The Epistle of John the Legate – Chapter 3
1 And ye see, how great is the love of the Father towards us, who hath called us sons, and made us [such].
Therefore the world knoweth us not, because it likewise knoweth him not.
2 My beloved, now are we the sons of God;
and hitherto, it hath not appeared* what we are to be:
but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be in his likeness, and we shall see him as he is.
3 And every one that hath this hope from him, purifieth himself, as he is pure.
4 And every one that practiseth sin, perpetrateth iniquity;
for all sin is iniquity.
5 And ye know, that he was manifested to take away our sins;
and in him was no sin.
6 And every one that abideth in him, sinneth not:
and every one that sinneth, hath not seen him, nor hath known him.
7 My children, let no one deceive you:
he that doeth righteousness, is righteous, as the Messiah also is righteous.
8 And he that committeth sin, is of Satan;
because Satan was a sinner from the beginning:
and for this cause, the Son of God appeared, that he might destroy the works of Satan.
9 Every one that is born of God, doth not practise sin;
because his seed is in him, and he cannot* sin, because he is born of God.
10 By this are the children of God discriminated from the children of Satan.
Every one that practiseth not righteousness, and that loveth not his brother, is not of God:
11 because this is the commandment, which ye heard from the beginning, that ye should love one another.
12 Not like Cain, who was of the evil one, and slew his brother.
And why did he slay him, but because his own works were evil, and those of his brother righteous ?
13 And wonder not, my brethren, if the world hate you.
14 We know that we have turned from death unto life, by this, that we love the brethren.
He that loveth not his brother, remaineth in death.
15 For every one that hateth his brother, is a man-slayer;
and ye know, that no man-slayer can have eternal life abiding in him.
16 By this we know his love towards us, because he gave up his life for us: .
and we also ought to give up our lives for our brethren.
17 But whoever hath worldly possessions, and seeth his brother in want, and shutteth up his bowels from him, how is the love of God in him ?
18 My children, let us not love one another in words and in tongue, but in acts and in truth.
19 And by this, we recognize that we are of the truth;
and, before he shall come, we make our hearts confident.
20 But if our heart condemneth us, how much greater is God than our heart, and knowing all things ?
21 My beloved, if our heart condemneth us not, we have open countenances before God.
22 And whatever we ask, we receive from him;
because we keep his commandments, and do acceptable things before him.
23 And this is his commandment, that we believe on the name of his Son Jesus the Messiah, and that we love one another as he hath commanded us.
24 And he that keepeth his commandments, is kept by him, and he dwelleth in him:
and by this we understand that he abideth in us, from his Spirit which he hath given to us.
* vv. 2,9 n. John is addressing ‘gnosticism’ which taught that material was evil. They argue that Christ only appeared in spirit in JESUS.
This notion is implied by Dali’s “Christ of St. John of the Cross” painting, and similar artists of the period.