See what great love(A) the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!(B) And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.(C) Dear friends,(D) now we are children of God,(E) and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears,[a](F) we shall be like him,(G) for we shall see him as he is.(H) All who have this hope in him purify themselves,(I) just as he is pure.(J)

Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.(K) But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins.(L) And in him is no sin.(M) No one who lives in him keeps on sinning.(N) No one who continues to sin has either seen him(O) or known him.(P)

Dear children,(Q) do not let anyone lead you astray.(R) The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous.(S) The one who does what is sinful is of the devil,(T) because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God(U) appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.(V) No one who is born of God(W) will continue to sin,(X) because God’s seed(Y) remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. 10 This is how we know who the children of God(Z) are and who the children of the devil(AA) are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love(AB) their brother and sister.(AC)

More on Love and Hatred

11 For this is the message you heard(AD) from the beginning:(AE) We should love one another.(AF) 12 Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one(AG) and murdered his brother.(AH) And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous.(AI) 13 Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters,[b] if the world hates you.(AJ) 14 We know that we have passed from death to life,(AK) because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death.(AL) 15 Anyone who hates a brother or sister(AM) is a murderer,(AN) and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.(AO)

16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.(AP) And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.(AQ) 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them,(AR) how can the love of God be in that person?(AS) 18 Dear children,(AT) let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.(AU)

19 This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence: 20 If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 21 Dear friends,(AV) if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God(AW) 22 and receive from him anything we ask,(AX) because we keep his commands(AY) and do what pleases him.(AZ) 23 And this is his command: to believe(BA) in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ,(BB) and to love one another as he commanded us.(BC) 24 The one who keeps God’s commands(BD) lives in him,(BE) and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.(BF)

On Denying the Incarnation

Dear friends,(BG) do not believe every spirit,(BH) but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.(BI) This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh(BJ) is from God,(BK) but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist,(BL) which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.(BM)

You, dear children,(BN) are from God and have overcome them,(BO) because the one who is in you(BP) is greater than the one who is in the world.(BQ) They are from the world(BR) and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us.(BS) This is how we recognize the Spirit[c] of truth(BT) and the spirit of falsehood.(BU)

God’s Love and Ours

Dear friends, let us love one another,(BV) for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God(BW) and knows God.(BX) Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.(BY) This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son(BZ) into the world that we might live through him.(CA) 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us(CB) and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.(CC) 11 Dear friends,(CD) since God so loved us,(CE) we also ought to love one another.(CF) 12 No one has ever seen God;(CG) but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.(CH)

13 This is how we know(CI) that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit.(CJ) 14 And we have seen and testify(CK) that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.(CL) 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God,(CM) God lives in them and they in God.(CN) 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.

God is love.(CO) Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.(CP) 17 This is how love is made complete(CQ) among us so that we will have confidence(CR) on the day of judgment:(CS) In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear,(CT) because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

19 We love because he first loved us.(CU) 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister(CV) is a liar.(CW) For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen,(CX) cannot love God, whom they have not seen.(CY) 21 And he has given us this command:(CZ) Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.(DA)

Faith in the Incarnate Son of God

Everyone who believes(DB) that Jesus is the Christ(DC) is born of God,(DD) and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well.(DE) This is how we know(DF) that we love the children of God:(DG) by loving God and carrying out his commands. In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands.(DH) And his commands are not burdensome,(DI) for everyone born of God(DJ) overcomes(DK) the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.(DL)

This is the one who came by water and blood(DM)—Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.(DN) For there are three(DO) that testify: the[d] Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. We accept human testimony,(DP) but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God,(DQ) which he has given about his Son. 10 Whoever believes in the Son of God accepts this testimony.(DR) Whoever does not believe God has made him out to be a liar,(DS) because they have not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. 11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life,(DT) and this life is in his Son.(DU) 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.(DV)

Concluding Affirmations

13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God(DW) so that you may know that you have eternal life.(DX) 14 This is the confidence(DY) we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.(DZ) 15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know(EA) that we have what we asked of him.(EB)

16 If you see any brother or sister commit a sin that does not lead to death, you should pray and God will give them life.(EC) I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death.(ED) I am not saying that you should pray about that.(EE) 17 All wrongdoing is sin,(EF) and there is sin that does not lead to death.(EG)

18 We know that anyone born of God(EH) does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one(EI) cannot harm them.(EJ) 19 We know that we are children of God,(EK) and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.(EL) 20 We know also that the Son of God has come(EM) and has given us understanding,(EN) so that we may know him who is true.(EO) And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.(EP)

21 Dear children,(EQ) keep yourselves from idols.(ER)


  1. 1 John 3:2 Or when it is made known
  2. 1 John 3:13 The Greek word for brothers and sisters (adelphoi) refers here to believers, both men and women, as part of God’s family; also in verse 16.
  3. 1 John 4:6 Or spirit
  4. 1 John 5:8 Late manuscripts of the Vulgate testify in heaven: the Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one. And there are three that testify on earth: the (not found in any Greek manuscript before the fourteenth century)