Signs of a Born Again Believer

Signs of a Born Again Believer

Last week, we saw from the Word that we must to be born of the Spirit to enter the Kingdom of God and so that Jesus can still be seen in the world. The question we all have to ask ourselves is: “Has Jesus been born in me?” The answer to this question determines our eternal destiny.

This new birth is not something we can do for ourselves, it is a work of God. However, it is something we can desire, seek and ask God for.

John 3:1-6 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”  Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Nicodemus was a very religious man, a leader in the synagogue, and a ruler in the Sanhedrin, which is the Jewish governing body that rules on all religious matters. Therefore, Nicodemus had knowledge of God. He worshipped God regularly. He memorized the Scriptures. He was a respected teacher in the synagogue. However, none of these are signs of the new birth. Jesus told Nicodemus he would not see the Kingdom of God unless he was born again by the Holy Spirit.

Many people feel secure in their church membership. If you ask them if they are a Christian, they say, “Sure, I’m a member of the ____ church. They think, “I’ve been baptized and I attend services from time to time. I live a good life and try not to do anyone harm. What more does God expect of me?

Maybe you know, or maybe you don’t want to know, but this kind of faith grieves God because it falls short of His will. He doesn’t want you to just be a church member. He wants an intimate relationship with you. He wants you to be in Christ and Christ to be in you. For this to take place, you must be born again of the Holy Spirit. If you are not born of the Spirit, you do not belong to God and are destined for Hell. That is what Jesus was telling Nicodemus.

Romans 8:9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to Him.

Since this new birth of the Spirit is so critical to salvation, what are the signs that we have been born again of the Spirit? Gifts of the Spirit are not a reliable sign because not everyone has the same gift and gifts can be mimicked by demonic spirits. The signs of a born again believer are spiritual and universal.

The first sign is that you know you have been born again. You may not be able to explain this new birth, but you know it has occurred. An assurance of salvation is the first joyous result of the new birth. A wonderful feeling of peace fills the sinner who has come to Jesus and been born of the Spirit. He is overwhelmed with joy because he is now a child of God and perceives that something magnificent is now in him!

Romans 8:16-17 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

Secondly, the born again believer is aware that he has two natures in him—the sin nature and the nature of Christ. It is an uncomfortable battle that he wishes would go away, but it is evidence that a transformation is taking place, conforming the believer to the nature of Christ as he crucifies the sin nature and walks by the Spirit. Instead of the fruit of the flesh being produced in his life, he now produces the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

Galatians 5:19-24 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

That brings us to the third sign of a new birth—it is visible. The fact that a person is born again cannot remain a secret because the change in his character is evident to all.

Matthew 7:16-20 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

#4. A born again believer enjoys talking about Jesus; whereas, a Christian by name only, is embarrassed to confess Jesus. He considers the topic a personal one and doesn’t want to discuss Jesus at all. That is a sure sign he is still on his way to Hell.

Matthew 10:32-33 So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.

A born again person will be like this example: Acts 4:19-20 But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.”

The fifth sign of a born again believer is that he has a spirit of prayer. Just as a person is only alive if he breathes, a born again believer also has spiritual life only if he prays, for it is an expression of a life in contact with the giver of life—the Living God.

Speaking of prayer, I am not referring to formal prayers, memorized prayers, or even prayers thrown up to God in times of danger. Prayer, born of the Spirit, is an intimate conversation with God that continues all day long. This kind of prayer includes listening to the Holy Spirit and obeying His commands throughout the day.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

The sixth sign of a born again believer is that he has a hunger for the Word of God. He cannot get enough of God’s Word and He enjoys hearing His Father in Heaven speak to Him through the Word. One who has life from God must have divine food. Just like a new born baby craves milk from its mother, so a new born child of God craves spiritual milk from his Father.

1 Peter 2:2-3 Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.

Be honest with yourself. Is the Word of God your daily nourishment, or are you on a spiritual starvation diet? If you don’t feed daily on the Word of God, you cannot sustain spiritual life. The appetites of your flesh will reach out to other things.

#7. A born again believer is in the world but no longer pursues the world. Jesus Christ is the fulfillment and the goal of his entire life. He will even view his career as a ministry to witness for Jesus Christ. Whatever he does, he does it to please God and not man. Anything which keeps him from pursuing God, he will cast far away from himself.

James 4:4-5 You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”?

The eighth sign is that the born again Christian will suffer much adversity—not from sinning, but from Satan, the enemy of Christ and His disciples.

John 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

The individual who is born again will be greatly attacked by Satan. If he did not belong to Christ, Satan would not bother him. But now he is a threat to Satan’s kingdom and Satan will try to destroy a born again believer through temptation, doubt, discouragement, and persecution.

Acts 14:21-22 When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.

Therefore, the true born again child of God knows he is Christ’s ambassador, so he keeps away from temptation, rebukes the devil, and attacks Satan’s kingdom by telling others about Jesus. He sees tribulations and Satan’s attacks as opportunities for God’s grace and power to become evident to others and to encourage the brethren.

2 Corinthians 12:7-10 So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

This brings up the ninth sign of a born again believer. He has victory over temptation and sin. Although the child of God feels his own weakness, and occasionally loses a battle, he quickly confesses his sin and repents. He is thankful for the victory Jesus Christ has been given to him.

Romans 6:22-23 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We are not stronger because we are born again. Neither has our sinful nature disappeared. On the contrary, we are more aware of the presence of sin and our weaknesses. However, we are also more aware of the power of Jesus Christ that abides within us. Therefore, we choose to die to ourselves and live for Jesus.

1 Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

The tenth sign of a born again believer is that he waits with joy and expectancy for the return of the Lord Jesus! He loves Jesus more than his own life and more than anything in this world. He is not afraid of death, for it means he gets to go home with Jesus.

In the meantime, he is busy accomplishing what he can for Jesus before He comes. He tries to rescue as many perishing people as he can. A born again believer is not dismayed by current events, for they have been foretold in the Word that they would take place before Jesus returns. Instead, he is excited by the events and looks up for his redemption draws close.

Luke 21:28 Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.

We are living in tremendous times in which Biblical prophecies are being fulfilled before our eyes. We are experiencing the birth pangs of a one world government to be headed by the anti-Christ. Terrible judgments are yet to pass over this earth. Does that excite you or scare you?

Can you relate to Revelation 22:20 He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!

If you are not looking forward to Jesus’ return, or to dying and going to be with Jesus, you need to be born again. That is true of all these signs we have considered. If you do not possess these signs of the new birth, you need to be born again. Today is the day of salvation. When Jesus returns, it will be too late. If you are not born again of the Spirit and you die today, it will be too late.

To be born again, you need to die to your self-will, self-rule, self-made-religion, and sinful life. Give your life to Jesus by confessing Him as your Lord and Savior. Repent of your sin and bury your old life in baptism so you can be raised to live a new life, born of the Holy Spirit.

  January 2018  
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