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. Chapter 3.

1 How great is the love that the Father has shown to us! We were called God's children, and such we are; [Or: We are called children of God! Not only called, we really are his children.] and the reason why the godless world does not recognize us is that it has not known him. 2 Here and now, dear friends, we are God's children; what we shall be has not yet been disclosed, but we know that when it is disclosed [Or: when he appears.] we shall be like him, [Or: we are God's children, though he has not yet appeared; what we shall be we know, for when he does appear we shall be like him.] because we shall see him as he is. 3 Everyone who has this hope before him purifies himself, as Christ is pure.

4 To commit sin is to break God's law: sin, in fact, is lawlessness. 5 Christ appeared, as you know, to do away with sins, and there is no sin in him. 6 No man therefore who dwells in him is a sinner; the sinner has not seen him and does not know him.

7 My children, do not be misled: it is the man who does right who is righteous, as God is righteous; 8 the man who sins is a child of the devil, for the devil has been a sinner from the first; and the Son of God appeared for the very purpose of undoing the devil's work.

9 A child of God does not commit sin, because the divine seed remains in him; he cannot be a sinner, because he is God's child. 10 That is the distinction between the children of God and the children of the devil: no one who does not do right is God's child, nor is anyone who does not love his brother.

Love One Another

11 For the message you have heard from the beginning is this: that we should love one another; 12 unlike Cain, who was a child of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were wrong, and his brother's were right.

13 My brothers, do not be surprised if the world hates you. 14 We for our part have crossed over from death to life; this we know, because we love our brothers. The man who does not love is still in the realm of death, 15 for everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and no murderer, as you know, has eternal life dwelling within him. 16 It is by this that we know what love is: that Christ laid down his life for us. And we in our turn are bound to lay down our lives for our brothers. 17 But if a man has enough to live on, and yet when he sees his brother in need shuts up his heart against him, how can it be said that the divine love [Or: that love for God ...] dwells in him?

18 My children, love must not be a matter of words or talk; it must be genuine, and show itself in action.

Confidence before God

19 This is how we may know that we belong to the realm of truth, 20 and convince ourselves in his sight that even if our conscience condemns us. God is greater than our conscience [Or: and reassure ourselves in his sight in matters where our conscience condemns us, because God is greater than our conscience ... ; Or: and yet we shall do well to convince ourselves that if even our own conscience condemns us, still more will God who is greater than conscience ...] and knows all.

21 Dear friends, if our conscience does not condemn us, then we can approach God with confidence, 22 and obtain from him whatever we ask, because we are keeping his commands and doing what he approves. 23 This is his command: to give our allegiance to his Son Jesus Christ and love one another as he commanded. 24 When we keep his commands we dwell in him and he dwells in us. And this is how we can make sure that he dwells within us: we know it from the Spirit he has given us.

<< | I John: 3 | >>

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