Are You Born Again? #3
“Whatever is born of God overcomes the world” (1 John 5:4).
A man who is born again does not use the world’s opinion as his standard of right and wrong. He does not mind going against the world’s ways, ideas and customs. What men think or say no longer concerns him. He finds no pleasure in things which seem to bring happiness to most people. To him they seem foolish and unworthy of an immortal being. He loves God’s praise more than man’s praise. He fears offending God more than offending man. It is unimportant to him whether he is blamed or praised; his first aim is to please God.
A man who is born again is also careful of his own soul. He tries not only to avoid sin but also to avoid everything which may lead to it. He is careful about the company he keeps. He knows that evil communications corrupt the heart. He is careful about the use of his time; his chief desire is to spend it profitably. He desires to live like a soldier in an enemy country—to wear his armor continually and to be prepared for temptation. He is diligent to be a watchful, humble, prayerful man. There is a vast difference in the depth and distinctness of these marks in different people. In some they are faint and hardly noticeable. In others they are bold, plain and unmistakable, so anyone may read them. Some of these marks 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—only those who are born again have these characteristics, and those who do not have these marks are not born again. This seems to be the conclusion to which the apostle intended us to come.
Do you have these characteristics? Are you born again?
~ J. C. Ryle