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We Are God's Children

3 1The Father (God) has loved us so much! This shows how much he loved us: We are called children of God. And we really are God's children. But the people in the world (people who don't believe) don't understand that we are God's children, because they have not known him (God). 2Dear friends, now we are children of God. We have not yet been shown what we will be in the future. But we know that when Christ comes again, we will be like him. We will see him like he really is. 3Christ is pure. And every person who has this hope in Christ keeps himself pure like Christ. 4When a person sins, he breaks [God's] law. Yes, sinning is the same as living against [God's] law. 5You know that Christ came to take away people's sins. There is no sin in Christ. 6So the person who lives in Christ does not continue to sin. If a person continues to sin, he has never really understood Christ and has never known Christ. 7Dear children, don't let any person lead you into the wrong way. Christ is righteous (good). To be good like Christ, a person must do what is right (good). 8The devil has been sinning since the beginning. The person who continues to sin belongs to the devil. The Son of God (Christ) came for this: to destroy the devil's work. 9When God makes a person his child, that person does not continue to sin. Why? Because the new life God gave that person* stays in him. So that person is not able to continue sinning. Why? Because he has become a child of God. 10So we can see who God's children are. Also, we can know who the children of the devil are. The people who don't do what is right are not children of God. And the person who does not love his brothers [and sisters in Christ] is not a child of God.

We Must Love One Another

11This is the teaching you have heard from the beginning: We must love each other. 12Don't be like Cain.* Cain belonged to the Evil One (the devil). Cain killed his brother [Abel*]. But why did Cain kill his brother? Because the things Cain did were evil, and the things his brother [Abel] did were good. 13Brothers [and sisters], don't be surprised when the people of this world hate you. 14We know that we have left death (sin) and have come into life. We know this because we love our brothers [and sisters in Christ]. The person who does not love is still in death. 15Every person who hates his brother [or sister] is a murderer.* And you know that no murderer has eternal life in him. 16This is how we know what real love is: Jesus gave his life for us. So we should give our lives for our brothers [and sisters in Christ]. 17Suppose a believer is rich enough to have all the things he needs. He sees his brother [in Christ] who is poor and does not have the things he needs. What if the believer who has things does not help the poor brother? Then the believer who has the things he needs does not have God's love in his heart. 18My children, our love should not be only words and talk. No! Our love must be true love. We should show our love by the things we do. 19-20That is the way we know that we belong to the way of truth. And when our hearts make us feel guilty, we can still have peace before God. Why? Because God is greater than our heart (conscience). God knows everything. 21My dear friends, if we don't feel that we are doing wrong, then we can be without fear (have confidence) when we come to God. 22And God gives us the things we ask for. We receive these things because we obey God's commands and we do the things that please God. 23This is what God commands: that we believe in his Son Jesus Christ and that we love each other. This is what he commanded. 24The person who obeys God's commands lives in God. And God lives in that person. How do we know that God lives in us? We know because of the Spirit* that God gave us.

the new life God gave that person Literally, "his seed." Cain, Abel Sons of Adam and Eve. Cain was jealous of Abel and killed him (Gen. 4:1-16). Every person ... murderer If a person hates his brother in Christ, then in his mind he has killed his brother. Jesus taught his followers about this sin (Mt. 5:21-26). Spirit, Holy Spirit Also called the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, and the Comforter. Joined with God and Christ, he does God's work among people in the world.

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