4 Beloved ones, do not believe every inspired expression,*+ but test the inspired expressions* to see whether they originate with God,+ because many false prophets have gone forth into the world.+ 2 YOU gain the knowledge of the inspired expression from God+ by this: Every inspired expression that confesses Jesus Christ as having come in the flesh originates with God,+ 3 but every inspired expression that does not confess Jesus does not originate with God.+ Furthermore, this is the antichrist’s [inspired expression] which YOU have heard was coming,+ and now it is already in the world.+ 4 YOU originate with God, little children, and YOU have conquered those [persons],+ because he that is in union+ with YOU is greater+ than he that is in union with the world.+ 5 They originate with the world;+ that is why they speak [what proceeds] from the world and the world listens to them.+ 6 We originate with God.+ He that gains the knowledge of God listens to us;+ he that does not originate with God does not listen to us.+ This is how we take note of the inspired expression of truth and the inspired expression of error.+ 7 Beloved ones, let us continue loving one another,+ because love+ is from God, and everyone who loves has been born from God+ and gains the knowledge of God.+ 8 He that does not love has not come to know God, because God is love.+ 9 By this the love of God was made manifest in our case,+ because God sent forth his only-begotten* Son+ into the world that we might gain life through him.+ 10 The love is in this respect, not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent forth his Son as a propitiatory+ sacrifice*+ for our sins.+ 11 Beloved ones, if this is how God loved us, then we are ourselves under obligation to love one another.+ 12 At no time has anyone beheld God.+ If we continue loving one another, God remains in us and his love is made perfect in us.+ 13 By this we gain the knowledge that we are remaining in union+ with him and he in union with us,+ because he has imparted his spirit to us.+ 14 In addition, we ourselves have beheld+ and are bearing witness+ that the Father has sent forth his Son as Savior of the world.+ 15 Whoever makes the confession that Jesus Christ* is the Son of God,+ God remains in union with such one and he in union with God.+ 16 And we ourselves have come to know and have believed the love+ that God has in our case. God is love,+ and he that remains in love+ remains in union with God and God remains in union+ with him. 17 This is how love has been made perfect with us, that we may have freeness of speech*+ in the day of judgment,+ because, just as that one is, so are we ourselves in this world.+ 18 There is no fear in love,+ but perfect love throws fear outside,+ because fear exercises a restraint.* Indeed, he that is under fear has not been made perfect in love.+ 19 As for us, we love, because he first loved us.+ 20 If anyone makes the statement: “I love God,” and yet is hating his brother, he is a liar.+ For he who does not love his brother,+ whom he has seen, cannot be loving God, whom he has not seen.+ 21 And this commandment we have from him,+ that the one who loves God should be loving his brother also.+
^ “Inspired expression.” Lit., “spirit.” Gr., pneuʹma·ti; Lat., spi·riʹtu·i; J17,18,22(Heb.), ruʹach.
^ Or, “test the spirits.” Lit., “be you proving the spirits.”
^ “Only-begotten.” Gr., mo·no·ge·neʹ; Lat., u·ni·geʹni·tum.
^ See 2:2 ftn.
^ “Christ,” B; אAVgSyh omit.
^ “Freeness of speech.” Or, “boldness.” Lit., “outspokenness.”