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You Claim To Be A Christian ... But!

You Claim To Be A Christian ... But!

ARE YOU BORN AGAIN?

This is one of life’s most important questions. The Lord Jesus Christ said “I TELL YOU THE TRUTH” — John 8:45 also, “UNLESS ONE IS BORN AGAIN, HE CANNOT SEE (ENTER) THE KINGDOM OF GOD” — John 3:3, 5.

It is not enough to reply, “I belong to the church; I suppose I am a Christian; I have always believed etc.” Thousands of nominal Christians show none of the signs of being born again, which the Holy Scriptures have given us — many being listed in 1 John,

The issues are infinite and eternal, and self examina­tion is WISE and TIMELY, when considering the present perilous times, of spurious Christianity. Many counterfiets of Satin abound; A Christless religion is fashion­able; A false gospel is preached in many evangelical services; Therefore it is not surprising that a great falling aways marks the present — read 2 Timothy 3:1-13. With these facts being true, don’t shrink from the above question, or shun the light of scripture, however searching or revealing its light may be. In all diligence, and humble sincerity before God 

TEST YOURSELF — 

ARE YOU BORN AGAIN?
A divine work of God in regeneration is —
  • THROUGH CHRIST — Having been Born again ... through the Word — 1 Peter 1:23;
  • BY THE HOLY SPIRIT — Born of the Spirit — John 3:6-8.
Regeneration is a sovereign work of God, executed immediately we fully repent towards God by a convicting work of the Spirit, and receive by faith alone, the Lord Jesus Christ as our LORD and SAVIOUR. When we are born again, our spiritual progress is based upon ASSURANCE and for this we need to know 3 things —
  • A TIME WHEN we were born again.
  • A PLACE — WHERE we were born again.
  • A MANNER HOW we were born again.
As this is true of natural birth, so also is it true of regeneration, Therefore if you don’t know these three things how can you be saved or born again? For they are true of every genuine believer, therefore dear friend you cannot afford to make a mistake, when the issues relate to your immortal soul and its eternal future, and may soon be finalised by the coming of the Lord, or death.

ARE YOU BORN AGAIN?

1st Test — DOCTRINAL PURITY

“WHOSOEVER BELIEVES THAT JESUS IS THE CHRIST IS BORN OF GOD” — 1 John 5:1.

When a man is born of God, his beliefs and doctrines are made right, through regeneration. He may not under­stand scripture, but he believes it, because it is the Word of God. The test of this is mainly relative to the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, of whom it is written, “His Name is called The WORD OF GOD” Revelation 19:13 also, “the WORD WAS GOD” John 1:1. Therefore a man when born again believes ALL SCRIPTURE is given by inspira­tion of God. To the believer he preaches the WORD, and to the sinner, CHRIST CRUCIFIED — 2 Timothy 4:21 Corinthians 1:23.

Therefore you cannot be born of God and genuinely DOUBT or DENY scriptural doctrines such as, the Holy Trinity; the eternal Sonship of Christ, or His perfect sin­less humanity; the personality of the Holy Spirit; the immortality of the soul; original sin; total depravity; heaven or hell; eternal punishment; justification by faith etc. (you simply don’t doubt or deny any scriptural truth or doctrine, but rather like Abraham you BELIEVE GOD).

Doctrinal error constitutes a man a HERETIC con­cerning whom, the church is commanded after the second admonition to reject, for he is subverted and sinneth being condemned of himself — Titus 3:10. Consider further. — “Whosoever denieth the Son the same HATH NOT THE FATHER” — 1 John 2:23 also, “Every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh IS NOT OF GOD. and this is that spirit of antichrist” — 1 John 4:3 also, “Whosoever transgresseth and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ HATH NOT GOD” — he is a DECEIVER and antichrist in character. — 2 John 7-9, (i.e. They are not, and never have been born of God!!!), DOCTRINAL ERROR is wickedness before a Holy God but its effects are most serious for it leads to MORAL ERROR, as it is written “Evil communications corrupt good manners” — 1 Corinthians 15:33.

ARE YOU BORN AGAIN?

2nd Test — MORAL PURITY.

This test divides into 6 parts as follows —

1. Test of NO HABITUAL SINNING

“WHOSOEVER IS BORN OF GOD SINNETH NOT” — 1 John 5:18
“WHOSOEVER IS BORN OF GOD DOTH NOT COMMIT SIN” — 1 John 3 v 9.

When a man is born of God, he is a partaker of divine nature — 2 Peter 1:4; and also retains his old nature until the coming of the Lord, or death. Nature is the root that produces the fruit. The old nature produces the fruit of sinning, although it has been dealt with judicially by Christ in redemption, therefore until we are finally delivered from it, sins will be committed, and — 1 John 1:8-10; being the remedy for them. The root having been dealt with by Christ, as our substitute, means that the believer born of God cannot SIN (ROOT) — 1 John 3:9; meaning he no longer HABITUALLY PRACTICES SIN for the new divine nature cannot sin, it is God’s nature, which we partook of in regeneration.

Therefore the man born of God hates sin; flees from it; fights against it; considers it his greatest plague; resents the burden of its presence; mourns when he falls under its influence, and longs for deliverance; sin no longer pleases him, neither is it a matter of indifferance to him; he cannot prevent bad thoughts entering his mind, but he is responsible if they lodge there. Short­comings, omissions and defeats appear in both word and actions. He knows that, “in many things we offend all” — James 3:2. But before God, he has a conscience and genuine sorrow when sin raises its head, and diligently he seeks its cleansing according to — 1 John 1:8-10 but he does not habitually practice it.

ARE YOU BORN AGAIN?

2. Test of OVERCOMING THE DEVIL.

“HE THAT IS BEGOTTEN OF GOD, KEEPETH HIMSELF AND THAT WICKED ONE TOUCHETH HIM NOT.” — 1 John 5:18

“YOUNG MEN…YE HAVE OVERCOME THE WICKED ONE.” — 1 John 2:14.

When a man s born of God, he is accepted in Christ — Ephesians 1:6 therefore being IN CHRIST means he shares in his substitute, the glorious triumph of Christ at Calvary, part of which was victory over Satan — Revelation 5:5. But how do we overcome Satan presently?
  • By the word of God abiding in us. and imitating Christ when confronted by Satan we can say, “it is written…it is written…it is written.” — Luke 4:4, 8, 10;
  • By the application of the blood of the Lamb, and the word of their testimony. — Revelation 12:11;
  • By the refuge of the Name of the Lord, which is a strong tower, the righteous runneth into it and are safe Proverbs 18:10.
Therefore the evidence of regeneration is the word abiding in the believer, and the believer abiding in the Name of the Lord — John 15:4-10; Jude verse 9. He respects dignities and dominion and will not speak evil of them or a railing accusation. Jude 1:7, 9.

ARE YOU BORN AGAIN?

3. Test of OVERCOMING THE WORLD

“WHOSOEVER IS BORN OF GOD OVERCOMETH THE WORLD” — 1 John 5:4.

When a man is born of God, he is delivered out of this present evil world. — Galatians 1:4; hence friendship with the world is enmity with God James 4:4; which simply means —

LOVE NOT THE WORLD neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the father is not in him but he that doeth the will of God, abideth for ever. — 1 John 2:15-17.

TRIBULATION IN THE WORLD endureth patiently out of love to God, while meantime enjoying peace and good cheer in Christ who has overcome the world. — John 16:33; therefore our love is perfected, that we may have boldness in the day of judgement, for as He is, so are we in the world. — 1 John 4:17.

LIVES BY FAITH and is victorious over the world . believing that Jesus is the Son of God. — John 5:4-5.

Therefore the man born of God is totally separate from the world’s ways, lusts, ideas, wisdom, pleasures, sports, religions, politics and commercial system of Babylon, customs, fashions etc. He does not mind going against the world’s opinion, what men think no longer concerns him. He loves God’s praise more than the praise of men. He fears offending God more than offend­ing men. His first aim is to please God, therefore he will avoid ungodly company or the unequal yoke. He will guard what his eyes read and behold, and what his ears listen to. He will be, patterned like Christ in manners, deportment, and walk (not as the world).

ARE YOU BORN AGAIN?

4. Test of PRACTISING RIGHTEOUSNESS

“EVERY ONE THAT DOETH RIGHTEOUSNESS IS BORN OF HIM” — 1 John 2:29.

The man who is born again is holy, loving God with all his heart, obeying his word, and endeavouring to live according to God’s will thereby pleasing in His sight. His wishes continually to look unto Jesus and be patterned after His example, while proving himself Christ’s friend, in obeying his commands. He knows he is not perfect. He is painfully aware of his indwelling corruption, and of the evil principle within that constantly wars against the spirit, trying to draw him away from God. But he does not consent to it. Though he cannot prevent its presence he can say like John Newton. “I am not what I ought to be, I am not what I want to be. I am not what I hope to be in heaven; but still I am not what I used to be, and by God’s grace, I am what I am”. Therefore no more crooked shady deals in trade; no gambling; no living a riotous life, in moral corruption, or sinful pleasure; no more broken promises; the words you speak are truth: you endeavour to do good unto all men, even at the cost of self sacrifice — You simply LIVE CHRIST.

ARE YOU BORN AGAIN?

5. Test of LOVING THE BRETHREN

“WE KNOW THAT WE HAVE PASSED FROM DEATH UNTO LIFE, BECAUSE WE LOVE THE BRETHREN.” — 1 John 3:14.

The man who is born of God has a special love for all true disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. Like his father in heaven he loves all men in the context of John 3:16; irrespective of society, wealth, poverty, temperament etc, and could weep over them for salvation; but he has a peculiar love for the believers in the family of God, and only in their company does he feel at home. As fellow soldiers they fight together the same enemy. They are fellow travellers journeying the same road. He under­stands them and they him; they may differ from him in many ways — in rank, wealth, society etc., but that does not matter; they are all his father’s sons and daughters. He cannot help loving them, it is his nature to do so. They are the Lord’s possession.

ARE YOU BORN AGAIN?

6. Test of HOLY LIVING

“HE THAT IS BEGOTTEN OF GOD KEEPETH HIMSELF" — 1 John 5:16.

The man who is born again is holy and desires holy living, thus avoiding every known temptation. He is careful about the company he keeps; the communications of his mouth; the defiling conversations the, corrupt the heart; the use of his time, - he desires ti: spend it unto profit and God’s glory. He daily reckons himself dead indeed unto sin, and alive unto God. His holiness is increased by a life long look upon Jesus, thus fulfilling — 2 Corinthians 3:18, and having the hope of the coming of the Lord he purifies himself even as He is pure, — 1 John 3:3. He is so much in love with Christ he walks with God daily, in sweetest communion and happy fellow­ship, listening to Him, speaking unto Him, learning from Him and obeying Him. He has learned the lesson that to meet a holy God, in a holy sanctuary, in holy service and walk, you need to be a holy person.

ARE YOU BORN AGAIN?

CONCLUSION -

There is a vast difference in the depth and distinct­ness of these 7 tests indifferent people, In some they are faint and hardly noticeable. In others they are bold, plain and unmistakable, so anyone may read them. Some are more visible than others in each individual. Seldom are all equally evident in any one person.

How should we react to these things? We can logically come to only one conclusion i.e., — only those who are born again have these seven characteristics and those who do not have these marks are not born again. This seems to be the conclusion both the Holy Spirit and the. apostle John intended us to arrive at, when the’. issues are eternal. Do you have these characteristics?

ARE YOU BORN AGAIN?

This article contains extracts from the message by J. C. Ryle entitled “Are You Born Again”

OLD PATH SERIES No. 12.

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