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10/20/2017 1:01:18 AM
9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/15/2005 8:46:04 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/15/2005 8:46:57 PM EDT by WildBoar]
Are You Born Again?

This is one of life's most important questions. Jesus Christ
said, "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God"
(John 3:3).
It is not enough to reply, "I belong to a church; I suppose I'm
a Christian." Thousand of nominal "Christians" show none of the signs
of being born again which the Scriptures have given us -- many listed
in the First Epistle of John.

First of all, John wrote, "Whosoever is born of God doth not
commit sin" (1 John 3:9). "Whosoever is born of God sinneth not" (1
John 5:8). A person who has been born again, or regenerated, does not
habitually commit sin. He no longer sins with his heart and will and
whole inclination. There was probably a time when he did not think
about whether his actions were sinful or not, and he did not always
feel grieved after doing evil. There was no quarrel between him and
sin; they were friends. But the true Christian hates sin, flees from
it, fights against it, considers it his greatest plague, resents the
burden of its presence, mourns when he falls under its influence, and
longs to be completely delivered from it. Sin no longer pleases him,
nor is it even a matter of indifference to him; it has become a
horrible thing which he hates. However, he cannot eliminate its
presence within him.
If he said he had no sin, he would be lying (1 John 1:8). But
he can say that he hates sin and that the great desire of his soul is
not to commit sin at all. He cannot prevent bad thoughts from entering
his mind, or shortcomings, omissions, and defects from appearing both
in his words and his actions. He knows that "In many things we offend
all" (James 3:2). But he can truly say, in the sight of God, that these
things cause him grief and sorrow and that his whole nature does not
consent to them. What would the Apostle say about you? Are you born
again?

Second, John wrote, "Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the
Christ is born of God" (1 John 5:1). A man who is born again, or
regenerated, believes that Jesus Christ is the only Saviour who can
pardon his soul, that He is the divine person appointed by God the
Father for this very purpose, and beside Him there is no Saviour at
all. In himself he sees nothing but unworthiness. But he has confidence
in Christ, and trusting in Him, and with true repentance, he believes
that his sins are all forgiven. He believes that, because he has
accepted Christ's finished work and death on the cross, he is
considered righteous in God's sight, and he may look forward to death
and judgement without alarm.
He may have fears and doubts. He may sometimes tell you he
feels as if he had no faith at all. But ask him if he is willing to
trust in anything instead of Christ, and see what he will say. Ask him
if he will rest his hope of eternal life on his own goodness, his own
works, his prayers, his minister, or his church, and listen to his
reply. What would the Apostle say about you? Are you born
again?

Third, John wrote: "Every one that doeth righteousness
is born of Him" (1 John 2:29). The man who is born again, or
regenerated, is a holy man. He endeavors to live according to God's
will, to do the things that please God and to avoid the things that God
hates. He wishes to continually look to Christ as his example as well
as his Saviour and to prove himself to be Christ's friend by doing
whatever He commands. He knows he is not perfect. He is painfully aware
of his indwelling corruption. He finds an evil principle within himself
that is constantly warring against grace and trying to draw him away
from God. But he does not consent to it, though he cannot prevent its
presence.
Though he may sometimes feel so low that he questions whether
or not he is a Christian at all, he will be able to say with John
Newton, "I am not what I ought to be, I am not what I want to be, I am
not what I hope to be in another world; but still I am not what I once
used to be, and by the grace of God I am what I am.'' What would the
apostle say about you? Are you born again?

Fourth, John wrote: "We know that we have passed from death
unto life, because we love the brethren" (1 John 3:14). A man who is
born again has a special love for all true disciples of Christ. Like
his Father in heaven, he loves all men with a great general love, but
he has a special love for those who share his faith in Christ. Like his
Lord and Saviour, he loves the worst of sinners and could weep over
them; but he has a peculiar love for those who are believers. He is
never so much at home as when he is in their company.
He feels they are all members of the same family. They are his
fellow soldiers, fighting against the same enemy. They are his fellow
travelers, journeying along the same road. He understands them, and
they understand him. They may be different from himself in many ways --
in rank, in station and in wealth. But that does not matter. They are
his Father's sons and daughters and he cannot help loving them. What
would the Apostle say about you? Are you born again?

Fifth, John wrote, "Whosoever is born of God overcometh the
world" (1 John 5:4). A man who is born again does not use the world's
opinion as a standard of what is right and wrong. He does not mind
going against the ways of the world, or its ideas and customs. What men
think or say no longer concerns him. He overcomes the love and lusts of
the world. He finds no pleasure in things which seem to bring happiness
to most people, or give absolutely no praise to God. To him they seem
foolishness and unworthy to an immortal being.
He loves God's praise more than man's praise. He fears
offending God more than offending man. It is unimportant to him whether
he is blamed or praised; his first aim is to please God. What would the
Apostle say about you? Are you born again?

Sixth, John wrote, "He that is begotten of God keepeth himself"
(1 John 5:18). A man who is born again is careful of his own soul. He
tries not only to avoid sin, but also to avoid everything which may
lead to it. He is careful about the company he keeps. He knows that
evil communications corrupt the heart and that evil is more catching
than good, just as a disease is more infectious than health. He is
careful about the use of his time; his chief desire is to spend it
profitably.
He desires to live like a soldier in an enemy country -- to
wear his armor continually and to prepared for temptation. He is
diligent to be a watchful, humble, prayerful man. What would the
Apostle say about you? Are you born again?
These are the six great marks of a born again Christian. There
is a vast difference in the depth and the distinctness of these marks
in different people. In some they are faint and hardly noticeable. In
others they are bold, plain and unmistakable, so anyone may read them.
Some of these marks are more visible than others in each individual.
Seldom are all equally evident in any one person. But still, after
every allowance, here we find boldly painted six marks of being born of
God.

How should we react to these things? We can logically come to
only one conclusion -- only those who are born again can have these six
characteristics, and those who do not have these marks in one way or
another are not born again. This seems to be the conclusion to which
the Apostle intended us to come. Do you have these characteristics? Are
you born again?

Pray for one another. Jesus prayed for you.
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 3:52:15 AM EDT
Didn't we just do this one?

In this case, given the way you have defined Born Again here,
I feel confident that I am. I just likely would not use
those terms if I was trying to describe it to someone else,
because of the twisting of that phrase that's gone on that
was discussed earlier.

Certyainly some days I am more of these 6 things than others,
but the second one in your list always covers you when you make
a mistake.
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