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Who is a believer?

 

One who is born again.

"Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."" -- John 3:3 (NKJV)

One who has repented

This should cover all sin in terms of intellect, emotion and will, emphasising a regret, a reversal of mental attitude and a change in the direction of life.

"I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish." -- Luke 13:3 (NKJV)

"Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance," -- Mat 3:8 (NKJV)

One who is cleansed and whose sins are remitted by the blood of Christ.

"Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols." -- Ezek 36:25 (NKJV)

"For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." -- Mat 26:28 (NKJV)

"then He adds, "Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more."" -- Heb 10:17 (NKJV)

One who has been given a new heart and a new spirit.

"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh." -- Ezek 36:26 (NKJV)

"This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them," Heb 10:16

"who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life." -- 2 Cor 3:6

"But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you." -- Rom 8:11 (NKJV)

He who believes and acts on that belief in faith and trust.

"He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."" -- John 3:36 (NKJV)

 

What are other signs of being born again?

 

Being able to overcome in this life by the power of the Spirit in us.

"For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world; our faith."1 John 5:4 (NKJV)

By demonstrating the fruit of the Spirit in our lives.

"Therefore by their fruits you will know them." -- Mat 7:20 (NKJV)

By doing God's will - i.e. being obedient to scripture.

"I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them." -- Ezek 36:27 (NKJV)

"But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered." -- Rom 6:17 (NKJV)

One who loves God and his neighbour.

"Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him." -- 1 John 5:1

"He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him." John 14:21

 

What is the connection between being born again and loving?

 

Obedience. By obeying God's truth our hearts are purified, enabling us to love others.

"Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart," 1 Pet 1:22 (NKJV)

"Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith," -- 1 Tim 1:5 (NKJV)

"But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another;" -- 1 Th 4:9 (NKJV)

"For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit." 1 Th 4:7-8 (NKJV)

 

Is loving a test of being born again?

 

Yes, because if we don't we are abiding in death.

"We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death." -- 1 John 3:14 (NKJV)

"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God." -- 1 John 4:7 (NKJV)

"He who does not love does not know God, for God is love." -- 1 John 4:8 (NKJV)

"No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us." -- 1 John 4:12 (NKJV)

"And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also." -- 1 John 4:21 (NKJV)

"If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?" -- 1 John 4:20 (NKJV)

"Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him." -- 1 John 5:1 (NKJV)

"We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death." 1 John 3:14 (NKJV)

"By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments." -- 1 John 5:2 (NKJV)

 

Can we hate (or not love) and still walk in the light?

 

No. We are spiritually blinded.

"He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now." -- 1 John 2:9 (NKJV)

"But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes." -- 1 John 2:11 (NKJV)

Can selfishness and love co-exist?

 

No. Love gives away - selfishness has a closed heart.

"But whoever has this world's goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?" -- 1 John 3:17 (NKJV)

Can hate and love co-exist?

 

No. Hate is murder in the spirit and is not compatible with eternal life.

"Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him." -- 1 John 3:15 (NKJV)

 

Can lawlessness and righteousness co-exist?

 

No. Lawlessness is sin. If we are really born of God we do not habitually sin.

"If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him." -- 1 John 2:29 (NKJV)

"Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness." -- 1 John 3:4 (NKJV)

"Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous." -- 1 John 3:7 (NKJV)

"...Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother." 1 John 3:10

 

Does a believer habitually sin?

No, and although he still sins, he confesses the sin to restore relationship with God.

"We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him." -- 1 John 5:18 (NKJV)

"Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God." -- 1 John 3:9 (NKJV)

"Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him." -- 1 John 3:6 (NKJV)

 

Is it possible to have fellowship with God if we lie, walk in darkness or not practice the truth?

 

No. We deceive ourselves and make God to be a liar.

"If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth." 1 John 1:6

"If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." -- 1 John 1:8 (NKJV)

"If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us." -- 1 John 1:10 (NKJV)

 

Can we hold onto and love worldly things?

 

No. If we do, it demonstrates the lack of love in us.

"Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him." -- 1 John 2:15 (NKJV)

"If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?"1 John 4:20

 

How can we know we are of God?

 

By doing all the things mentioned above. Also, we have the spirit of truth and listen to our brothers and sisters. This is a test of our spirit.

"We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error." -- 1 John 4:6 (NKJV)

"Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world." -- 1 John 4:1 (NKJV)

Ken Walker