19 We know that we are from God, and (BZ)the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.

20 And we know that the Son of God has come and (CA)has given us understanding, so that we may know (CB)him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and (CC)eternal life. 21 Little children, (CD)keep yourselves from idols.


  1. 1 John 4:20 Some manuscripts how can he
  2. 1 John 5:16 Greek he


(A)The elder to the elect lady and her children, (B)whom I love in truth, and not only I, but also all who (C)know (D)the truth, (E)because of the truth that abides in us and will be with us forever:

(F)Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ the Father's Son, in truth and love.

Walking in Truth and Love

(G)I rejoiced greatly to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as we were commanded by the Father. And now I ask you, dear lady—(H)not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but the one we have had from the beginning—(I)that we love one another. And (J)this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just (K)as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it. For (L)many deceivers (M)have gone out into the world, (N)those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch yourselves, (O)so that you may not lose what we[a] have worked for, but (P)may win a full reward. Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, (Q)does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching (R)has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, (S)do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, 11 for whoever greets him (T)takes part in his wicked works.

Final Greetings

12 (U)Though I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink. (V)Instead I hope to come to you and talk face to face, (W)so that our joy may be complete.

13 The children of your elect sister greet you.


  1. 2 John 1:8 Some manuscripts you


(A)The elder to the beloved Gaius, (B)whom I love in truth.

Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul. For (C)I rejoiced greatly when the brothers[a] came and testified to your truth, as indeed you are walking in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that (D)my children are walking in the truth.

Support and Opposition

Beloved, it is a faithful thing you do in all your efforts for (E)these brothers, (F)strangers as they are, who testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their journey in a manner (G)worthy of God. For they have gone out for the sake of (H)the name, (I)accepting nothing from the Gentiles. Therefore we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth.

I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority. 10 So if I come, I will bring up what he is doing, talking wicked nonsense against us. And not content with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers, and also stops those who want to and puts them out of the church.

11 Beloved, (J)do not imitate evil but imitate good. (K)Whoever does good is from God; (L)whoever does evil has not seen God. 12 Demetrius (M)has received a good testimony from everyone, and from the truth itself. We also add our testimony, and (N)you know that our testimony is true.

Final Greetings

13 (O)I had much to write to you, but I would rather not write with pen and ink. 14 I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face.

15 Peace be to you. The friends greet you. Greet the friends, (P)each by name.


  1. 3 John 1:3 Or brothers and sisters. In New Testament usage, depending on the context, the plural Greek word adelphoi (translated “brothers”) may refer either to brothers or to brothers and sisters; also verses 5, 10

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