1 John 5:1-5 Part One: John's Test To Confirm One Has Been Born Again

How do you know that you are in a right relationship with God?

How do you know that you are truly born again?

In our text this morning, 1 John 5:1-5, John gives us a way to answer these questions. He says,

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

These verses can be summed up by saying, “One who has been born of God will continually have proper faith, the proper love and the proper obedience.” Let me show you how I arrived at this thesis.

First, we see that the one who is born again will continually have a proper faith. We see this at the beginning of our text when John writes, “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God.” (1) We see this again at the end of our text when John writes a rhetorical question, “Who is it who overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (5)

Secondly, we see that the one who is born again will continue to have a proper love. John writes, “...and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.” (1b-3)

Thirdly, we see that the one who has been born of God will continually display proper obedience to the commands of God. John says, “And His commandments are not burdensome. For who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith. (3b-4)

This morning I would like to draw your attention to two particular things concerning this text.

  • First, we will look at who is supposed to use this test.

  • Secondly, we will explore what it means to say that a believer will continually find evidence of a proper faith, a proper love and a proper obedience.

First, notice that the word ‘Everyone’ is found three times in our text.

  • Every believer will have a proper faith.

  • Every believer will display a proper love for God and for others.

  • Every believer will display the proper obedience to the commands of God and they overcome the world.

The apostle John gives ‘everyone’ three ways to evaluate if they are born-again. He gives ‘everyone’ three ways to determine if they have been saved and are abiding with God. This is a universal test that ‘everyone’ can apply to their lives.

Are believers being careful to use these three proofs? Or do we find that these proofs are being neglected and overlooked? Instead of using the method that John describes in this text it seems that we have chosen to use different methods to evaluate something as important as this?

If you were to ask people today how they know they are saved they may say something like:

  • I am saved because I said a prayer in the past.

  • I know I am saved because I was baptized in the past.

  • I am saved because I was raised in the church.

  • Many might say that they are saved because they are a member of the church or because they attend services.

  • Others are confident that they are saved because they believe they have lived a moral life as compared to others.

  • They are confident because they are not as bad as others, even some of those who are in the church.

You can see the problem of using these other methods to evaluate whether or not you have been saved. John is not saying that this is just one of many ways that you find the answer to these questions. John says that you are to evaluate whether you are born-again by whether you are displaying the following:

  • a proper faith in Jesus Christ who is the Son of God

  • a proper love for God and the people of God

  • and a proper obedience to the commands of God and are overcoming the world