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How Christians live together

1CONSIDER how great is the love which the Father has bestowed on us in calling us his children! For that is what we are. The reason why the world does not recognize us is that it has not known him.

2Dear friends, we are now God's children; what we shall be has not yet been disclosed, but we know that when Christ appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.

3As he is pure, everyone who has grasped this hope makes himself pure.

4To commit sin is to break God's law: for sin is lawlessness.

5You know that Christ appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin.

6No one who dwells in him sins any more; the sinner has neither seen him nor known him.

7Children, do not be misled: anyone who does what is right is righteous, just as Christ is righteous;

8anyone 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.

9No child of God commits sin, because the divine seed remains in him; indeed because he is God's child he cannot sin.

10This is what shows who are God's children and who are the devil's: anyone who fails to do what is right or love his fellow-Christians is not a child of God.

11The message you have heard from the beginning is that we should love one another.

12Do not be like 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.

13Friends, do not be surprised if the world hates you.

14We know we have crossed over from death to life, because we love our fellow-Christians. Anyone who does not love is still in the realm of death,

15for everyone who hates a fellow-Christian is a murderer, and murderers, as you know, do not have eternal life dwelling within them.

16This is how we know what love is: Christ gave his life for us. And we in our turn must give our lives for our fellow-Christians.

17But if someone who possesses the good things of this world sees a fellow-Christian in need and withholds compassion from him, how can it be said that the love of God dwells in him?

18Children, love must not be a matter of theory or talk; it must be true love which shows itself in action.

19This is how we shall know that we belong to the realm of truth, and reassure ourselves in his sight

20where conscience condemns us; for God is greater than our conscience and knows all.

21My dear friends, if our conscience does not condemn us, then we can approach God with confidence,

22and obtain from him whatever we ask, because we are keeping his commands and doing what he approves.

23His command is that we should give our allegiance to his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as Christ commanded us.

24Those who keep his commands dwell in him and he dwells in them. And our certainty that he dwells in us comes from the Spirit he has given us.


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