4 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit. Put the spirits to the test to see if they belong to God. Many false prophets have gone out into the world.
2How can you recognize the Spirit of God? Every spirit that agrees that Jesus Christ came in a human body belongs to God. 3But every spirit that doesn’t agree with this does not belong to God. It is the spirit of the great enemy of Christ. You have heard that the enemy is coming. Even now he is already in the world.
4Dear children, you belong to God. You have not accepted the teachings of the false prophets. That’s because the One who is in you is more powerful than the one who is in the world.
5False prophets belong to the world. So they speak from the world’s point of view. The world listens to them. 6We belong to God. And those who know God listen to us. But those who don’t belong to God don’t listen to us. That’s how we can tell the difference between the Spirit of truth and the spirit of lies.
7Dear friends, let us love one another, because love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born again because of what God has done. That person knows God. 8Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
9How did God show his love for us? He sent his one and only Son into the world. He sent him so we could receive life through him.
10What is love? It is not that we loved God. It is that he loved us and sent his Son to give his life to pay for our sins.
11Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we should also love one another. 12No one has ever seen God. But if we love one another, God lives in us. His love is made complete in us.
13We know that we belong to him and he belongs to us. He has given us his Holy Spirit.
14The Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. We have seen it. We give witness to it. 15God lives in anyone who agrees that Jesus is the Son of God. That kind of person remains joined to God. 16So we know that God loves us. We depend on it.
God is love. Anyone who leads a life of love shows that he is joined to God. And God is joined to him.
17So love is made complete among us. We will be bold on the day God judges us. That’s because in this world we love as Jesus did.
18There is no fear in love. Instead, perfect love drives fear away. Fear has to do with being punished. The one who fears does not have perfect love.
19We love because he loved us first. 20Anyone who says he loves God but in fact hates his brother or sister is a liar. He doesn’t love his brother or sister, whom he has seen. So he can’t love God, whom he has not seen.
21Here is the command God has given us. Anyone who loves God must also love his brothers and sisters.
About New International Reader’s Version (1998)
The New International Reader’s Version (NIrV) was developed to help early readers understand the Bible. Begun in 1992, the NIrV is a simplification of the New International Version (NIV). The NIrV uses shorter words and sentences so that those with a typical fourth grade reading level can comprehend what they are reading. The chapters have been separated into shorter sections and most have titles that clearly indicate what the section is all about. The NIrV will be a valuable translation to those for whom English is a second language. The NIrV still relies on the best and oldest copies of the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts for its translation, guaranteeing that those who read it are getting the actual Word of God.
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Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL READER’S VERSION™. Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.
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