John S. C. Abbott and Jacob Abbott 1 John 4
Illustrated New Testament
Every spirit; every pretended spiritual influence by which men may claim to be influenced.--Try the spirits; examine them by the tests given above, that is, by their obedience and brotherly love, and also by those mentioned below.
Is of God; is true; teaches the truth.
Have overcome them; have successfully resisted them,--that is, the false spirits.
Is born of God; is formed anew by the power of God, and become his child.
The idea intended is, that by this may we know that our love to God is true and sincere, and such as will be our security in the day of judgment, namely, by seeing that our conduct and character here correspond with the image of God.
Perfect love; established and genuine love.
Hateth, does not love.