1 John 1-3 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
Prologue: Our Declaration
1 What was from the beginning,
Fellowship with God
5 Now this is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light, and there is absolutely no darkness in Him. 6 If we say, “We have fellowship with Him,” yet we walk in darkness, we are lying and are not practicing[c] the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say, “We have no sin,” we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say, “We don’t have any sin,” we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
2 My little children, I am writing you these things so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ the Righteous One. 2 He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not only for ours, but also for those of the whole world.
3 This is how we are sure that we have come to know Him: by keeping His commands. 4 The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” yet doesn't keep His commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever keeps His word, truly in him the love of God is perfected.[d] This is how we know we are in Him: 6 The one who says he remains in Him should walk just as He walked.
7 Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old command that you have had from the beginning. The old command is the message you have heard. 8 Yet I am writing you a new command, which is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining.
9 The one who says he is in the light but hates his brother is in the darkness until now. 10 The one who loves his brother remains in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him.[e] 11 But the one who hates his brother is in the darkness, walks in the darkness, and doesn’t know where he’s going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
Reasons for Writing
12 I am writing to you, little children,
A Warning about the World
15 Do not love the world or the things that belong to[f] the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. 16 For everything that belongs to[g] the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s lifestyle—is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 And the world with its lust is passing away, but the one who does God’s will remains forever.
The Last Hour
18 Children, it is the last hour. And as you have heard, “Antichrist is coming,” even now many antichrists have come. We know from this that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they did not belong to us; for if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us. However, they went out so that it might be made clear that none of them belongs to us.
20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you have knowledge.[h] 21 I have not written to you because you don’t know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie comes from the truth. 22 Who is the liar, if not the one who denies that Jesus is the Messiah? This one is the antichrist: the one who denies the Father and the Son. 23 No one who denies the Son can have the Father; he who confesses the Son has the Father as well.
Remaining with God
24 What you have heard from the beginning must remain in you. If what you have heard from the beginning remains in you, then you will remain in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is the promise that He Himself made to us: eternal life. 26 I have written these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you.
27 The anointing you received from Him remains in you, and you don’t need anyone to teach you. Instead, His anointing teaches you about all things and is true and is not a lie; just as He has taught you, remain in Him.
28 So now, little children, remain in Him, so that when He appears we may have boldness and not be ashamed before Him at His coming. 29 If you know that He is righteous, you know this as well: Everyone who does what is right has been born of Him. 3 1 Look at how great a love[i] the Father has given us that we should be called God’s children. And we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it didn’t know Him. 2 Dear friends, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him because we will see Him as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself just as He is pure.
4 Everyone who commits sin also breaks the law;[j] sin is the breaking of law. 5 You know that He was revealed so that He might take away sins,[k] and there is no sin in Him. 6 Everyone who remains in Him does not sin;[l] everyone who[m] sins has not seen Him or known Him.
7 Little children, let no one deceive you! The one who does what is right is righteous, just as He is righteous. 8 The one who commits[n] sin is of the Devil, for the Devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God was revealed for this purpose: to destroy the Devil’s works. 9 Everyone who has been born of God does not sin,[o] because His[p] seed remains in him; he is not able to sin,[q] because he has been born of God. 10 This is how God’s children—and the Devil’s children—are made evident.
The Command to Love
Whoever does not do what is right is not of God, especially the one who does not love his brother. 11 For this is the message you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another, 12 unlike Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered[r] his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil, and his brother’s were righteous. 13 Do not be surprised, brothers, if the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed from death to life because we love our brothers. The one who does not love remains in death. 15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.
Love in Action
16 This is how we have come to know love: He laid down His life for us. We should also lay down our lives for our brothers. 17 If anyone has this world’s goods and sees his brother in need but closes his eyes to his need—how can God’s love reside in him?
18 Little children, we must not love with word or speech, but with truth and action. 19 This is how we will know we belong to the truth and will convince our conscience in His presence, 20 even if our conscience condemns us, that God is greater than our conscience, and He knows all things.
21 Dear friends, if our conscience doesn’t condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and can receive whatever we ask from Him because we keep His commands and do what is pleasing in His sight. 23 Now this is His command: that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another as He commanded us. 24 The one who keeps His commands remains in Him, and He in him. And the way we know that He remains in us is from the Spirit He has given us.