WRITTEN FROM EPHESUS, A. D. 80.
5. Moreover, this is the message which we have heard from him, and declare to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say, Certainly we have fellowship with him, although we walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just so that he can forgive sins to us, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
II. My little children, these things I write to you, that ye may not sin. Yet if any one hath sinned, we have an advocate wth the Father, Jesus Christ the just one. And he is a propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but even for those of the whole world. And by this we know that we have known him, if we keep his commandments. He who saith I have known him, and doth not keep his commandments, is a liar and the truth is not in this man. But whosoever keepeth his word, truly in this man the love of God is perfected. By this we knwo that we are in him. He who saith he abideth in him, ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
7. Brethren, I do not write a new commandment to you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment nis the word which ye have heard from the beginning. On the other hand, I write to you a new commandment, which is true concerning him and concerning you. For the darkness is passing away, and the light which is true now shineth. He who saith he is in this light, and yet hateth his brother, is in the darkness until now. He who loveth his brother abideth in this light, and there is no stumbling block to him. But he who hateth his brother, is in the darkness, and walketh in that darkness, and doth not know whither he goeth, because the darkness hath blinded his eyes. Little children, I write to you, because your sins are forgiven you on account of his name. Fathers, I write to you, because ye have known him from the beginning. Young men, I write to you, because ye have overcome the wicked one. Young children, I write to you, because ye have known the Father. Fathers, I have written to you, because ye have known him from the beginning. Young men, I have written to you, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one. Love not the world, neither the things which are in the world. If any one love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. Now the world passeth away, and the lust thereof. But he who doth the will of God abideth for ever. Young children, it is the last period. And as ye have heard that the antichrist cometh, so now there are many antichrists, whence ye know that it is the last period. They went away from us, but they were not of us. For, if they had been of us, they would have abode with us; but they went away, that they might be made manifest, that they were not all of us. But ye have an unction from the Holy Spirit, and know all things. I have not written to you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth. Who is a liar, but he who denieth that Jesus is the Christ? he is the antichrist who denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, doth not acknowledge the Father. Therefore, let what ye have heard from the beginning abide in you. If what ye have heard fromo the beginning abide in you, ye also shall abide in the Son, and in the Father. For this is the promise which he hath promised to us, even the life which is eternal. These things I have written to you concerning them who deceive you; although the unction which ye have received from him abideth in you, and ye have no need that any one should teach you, unless as the same unction teacheth you concerning all things, and is truth, and is no lie. Wherefore, as it hath taught you, abide in him. Now, therefore, little children, abide in him, that when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and may not be put to shame by him at his coming. If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one who worketh righteousness, hath been begotten of him.
III. Behold how great love the Father hath bestowed on us, that we should be called the children of God! For this reason the world doth not know us, because it doth not know him. Beloved, now we are the children of God; but it doth not yet appear what we shall be. However we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. And every one who hath this hope in him, purifieth himself, even as he is pure. Every one who worketh sin, worketh also the transgression of law; for sin is the transgression of law. Moreover, ye know that he was manifested that he might take away our sins: and sin is not in him. Whosoever abideth in him doth not sin. Whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither hath known him. Little children, let no one deceive you: he who worketh righteousness, is righteous, even as God is righteous. He who worketh sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever hath been begotten of God doth not work sin; because his seed abideth in him; and he cannot sin, because he hath been begotten of God. By this the children of God are discovered, and the children of the devil: whosoever worketh not righteousness, is not begotten of God, neither he who loveth not his brother. For this is the message which ye have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. Not being begotten of the wicked one, as CAin was, who slew his brother. And on account of what did he saly him?--because his own works were wicked, and his brother's righteous. Do not wonder, my brethren, that the world hateth you. We know that we have passed away from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who loveth not his brother abideth in death. Every one who hateth his brother is a manslayer, and ye know that no manslayer hath eternal life abiding in him. By this we have known the love of God,*["Of him."--Griesbach. App. No. XCIX.] that he laid down his life for us; therefore we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. Whosoever, therefore, hath the goods of this world, and seeing his brother having need, and yet shutteth up his bowels from him, how abideth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, nor in tongue only, but in deed and in truth. For by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. But if our heart condemn us, certainly God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart doth not condemn us, we have confidence with God. And whatever we ask, we receive from him, because we keep his commandments, and work the things which are pleasing in his sight. For this is his commandment, that we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and should love one another, as he gave commandment to us. Now he who keepeth his commandments abideth in him, and he in him: and by this we know that he abideth in us, even by the spirit which he hath given to us.
IV. Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but try the spirits, whether they be from God; because many false prophets are gone forth into the world. By this ye know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesseth Jesus Christ hath come in the flesh, is from God. And every spirit that doth not confess Jesus Christ hath come in the flesh, is not from God; and this is that spirit of antichrist, which ye have heard that it cometh, and now is in the world already. Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is he who is with you, than he who is with the world. They are of the world, therefore they speak from the world, and the world hearkeneth to them. We are of God; he who knoweth God, hearkeneth to us. He who is not of God, hearkeneth not to us. By this we know the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. Beloved, let us love one another: for love is from God. And every one who loveth hath been begotten of God, and knoweth God. He who doth not love, doth not know God; for God is love. By this the love of God to us was manifested, that God sent forth his Son, the only begotten, into the world that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent forth his Son to be a propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one hath seen God at any time. If we love another, God abideth in us, and his love to us is made perfect. By this we know that we abide in him, and he in us, because he hath given us the gift of his Spirit. Now we have seen and bear testimony that the Father hath sent forth his Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosoever will confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God abideth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love which God hath to us. God is love; wherefore he who abideth in love, abideth in God, and God in him. By this the love is perfected in us, so that we can have boldness in the day of judgment, because as he is, so we are in this world. Fear is not in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. Wherefore, he who feareth is not perfected in love. We love him, because he first loved us. If any one say, 'Certainly I love God,' and yet hate his brother, he is a liar. For he who loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? Moreover, this commandment we have from him, That he who loveth God, love his brother also.
V. Every one who believeth that Jesus is the Christ, hath been begotten of God: and every one who loveth the begetter, loveth also the begotten of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not burdensome, because all that is begotten of God overcometh the world. And this is the victory which overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcometh the world, but he who believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? This is he who came by water and blood, even Jesus the Christ; not by the water only, but by the water and the blood. And it is the Spriit who testified; because the Spirit is truth.--Farther, there are three who bear testimony in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.*[The authenticity of this verse is doubted by many excellent and learned men.] And there are three who bear testimony on earth: the Spirit, and the water, and the blood; and these three agree in one. If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater. Now, this is the testimony of God which he hath testified concerning his Son.--(He who believeth on the Son of God, hath the testimony in himself. He who believeth not God, hath made him a liar, because he hath not believed the testimony which God hath testified concerning his Son.) Now this is the testimony, that God hath given to us eternal life: and this life is through his Son.--He who acknowledgeth the Son, hath this life. He who acknowledgeth not the Son of God, hath not this life.
13. These things I have written to you who believe on the name of the Son of God, that ye may know that ye have eternal life; and that ye may continue to believe on the name of the Son of God. And this is the boldness which we have with him, that if we ask any thing according to his will, he hearkeneth to us. And if we know that he hearkeneth to us concerning whatever we ask, we know that we shall obtain the petitions which we have asked from him. If any one see his brother sinning a sin not unto death, let him ask God, and he will grant to him life for those who sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death. I do not say concerning it, that ye should ask. All unrighteousness is sin. But there is a sin not unto death. We know that whoever hath been begotten of God doth not sin, because he who is begotten of God guardeth himself, and the wicked one doth not lay hold on him.
We know that we are begotten of God. But the whole world lieth under the wicked one. Moreover, we know that the Son of God hath come, and hath given us understanding, that we might know the true God, and so we are under the true God, under his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and the eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.