1 John 5:1-5
If you were asked if you are sure that you have been born physically you would think it is a foolish question. But today there are some people who are not sure that they have been born spiritually.
Many of us know there are certain characteristics that make it very clear we are from the same physical families. Many times physical similarities, perhaps color of eyes, hair, size of frame, hands or feet. Sometimes the characteristics are not physical and not so readily detectable.
That is the same for those who share the spiritual birth. They have characteristics that distinguish them from the world.
So, with those thought in mind, let’s look at three main characteristics of a born again child of God.
Appreciation of God’s other children (v. 1)
There are two things stated here about the child of God.
- Love the Father. It is natural for a child of God to love his Father. The more we know about the Father and His love for us, the more we will love Him. – I John 4:19
- Love the Family. Being born again means that you are born into a family. It should be a natural thing for family members to love one another. This is one of the precious truths about being a Christian. I Cor. 12.26 & 13:4 make that very clear. If you are truly born again, the characteristic of love will be evident in your life.
A willingness to apply God’s commandments. (vv. 2-3)
Two times in these verses we are told that the children of God love Him and keep His commandments. The Pharisees professed to love the commandments of God but there was no joy and no peace. They did it as a duty. But, when you are born into God’s family, doing God’s commandments becomes your desire. It is love that makes the difference. Jesus said in Matthew 23:3 that the Pharisees made religion a burden. However, Jesus came to teach us that through the new birth it becomes a joy to keep the commandments of God. God’s commandments are not designed to rob us of joy and happiness.
Being a child of God brings you freedom like you never experienced before. – John 8:31-32
The world wants to be free, to be loose from all restriction. But in their pursuit of liberty and freedom they want to do what they want in spite of the laws of God in their lives. Consequently they find themselves in the bondage of sin and the slavery of shame. A person finds great release and freedom and joy in submitting himself to the will of God.
An acceptance of God’s victory. (vv. 4-5)
Three times in these verses John uses the word overcomes. That is to let us know that there is a real conflict going on.
There is an unseen war that is raging between the forces of light and the forces of darkness. We fight three enemies; the world, the flesh and the devil.
John writes these words to inform the children of God that everything necessary for victory has already been given to us.
First, we see the initial conquest of Christ. Man cannot overcome the world. Adam and Eve learned this, they met Satan in their own strength and were conquered. Jesus Christ came into this world and met Satan head on. Every temptation possible was hurled at the Son of God.
Second, the devil rolled out his biggest weapon, death. But when the dust had cleared and Satan had done his worst, the tomb was empty, Christ had arose and victory is ours.
Finally, we see the continual conquest of Christ. This means daily victory over temptations and anxieties. In Romans 8:37 Paul describes our victory: “we are more than conquerors( super-conquerors) through him that loved us.”
In 1 Corinthians 15:57 Paul says this: “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Notice this victory is not by feelings or by fighting but by FAITH! The question that remains is this; do you possess the characteristics of your heavenly Father and His family?