1 John 2
God forgives our sins because of Jesus' death
1 I am writing this letter to you, my friends who are like my little children. I am writing to you because I do not want you to do wrong things. But if anyone among you does something wrong, there is someone who will speak to God on our behalf. That person is Jesus Christ, who always does only what is right. He will ask our Father God to forgive you. 2 Jesus died as a sacrifice to take the punishment for our sin. Then God could forgive us and not punish us. Jesus did that not only for us. He did it for all people in the world, so that God could forgive them for their sins.
3 How can we be sure that we really know God and we belong to him? We can be sure of that if we obey God's rules. 4 Someone may say, ‘I belong to God.’ But if he does not obey God's rules, that person is telling a lie. He is not living in the way that God's true message teaches us. 5 But anyone who obeys God's message shows that he really loves God completely. So, this is how we know that we belong to God. 6 If we say that we are living in God's true way, then we must live in the way that Jesus lived.
2:6If we believe in Jesus Christ and we trust God, this means that we belong to God. We are united with God and with Jesus. The way that we live shows whether we are true believers.
God tells us to love each other
7 My friends, I am telling you to love one another. When I write this to you, I am not giving you a new rule. It is an old rule that you have had for a long time. We gave it to you when you began to obey Christ. It is the same message that you have already heard. 8 But there is something new about it. This rule has become true in the way that Christ lived. Now it has also become true in your lives. God's true message has brought light to shine in your lives. You no longer live in the dark where you do bad things. 9 A person may say that he is living in the light. But, if that person hates another believer, then he is telling a lie. He is really still living in the dark. 10 Anyone who loves other believers shows that he is living in the light. There is nothing that will make him turn away from God. 11 But if someone hates other believers, he is still living in a bad way. He is like someone who is walking in the dark. He cannot see where he is going. He is like a blind person. Because he is in the dark, he cannot understand God's true message.
2:11John tells Christians that they must live ‘in the light’. He means that they should live in a way that God wants. They must love each other. If they live like this, they will be like Jesus. People will see Jesus shining through them, like a light. The Devil is trying to make them do bad things. Then they would be like a person who is living in the dark. But believers in Jesus can do what God wants. God's word shows them how to live. Then they can win the fight with Satan. The light of Jesus beats the dark of Satan. Satan rules ‘the world’ (the world of people who do not know God. They do not obey what Jesus Christ taught). People who are united with Christ are God's children. They do not believe what the false teachers say.
12 My little children, I am writing to you because God has forgiven your sins. He has done this because of Christ.
13 You who are older, like fathers, I am writing to you because you know Christ. He was already there before the world began.
You who are young men, I am writing to you because you have won against Satan.
14 Yes, my children, I have written to you because you know God, our Father.
Fathers, I have written to you because you know Christ. He was already there before the world began.
Young men, I have written to you because you are strong. You continue to obey God's message, and you have won against Satan.
15 Do not live like people who do not know God. Do not love the wrong things that belong to this world. If anyone loves those things, it shows that they do not love God, their Father. 16 What are the wrong things that belong to this world? People want to do bad things to make themselves happy. People want to have things that they see, even bad things. People want to show other people how rich they are. These ideas do not come from God, our Father. They are the thoughts of people who belong to the world. 17 One day, those people and the things that they want will not be there any longer. But those who continue to do what God wants will live for ever.
People who are against Christ
18 My children, the world will soon end. You have heard that the enemy of Christ will appear. You can see that many enemies of Christ have already appeared. This shows us that the world really will end soon. 19 These people used to be in our group of believers. But they left us. They never really belonged to our group. If they had really been true believers, they would have remained with us. When they left us, it showed clearly that none of them really belonged with us.
2:18John was an old man. He wrote to his readers as if they were his children.
20 But Christ, the Holy One, has given you the Holy Spirit. As a result, you all know what is true. 21 That is why I am writing to you. It is not because you do not yet know God's true message. I am writing to you because you do know that true message. And you can be sure that there are no lies in it.
22 Who are the people who tell the worst lies? It is anyone who says that Jesus is not the Messiah. A person like that is the enemy of Christ. He is speaking against God, the Father, and against Jesus, his Son. 23 Anyone who says that Jesus is not God's Son does not belong to the Father. But anyone who accepts Jesus as the Son of God belongs to the Father also.
2:22Some people say that they are Christians. But they do not believe in Jesus. They do not believe that he is the Son of God. They do not know God. They do not know what is true. They do not have the life of Jesus in them. They do not have eternal life.
24 As for you, always remember the true message that you heard at the beginning. If you continue to believe that message, you will remain united with the Son and with the Father. 25 That is the real life that continues for ever. And that is what God has promised to give to us.
26 Some people are trying to lead you away from God's true message. I am writing these things to you so that you know about those people. 27 But Christ has given the Holy Spirit to you, and he continues to help you. So, you do not need people to teach you what is true. The Holy Spirit himself teaches you everything about God's message. He helps you to know what is really true. He does not tell you any lies. So, you must remember what he has taught you: Remain united with Christ.
28 Yes, my children, continue to be united with Christ. Then we will not be ashamed when he returns to this world. We will not be afraid to meet him.
29 You know that Christ only does what is right. So you should know this: Everyone who continues to do what is right has become a child of God.