1 John 3:11-24

Christians must love one another

11 Yes, we must love one another. That is the message which you have heard from the beginning. 12 We should not be like Cain. He belonged to Satan and he even killed his brother, Abel. Why did he do that? Cain did bad things and he killed Abel because Abel did things that were right.

13 So, my Christian friends, do not be surprised when people who belong to this world hate you.

14 We know that we now have new life with God. We have left the way of death. We know that because we love our Christian friends. But anyone who does not love other believers is still on the way of death. 15 Anyone who hates other believers is like someone who murders other people. You know that a person like that does not have true life with God.

16 This is how we know what true love is: Jesus Christ gave his own life on the cross. He died on our behalf. So we too ought to give our lives for other believers. 17 When another believer has trouble, we need to be kind to him. Maybe you have all the things that you need to live. Then, if you see another believer who needs things like that, you should help him. If you refuse to be kind to him, it shows that you do not belong to God. You do not love people in the way that God loves them.

18 My little children, we should not show love for each other only by what we say. We should also show true love by what we do to help each other. 19 Then we will know that we really belong to God. We will be obeying God's true message. As a result, our thoughts will not make us ashamed to come to God. 20 Even if our thoughts tell us that we have done something wrong, we still will not be afraid of God. God is greater than our thoughts. He already knows everything about us.

3:18Christians should love their Christian friends. We should even be ready to die for them. Our love will show other people that God really lives in us. We have his Spirit, who helps us to do what God wants us to do. He helps us to love other people with God's own love.

21 My friends, if our thoughts do not tell us that we are guilty, then we will not be afraid to come to God. 22 We can pray to God and we can ask him to help us. He will give us what we ask him for. That is because we do what he tells us to do, and we do the things that please him. 23 This is what God tells us to do: We must believe that Jesus Christ is his Son. And we must love each other, as Jesus told us that we should do. 24 Anyone who obeys God's rules is united with God. God is also united with him. How do we know that God is united with us? It is because of his Holy Spirit that he has given to us.