“If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.” (1 John 2:29)
Editor’s Note: Over the years, I have witnessed first hand, an individual’s perplexing reaction to the phrase, “You must be born again!” It was during the 70′s that a new “doctrine” began to circulate throughout American “Christendom”; the teaching that the “born again” experience was neither taught in the bible or necessary for salvation. It is no wonder then, that today, countless tens of thousands dutifully attend some sort of religious gatherings falsely believing that their own “good works and good will” is the only requirement for eternal life. Nothing could be farther from the truth. This is what God Himself declares:
“Jesus answered and said to him, Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” ~ John 3:3
The little book of 1 John provides a treasure trove of “proofs” that demonstrate the reality of the invisible spiritual change brought about by the new birth.
There are two emphases: proofs based on personal experience and proofs based on intellectual awareness.
Here is a short list of proofs we experience:
Obedience to God’s commandments (1 John 2:2-5)
Experience of God in our lives (1 John 2:13-14)
Obvious “antichrists” in the world (1 John 2:18)
Worldly ignorance of Christianity (1 John 3:1)
Sinners’ ignorance of righteousness (1 John 3:6)
Our love for fellow Christians (1 John 3:16-18)
The indwelling Holy Spirit (1 John 4:13)
Our love for godly behavior (1 John 5:2)
Here are proofs we have intellectual confidence in:
The Holy Spirit’s anointing (1 John 2:20)
The holiness of Jesus Christ (1 John 2:29)
The Father’s love for us (1 John 3:1)
Our eternal bodies to be like Christ (1 John 3:2)
Hating a brother is like murder (1 John 3:15)
Scripture’s message of eternal life (1 John 5:13)
Assurance that we belong to God (1 John 5:19)
Assurance that Christ has come (1 John 5:20)
These evidences are primarily for the believer — that is, they are intended to assure the believer’s heart and mind of his security in Christ. John’s list is not intended to be complete but only to focus our thoughts on the obvious. When you count your blessings, remember these.