1Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.2This is how you can recognise the Spirit of God: every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,3but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.4You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.5They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them.6We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognise the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.
God’s love and ours
7Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.8Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.9This is how God showed his love among us: he sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.10This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.11Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.12No-one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.13This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: he has given us of his Spirit.14And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Saviour of the world.15If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God.16And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.17This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: in this world we are like Jesus.18There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.19We love because he first loved us.20Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.21And he has given us this command: anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.