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1CONSIDER the incredible love that the Father has shown us in allowing us to be called "children of God"and that is not just what we are called, but what we [are]. This explains why the world will no more recognise us than it recognised Christ.

2Here and now, my dear friends, we are God's children. We don't know what we shall become in the future. We only know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is!

3Everyone who has at heart a hope like that keeps himself pure, as Christ is pure.

4Everyone who commits sin breaks God's law, for that is what sin isa breaking of God's law.

5You know, moreover, that Christ became man to take away sin, and that he himself was free from sin.

6The man who lives "in Christ" does not habitually sin. The regular sinner has never seen or known him.

7You, my children, should not let anyone deceive you. The man who lives a good life is a good man, as surely as Christ is good.

8But the man whose life is habitually sinful is spiritually a son of the devil, for the devil has been a sinner from the beginning. Now the Son of God came to earth with the express purpose of undoing the devil's work.

9The man who is really God's son does not practise sin, for God's nature is in him, for good, and such a heredity is incapable of sin.

10Here we have a clear indication as to who are the children of God and who are the children of the devil The man who does not lead a good life is no son of God, nor is the man who fails to love his brother.

11For the original command, as you knew, is that we should love one another.

12We are none of us to have the spirit of Cain, who was a son of the evil one and murdered his brother. Have you realised his motive? It was because he realised the goodness of his brother's life and the evil of his own.

13Don't be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you.

14We know that we have crossed the frontier from death to life because we do love our brothers. The man without love for his brother is still living in death.

15The man who hates his brother is at heart a murderer, and you know that the eternal life of God cannot live in the heart of a murders.

16We know what love is because Christ laid down his life for us. We must in turn lay down our lives for our brothers.

17But as for the welltodo man who sees his brother in want but shuts his heart against him, how could anyone believe that the love of God lives in him?

18My children, let us love not merely in theory or in wordslet us love in sincerity and in practice!

19This is how we shall know that we are children of the truth and can reassure ourselves in the sight of God,

20even if our own conscience makes us feel guilty. For God is greater than our conscience, and he knows everything.

21And if, dear friends of mine, our conscience no longer accuses us, we may have the utmost confidence in God's presence.

22We receive whatever we ask for, because we are obeying his orders and following his wishes.

23His orders are that we should put our trust in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one anotheras he commanded us to do.

24The man who does obey God's commands lives in God and God lives in him, and the guarantee of his presence within us is the Spirit he has given us.

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