1 John 2:7-17

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.