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God's Children Win Against the World

5 1The people who believe that Jesus is the Christ* are God's children. The person who loves the Father (God) also loves the Father's children. 2How do we know that we love God's children? We know because we love God and we obey his commands. 3Loving God means obeying his commands. And God's commands are not too hard for us. 4Why? Because every person that is a child of God [has the power to] win against the world. 5It is our faith that has won the victory against the world. So who is the person that wins against the world? Only the person who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

God Told Us About His Son

6Jesus Christ is the One who came. Jesus came with water* and with blood.* Jesus did not come by water only. No, Jesus came by both water and blood. And the Spirit* tells us that this is true. The Spirit is the truth. 7So there are three witnesses that tell us [about Jesus]: 8the Spirit, the water, and the blood. These three witnesses agree. 9We believe people when they say something is true. But what God says is more important. And this is what God told us: He told us the truth about his own Son. 10The person who believes in the Son of God has the truth that God told us. The person who does not believe God makes God a liar. Why? Because that person does not believe what God told us about his Son. 11This is what God told us: God has given us eternal life. And this eternal life is in his Son (Jesus). 12The person who has the Son has [true] life. But the person who does not have the Son of God does not have life.

We Have Eternal Life Now

13I write this letter to you people who believe in the Son of God. I write so that you will know that you have eternal life now. 14We can come to God with no doubts. This means that when we ask God for things (and those things agree with what God wants for us), then God cares about what we say. 15God listens to us every time we ask him. So we know that he gives us the things that we ask from him. 16Suppose a person sees his brother [or sister in Christ] sinning (sin that does not lead to [eternal] death). That person should pray for his brother [or sister] who is sinning. Then God will give the brother [or sister] life. I am talking about people whose sin does not lead to [eternal] death. There is sin that leads to death. I don't mean that a person should pray about that sin. 17Doing wrong is always sin. But there is sin that does not lead to [eternal] death. 18We know that any person who has been made God's child does not continue to sin. The Son of God keeps God's child safe.* The Evil One (the devil) cannot hurt that person. 19We know that we belong to God. But the Evil One (the devil) controls the whole world. 20And we know that the Son of God has come. The Son of God has given us understanding. Now we can know God. God is the One who is true. And we live in that true God. We are in his Son, Jesus Christ. He is the true God, and he is eternal life. 21So, dear children, keep yourselves away from false gods.

Christ The "anointed one" (Messiah) or chosen one of God. water This probably means the water of Jesus' baptism. blood This probably means the blood of Jesus' death. 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. The Son ... safe Literally, "The one who was born from God keeps him safe" or "... keeps himself safe."

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