Examine the Spirits
1 John 4:1-6
(1) My beloved friends, do not believe every spirit, but examine the spirits to discern whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. (2) This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ came in the flesh (became fully human) is from God, (3) but every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming but is now already active in the world (see 1 John 2:18-19).
(4) My beloved children, you are from God and have overcome these false prophets, because the one who lives in you is greater than the one who is in this world. (5) These false prophets are from the world and therefore speak from the perspective of this world, and the world listens to them. (6) But we are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we know the Holy Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.
God Is Love
1 John 4:7-21
(7) My beloved friends, let us love one another, because love comes from God. Whoever loves has been born (born again) of God and knows God. (8) Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love! (9) This is how God showed his love among us: he sent his only Son into the world so that we could live through him. (10) This is love: not that we loved God, but that God loved us first and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice (propitiation, expiation, substitute) for our sins. (11) My beloved friends, since God so loved us, we must also love one another. (12) No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
(13) We know that we live in God, and he lives in us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit. (14) And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. (15) Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they live in God. (16) And so we know and trust in the love God has for us.
God is love! Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God lives in them. (17) This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of God’s judgment, because in this world we live as Jesus did. (18) There is no fear in love because perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with being punished, and whoever fears punishment has not yet been made complete in love.
(19) We love because God first loved us! (20) Whoever says, “I love God,” but hates their fellow believer is a liar. For whoever does not love a fellow believer, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. (21) And God has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love their fellow believers.