Everyone struggles at least once in their lifetime with the assurance of their salvation. The Apostle John gives us distinguishable marks of a true believer in I John 4 that settle the questions that plague our eternal security. A true Child of God:
- Confesses Christ as Savior –
“Every spirit that confesses Christ is come in the flesh is of God” – v. 2
“Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwells in him, and he in God.” – v. 15
Not only believes with the MIND about who Jesus is but believes in the HEART. Romans 10:9, “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”
- Loves God’s Word –
“He that knows God hears us; he that is not of God hears not us.” v. 6
A true believer has a love for God’s Word and desires to read it, hungering and thirsting after it, allowing the Holy Spirit to lead them unto all Truth as they do (John 16:13). A true believer also hungers for the preaching of God’s Word, rightly dividing the Word of Truth (II Timothy 2:15).
- Loves One Another –
“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God.” v. 7
“If we love one another, God dwells in us, and His love is perfected in us.” v. 12
Those who are true believers love others, especially fellow believers, with a special love that is of God. They view those who have trusted Christ as Savior as their brothers and sisters in Christ. They become part of a family, God’s Family, and take their responsibilities toward one another as God would desire them to do.
- Has the Holy Spirit –
“Hereby we know that we dwell in Him and He in us, because He hath given us of His Spirit.” v. 13
A true Christian not only desires to read God’s Word but understands what he is reading by the power of the Holy Spirit. God’s Word is not just words on a page but is the living Word of God… quick, powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of their soul and spirit, and is a discerner of their thoughts and intents of their hearts (Hebrews 4:12).
A true believer also reflects the Fruit of the Spirit… love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. Notice in Galatians 5:22 it says “FRUIT” singular, not “fruits” plural. A true Child of God does not have just one or two attributes of the Spirit, or three or four; a true believer has ALL the attributes of the Fruit of the Spirit. If any part of the fruit is lacking one must examine themselves to truly know if they are in the faith. Eternity hinges on it.
“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”
II Corinthians 13:5