A Result of Salvation is a Truly Changed Life: Portrait of a True Believer
The Book of 1 John identifies what could be called birthmarks of someone who is truly saved or born again.
Do you confess Jesus as Lord?
“If anyone confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in Him and He in God” (1John 4:15).
Do you obey Christ’s commands?
“For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith” (1 John 5:3–4).
Do you love and obey God’s Word?
“But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him” (1 John 2:5).
Are you unhappy or miserable when you are sinning?
“No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God” (1 John 3:9).
In the expanded Greek translation, this verse says, “Every one who has been born of God does not habitually sin because His seed remains in him. And he is not able habitually to sin, because out of God he has been born. In this is apparent who are the born ones of God and the born ones of the Devil. Everyone who is not habitually doing righteousness is not of God and also the one who is not habitually loving his brother” (Wuest Translation). This does not mean that a Christian will be sinless; but he will sin less and less and less.
Have you overcome the devil?
“We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him” (1 John 5:18).
When John wrote that the child of God “keeps himself,” he wasn’t suggesting that Christians keep themselves saved, because that is the work of the Holy Spirit who has sealed us (Ephesians 1:13–14) and Jesus Christ who intercedes for us (Romans 8:31–39). Scripture clearly tells us that God will keep us (1 Peter 1:5).
While we don’t keep ourselves saved, we do need to keep ourselves safe! Scripture tells us, “Keep yourselves in the love of God” (Jude 21). Some people, places, and activities make it easier for the devil to tempt us. Now that we have been delivered from the kingdom of Satan, we should have no desire to deliberately get back into his clutches. When we pray (as Jesus taught us), “Lead us not into temptation,” we are asking the Father to help us so that we will not tempt ourselves by deliberately putting ourselves into vulnerable situations.
Do you love other Christians?
“Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him” (1 John 5:1).