1 John 3:14 New American Standard Bible
14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers and sisters. The one who does not love remains in death.
How do we know if we are truly born again? How do we know if someone else is truly born again? John over and over again points to love for the brethren. If we claim to be in Christ, but yet are empty of love for our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ the question remains are we truly born again?
Being a Christian is not about carrying a title. Simply because we have gone to church all our lives and warmed a pew means nothing to the living God. It simply demonstrates that we are religious. But the true measure of a follower of Christ is if they have love for their fellow brother or sister in Christ.
The false teachers of John day spoke of a secret knowledge people needed to possess. If they somehow possessed this secret knowledge, then it would show they were saved. It was simply deception with the intent to corrupt the true believers in Christ. A concrete way to know we are truly in Christ is His love is present in our lives.
It is important to understand that in Christ there is a continual growth process in which we move from immaturity to maturity. As we grow in Christ, His love immerses our lives more and more and the very person we used to be no longer remains. We are truly transformed by the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit.
John says that we have passed from death to life. When we come to faith in Christ we move from a place of being spiritually dead and separated from God, to a place of being restored to right relationship with the Living God and have the ability to draw near to Him with confidence and without fear.
John writes “He who does not love abides in death”. To many of us this sounds like a strong statement. But what I truly love about God and His word is He doesn’t pull any punches. He doesn’t candy coat the truth. John under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit shows us the importance of love. If we do not love, then we are not abiding in Christ but abiding in death.
God’s word should cause us to daily examine our hearts and lives. If we have failed to love all we need to do is confess our sins unto God. Jesus made this very simple. When asked what the greatest commandment is, this was His answer: To love God with every part of our being and to love our neighbor as ourselves. That is what it comes down to. Walking in love. If we are truly in right relationship with God, we will naturally love our brothers and sister in Christ. If we are not in right relationship with God, we will fail to walk and love as Christ has commanded us.
Living for Christ is not dependent on our ability, our strength, our wisdom, or our power. It is about abiding in Christ and knowing Him intimately. It is an everyday walk with the one who died for us and gave His life. He has set a table before us and may we remove anything from our lives that would hinder time spent with Him. When He becomes the priority, His life is produced within us. We are able to love as He has commanded us.