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1Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit which confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, 3and every spirit which does not confess Jesus is not of God. This is the spirit of antichrist, of which you heard that it was coming, and now it is in the world already. 4Little children, you are of God, and have overcome them; for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 5They are of the world, therefore what they say is of the world, and the world listens to them. 6We are of God. Whoever knows God listens to us, and he who is not of God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

7Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God, and he who loves is born of God and knows God. 8He who does not love does not know God; for God is love. 9In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins. 11Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12No man has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

13By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his own Spirit. 14And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world. 15Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16So we know and believe the love God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17In this is love perfected with us, that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so are we in this world. 18There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and he who fears is not perfected in love. 19We love, because he first loved us. 20If any one says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21And this commandment we have from him, that he who loves God should love his brother also.

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.
Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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