How can we know that someone (including ourselves) is really Born Again?

Many victims of domestic abusers and other kind of their kin (RASNs) struggle with the abuser’s claim to be a Christian. In addition, many people including pastors and other church members pressure victims to assume that their abuser is actually a Christian. “After all,” the line goes, “you’re a sinner too.” Well, we are born into this world as sinners but when Christ saves us we are in a radically different category than the unconverted and particularly different from RASNs (revilers, abusers, sociopaths, narcissists).

So how can we tell if someone is born again or not? The Bible provides us with many tests – just read through the little New Testament epistle of 1 John for instance. But I want to show you another passage of scripture that really nails it down for us. Here it is – see how many indicators of the new birth you find here:

1Th 1:2-10 We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, (3) remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. (4) For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, (5) because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. (6) And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, (7) so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. (8) For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything. (9) For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, (10) and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.

See what I mean? I was tempted to underline the phrases but I bet you spotted them. What happens when the gospel is preached to those whom God has chosen? That gospel Word comes to them with power in the Holy Spirit and effects full conviction in them. And what happens to such people when they are persecuted for Christ? The Holy Spirit effects joy in them. And what else happens when a person is born again? They turn to God from idols and serve the living and true God. They are done with their old religion whatever it was. And what else characterizes such a person? They look up – they look for Jesus to come. They know He rose from the dead and that He delivers them from hell. 

Now, I can guarantee you that no RASN passes those tests. Nope. Not even one of them. They are who they are who they are.

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