Anyone who says he is a Christian should live as Christ did.
First John 2:1-29
1 My little children, I am telling you this so that you will stay away from sin.
But if you sin, there is someone to plead for you before the Father.
His name is Jesus Christ, the one who is all that is good and who pleases
2 He is the one who took God's wrath against our sins upon himself and
brought us into fellowship with God; and he is the forgiveness for our sins,
and not only ours but all the world's.
3 And how can we be sure that we belong to him? By looking within ourselves:
are we really trying to do what he wants us to?
4 Someone may say, "I am a Christian; I am on my way to heaven;
I belong to Christ." But if he doesn't do what Christ tells him to,
he is a liar.
5 But those who do what Christ tells them to will learn to love God
more and more.
That is the way to know whether or not you are a Christian.
6 Anyone who says he is a Christian should live as Christ did.
7 Dear brothers, I am not writing out a new rule for you to obey,
for it is an old one you have always had, right from the start.
You have heard it all before.
8 Yet it is always new, and works for you just as it did for Christ;
and as we obey this commandment, to love one another, the
darkness in our lives disappears and the new light of life in
Christ shines in.
9 Anyone who says he is walking in the light of Christ but dislikes
his fellow man is still in darkness.
10 But whoever loves his fellow man is "walking in the light" and
can see his way without stumbling around in darkness and sin.
11 For he who dislikes his brother is wandering in spiritual darkness
and doesn't know where he is going, for the darkness has made him
blind so that he cannot see the way.
12 I am writing these things to all of you, my little children, because your
sins have been forgiven in the name of Jesus our Savior.
13 I am saying these things to you older men because you really know Christ,
the one who has been alive from the beginning. And you young men, I am
talking to you because you have won your battle with Satan. And I am writing
to you younger boys and girls because you, too, have learned to know God
14 And so I say to you fathers who know the eternal God, and to you young
men who are strong with God's Word in your hearts, and have won your
struggle against Satan:
15 Stop loving this evil world and all that it offers you, for when you love
these things you show that you do not really love God;
16 for all these worldly things, these evil desires--the craze for sex,
the ambition to buy everything that appeals to you, and the pride that
comes from wealth and importance--these are not from God.
They are from this evil world itself.
17 And this world is fading away, and these evil, forbidden things will go
with it, but whoever keeps doing the will of God will live forever.
18 Dear children, this world's last hour has come. You have heard about
the Antichrist who is coming--the one who is against Christ--and already
many such persons have appeared. This makes us all the more certain
that the end of the world is near.
19 These "against-Christ" people used to be members of our churches,
but they never really belonged with us or else they would have stayed.
When they left us it proved that they were not of us at all.
20 But you are not like that, for the Holy Spirit has come upon you,
and you know the truth.
21 So I am not writing to you as to those who need to know the truth,
but I warn you as those who can discern the difference between
true and false.
22 And who is the greatest liar? The one who says that Jesus is not Christ.
Such a person is antichrist, for he does not believe in God the Father and
in his Son.
23 For a person who doesn't believe in Christ, God's Son, can't have God
the Father either. But he who has Christ, God's Son, has God the Father also.
24 So keep on believing what you have been taught from the beginning.
If you do, you will always be in close fellowship with both God the Father
and his Son.
25 And he himself has promised us this: eternal life.
26 These remarks of mine about the Antichrist are pointed at those who
would dearly love to blindfold you and lead you astray.
27 But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, in your
hearts, so that you don't need anyone to teach you what is right. For he
teaches you all things, and he is the Truth, and no liar; and so, just as he
has said, you must live in Christ, never to depart from him.
28 And now, my little children, stay in happy fellowship with the Lord so
that when he comes you will be sure that all is well and will not have to be
ashamed and shrink back from meeting him.
29 Since we know that God is always good and does only right,
we may rightly assume that all those who do right are his children.
Yours in Christ,
Paul N. F.