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The Assurance of Eternal Life
It is God’s good will that the believer should know that he is born again. John wrote, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:12-13). Jesus assures His followers, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life” (John 5:24).
Jesus’ statement is more than a promise of a future eternal life; it is a confirmation that the Christian now and here may start to enjoy life that is eternal in virtue, because he is daily walking with the Lord. And if he continues with the Lord, he will live forever in God’s kingdom (Revelation 21:7).
Born of the Water and the Spirit
Jesus declares, “‘I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.’ ‘How can a man be born when he is old?’ Nicodemus asked. ‘Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, “You must be born again’” (John 3:3-7).
To be born again literally means created anew—a spiritual transformation. It is an act of God whereby eternal life is imparted to the person who believes (2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 Peter 1:3; 1 John 2:29). Paul explains why we need to be born again: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Sinners are spiritually “dead.” But when they receive spiritual life through faith in Christ, they become alive.
Signs of Being Born Again
1- Faith and Confession
The born again person expresses faith in Jesus Christ as his personal Savior, who paid the penalty of his sins. Paul explains, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
And the apostle adds, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved” (Romans 10:9–11).
After faith and confession, comes the decision to follow Christ in repentance. The Bible definition of the saints is: “Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus” (Revelation 14:12). The believer will give up the old life of sin and live a new life of holiness by the power of God (Philippians 4:13).
Paul explains, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation: the old has gone, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). And John affirms that the new life in Christ means holy living, “If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him” (1 John 2:29).
This holy life can be realized by daily connection with the Lord through the study of the Word, prayer and witnessing. Jesus said, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me” (John 15:4).
As the believer yields to the Lord every hour, God’s Spirit does the work of change in him. This is the miracle of transformation. The Lord Himself stresses this truth, “to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12-13).
3-Having the Fruits of the Spirit
The person, who is born again, will show the fruits of the Spirit in his life. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:22–23). The fruits naturally develop in the life when the Spirit has control. The results of such control oppose the works of the flesh (vs. 19–21). The fruits of the Spirit are not the work of human nature, but of divine power. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works” (Ephesians 2:10).
4- Having Love to God and Man
To be born again means the believer will walk in love. Jesus says, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34–35). By His revelation of His Father’s love, Jesus had opened to men a new concept of the love of God. The new command invites men to preserve the same relationship with one another that Jesus had with them.
When one of the Scribes asked Jesus, “Which is the first commandment of all?” He answered, “you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:30-31). Love is the natural result of being born again.
In His service,
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