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1John  ◦   Chapter 2

1My precious children, I am writing to you so that you will realize the power of God’s love to free you from selfishness; and therefore experience God’s healing and no longer live selfishly. But if relapses into selfishness occur during the healing process, don’t be discouraged: Jesus Christ stands at the helm of all power, right next to God, and is pouring his love into our hearts to complete his restoring and healing work.2He is the reconciling Remedy to the infection of selfishness and fear, and not just for our terminal condition: he is also the Remedy–freely available–to heal the entire world.

3We can be confident that we have come into unity with him when we practice his methods, live his principles, and obey his teachings.4The person who says, "I am a Christian," but does not love others and does not put Christ's commands into practice misrepresents God, and that person's entire life is a lie: there is no truth in such a person.5But those who comprehend the truth about God, and intelligently put his methods and principles into practice, experience God's love and character renewed within them. This is how we can know if we are truly in unity with God:6Whoever claims to be a Christian or a friend of God must love like Jesus loved.

7My dear friends, don’t be confused, for I am not bringing a new teaching, remedy or treatment plan, but I am making it clear that from the very beginning, there has always been only one principle upon which life is founded — to love one another; and this reality you have heard many times before.8However, this love may seem brand new to you, because it is now fully revealed in Christ, and its regenerating power is transforming you into his likeness, dispelling the darkness of this selfish world and shining forth the true light of God's character.

9Those who claim to be healed and living in the light of God's love but hate others reveal that they are not healed; and the infection of selfishness still darkens their minds.10All those who love others more than self are healed, live in the light of God’s love, and reveal that the infection which brings death has been eradicated.11But whoever hates others lives in the darkness of selfishness. Such people are on the path that leads to death, but they don't even realize it; instead, they deny their terminal condition and blame others for their problems.

12Dear children, I write to you so you will realize that you were never in legal trouble with God: Because of God's gracious, loving character, he has freely forgiven you all your sins and longs to heal you to perfection and unity with him.

13I write to you, elders and leaders, because you have come to personally know Christ who is eternal and is the source of all life. I write to you who are new to Christ, because you now know the power of God's truth and love, which has freed you from bondage to Satan's lies and selfishness. Dear children, I write to you all, because through Christ you have come to truly know the Father.

14I write to you, elders and leaders, because you have come to personally know Christ who is eternal and is the source of all life. I write to you who are new to Christ, because you are energetic, motivated, and on fire for the Lord, and you have internalized God’s methods and principles into your character. You have experienced the power of God’s truth and love to free you from Satan’s methods of selfishness.

15Therefore, do not cherish this selfish world or anything of this world. Those who cherish this selfish world do not have the selfless love of the Father restored within them.16For everything in the world (including sinful people) is infected with selfishness, and this selfishness is expressed in three primary avenues: sensualism, materialism and egotism. And this terminal infection does not come from the Father but is part of this sick world.17This sick world and its selfish desires will pass away, but those who willingly experience God's healing and re-creation of hearts and minds will live forever.

18My dear children, the end is approaching. You have heard that before the end comes, the one who opposes Christ will come — and even now, many who oppose Christ have already come: from this we know the end is approaching.19Some, who claimed to be followers of Christ but never took God's Remedy and thus never experienced renewal of heart, have left our fellowship. If they had actually come to value God's methods of love and relinquished the methods of selfishness, they would not have left us; but their leaving reveals that they had never come into unity with us.

20But your hearts and minds have been renewed by the Holy One, and all of you know the truth of God's character of love.21I am writing to you not because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it; and no lie originates in the truth.22Who are the liars? Anyone who denies that Jesus is the Messiah, the Remedy, the Conduit of God's healing solution. Such people are opposed to Christ–they deny both the Father and the Son.23No one who denies Jesus the Son has the Father, as Jesus is the exact representation of the Father; but whoever acknowledges and accepts the Son has accepted the Father as well, because Jesus and the Father are One.

24Be sure that the truth you have heard from the beginning remains in your hearts, minds, and characters. If it does, you will also remain in unity with Jesus and his Father.25And this is what he promised us: Complete healing and restoration and life eternal.

26I am writing to you in order to warn you about those who would lead you astray.27As for you, the regenerating and healing Spirit of Christ you received remains in you, and you do not need those unrenewed by the Spirit to teach you. But as the healing and renewing power of Christ's Spirit enlightens your minds and teaches you all things–and as the Spirit is the Spirit of truth and not falsehood–follow the truth and remain loyal to Christ.

28And now, my dear children, continue to practice his methods, value his principles and live his love, so that when he appears, we may rejoice in his presence.

29If you know that he is the standard and source of all that is right and good, then you realize that all who do what is right do so only because their minds have been healed and they have been restored to unity with him.