“I write these things to you who believe
in the name of the Son of God
so that you may know that you have eternal life”
(1 John 5:13)
Those who have been born again of God are those who believe in Him, obey Him, and love both Him and His people.
This is important for us to know of ourselves, of other individuals and groups calling themselves Christian, as well as of those who hold themselves out as teachers of the faith. John lays down three yardsticks to enable us to discern true and false teachers and also true Christian believers.
Firstly, they must believe in the incarnation – which acknowledges the real humanity of Jesus and His real deity as God’s Son.
- “This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God” (1 John 4:2)
- “Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist–he denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also” (1 John 2:22-23)
Secondly, they must live out their obedience to the commands of God.
- “We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands” (1 John 2:3)
- “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me” (John 14:21)
Thirdly, they must be a loving part of the Christian community.
- “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death” (1 John 3:14)
- “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you” (John 15:12)
My faith is not a vague hopefulness – but built on solid foundations.
Father God, please help me to acknowledge by faith my belief in You, to live in tune with Your commands and to relate to my brothers and sisters in love and grace. Amen.