1 John 4

The Spirit of Truth and the Spirit of Error

1Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits a to determine if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

2 This is how you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit who confesses that Jesus Christ has
Or confesses Jesus to be the Christ
come in the flesh c is from God. d
3 But every spirit who does not confess Jesus
Other mss read confess that Jesus has come in the flesh
is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist; f you have heard that he is coming, and he is already in the world now.

4 You are from God, little children, and you have conquered them, because the One who is in you g is greater than the one who is in the world. h 5 They are from the
world: The organized Satanic system that is opposed to God and hostile to Jesus and His followers. The non-Christian culture including governments, educational systems, and businesses
world. j Therefore what they say is from the world, and the world listens to them.
6 We are from God. Anyone who knows God listens to us; k anyone who is not from God does not listen to us. From this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of deception. l

Knowing God through Love

7 Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God m and knows God. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 God’s love was revealed among us in this way:
Or revealed in us
God sent o His
One and Only: Or one of a kind, or incomparable, or only begotten; the Greek word can refer to someone's only child such as in Lk 7:12; 8:42; 9:38. It can also refer to someone's special child as in Heb 11:17.
One and Only Son q into the world so that we might live r through Him.
10 Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that He loved us s and sent His Son to be the
Or a
propitiation: The removal of divine wrath; Jesus' death is the means that turns God's wrath from the sinner.
propitiation v for our sins.
11Dear friends, if God loved us in this way, we also must love one another. w 12No one has ever seen God.
Since God is an infinite being, no one can see Him in His absolute essential nature; Ex 33:18-23.
y If we love one another, God remains in
Or remains among
us and His love is perfected in us.

13 This is how we know that we remain in Him aa and He in us: He has given assurance to us from His Spirit. ab 14 And we have seen and we testify that the Father has sent His Son ac as the world’s Savior. 15 Whoever confesses
Or acknowledges
ae that Jesus is the Son of God – God remains in him and he in God.
16 And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and the one who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him.

17 In this, love is perfected with us so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment, af for we are as He is in this world. ag 18There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, ah because fear involves punishment.
Or fear has its own punishment or torment
So the one who fears has not reached perfection in love. aj
19 We love
Other mss add Him
because He first loved us. al

Keeping God’s Commands

20 If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, am he is a liar. an For the person who does not love his brother ao he has seen cannot love the God he has not seen.
Other mss read has seen, how is he able to love . . . seen? (as a question)
21 And we have this command from Him: The one who loves God must also love his brother.
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