Marks of a True Christian
Anything that is original has its own distinct properties. We look for those properties to confirm whether a product is genuine.
Similarly, in the first epistle of John, John writes about the genuineness of our faith. Only when we understand that our faith is genuine and our salvation is real, our joy will be made complete. A repeated phrase in the epistle “By this we know” will help us unleash this truth. (2:3;2:5;3:14;3:24;4:13;5:2)
1. A Christian life is marked by obedience to God’s word. 1 John 2:3, 5, 17
“By this we know that we have come to know, if we keep His commandments”
Obedience is unnatural to us. We are by nature disobedient. We do not have inherent strength or willingness to obey. “The mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God,
for it is not even able to do so”(Rom 8:7) However, a person who is regenerated by God shows genuine obedience. “You know that everyone also who practice righteousness
is born of Him.” 1 John 2:29
A true Christian not someone who just prays to Jesus, but someone who believes Jesus is Lord and comes under His Lordship. A believer in Christ comes
under the rule of Christ. Obedience is a mark of True Christian. He cannot sin because He is born of God. (1 John 2:9). Faith and Obedience go hand in hand. John 3:36 – He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.
God works in a genuine believer through His light that shines forth and dispels darkness in the believer and enables him to obey. 1 John 2:8.
Jesus is not impressed by vain admiration, rather He looks for genuine obedience. He says in Luke 6:46, “why do you call me Lord Lord and do not do what I say?”
A true believer obeys the Scripture. Can you list out five specific ways you have shown obedience to the scripture?
2. A Christian life is marked by love. 1 John 3:14
Unconditional love is unnatural for mankind. God is love and He is the source of Love.
Cross demonstrates Man’s utter sinfulness and God’s greatest love. God the Father sacrificed His only begotten Son for our salvation and that’s true love. 1 John 4:9.
The sinless Son of God is unjustly crucified by sinful men. On the other hand, Jesus pays the price to deliver sinful people from eternal punishment. That’s true love.
He drank the cup of wrath reserved for us. He propitiates on our behalf to satisfy the wrath of God.
Christ supernaturally enables those who believe in Him to love like Him. 1 John 4:7 – Beloved let us love one another for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Our love is a genuine proof that we have fellowship with God – 1 John 4:12 and that we are truly born again.
3. A Christian life is marked by Faith in Jesus. 1 John 5:1
Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God. Jesus spoke to the Pharisees and said you do not believe because you are not my sheep. Pharisees and scribes knew the written word but their knowledge could not draw them to trust in the living word. Faith is a gift of God Eph. 2:5,8. True Faith believes in the gospel, has repentance, loves, obeys, and trusts in Jesus Christ alone.