It is very possible for someone to profess that they are Christians, yet they are not truly born again.
I know that because I have been there. I grew up in a Christian family, so from an early age, I used to go to church, called myself a Christian, even got baptized at age 12.
But I was just there. Living an indifferent life. And it wasn’t until I clocked my twenties, did I realize that I was just but a professing Christian. I wasn’t truly born again.
And I am not the only person who thought that going to Church equates to being born again. There are many people who still think that.
Jaquelle in “This changes everything” observes that there is a problem. “There are people all across our world – from magazine cover celebrities to the soccer mom down the street to perhaps the person who occupies the locker next to yours – who claim to follow Jesus but actually don’t. While saying they have hearts devoted to a passionate pursuit of God, they live unchanged lives. Indifferent lives. Lives that blend in, conform to, and meld with the world. Jesus changed nothing in their lives.“
What signs confirm that you are truly born again?
1.You live a changed life.
You can’t claim to be truly born again, yet still do the same things you used to do, or still act the same way the world does.
Paul, best illustrates to us, how a truly born again person lives like.
Initially, he was a zealous persecutor of Christ’s followers. He was present when Stephen was being stoned to death, a matter which he approved (Acts 8:1).
And he didn’t stop there. He went ahead to get permission from the high priest, so that he could take the followers of Christ in Damascus, as prisoners with him to Jerusalem.
And then something happened on his way to Damascus. He encountered Jesus, and his life was changed. He transformed from a Jesus persecutor, to a Jesus follower. And he didn’t stop at just being a follower, he set to make him known everywhere, especially to the Gentiles. And it’s through Paul that we even have the Gospel with us today.
And from Paul’s example, we see that we don’t know Jesus and remain to be the same. We live changed lives. We were once lost, but now we are found, and that should reflect in our actions.
2.You don’t love sin anymore.
If you are truly born again, you don’t love sin anymore. Note that I have said, “you don’t love sin anymore”, not “you don’t sin anymore”
The truth is, we always fall short. At no single point can we say we haven’t sinned. And as Jerry Bridges explains, “the more we grow in Christlikeness, the more sin we will see in our lives. It isn’t that we are sinning more; rather we are growing more aware of, and more sensitive to sin that has been there all along.”
And the fact that we see ourselves so imperfect, that we feel we could never prove that we are born again, is a good sign.
This shows that we no longer love sin anymore, it doesn’t appeal to us. In fact, it hurries us to God, to pray that he may help us deal with them.
And as Jerry Bridges reminds us, “we don’t need to be discouraged by the fact that the more we grow, the more sin we’ll see, since our eternal salvation and day – to- day standing with God are based not on our performance, but upon the sinless life and sin – bearing death of Jesus.”
Someone who’s not truly born again on the other hand, has no idea even when they sinned. And sinning doesn’t bother them, it even looks normal, because after all, everyone does them.
3.The fruit of the Holy Spirit is visible in your life.
Galatians 5:22, “but the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self – control.”
If you are truly born again, there will be evidence of the fruit of the Spirit in your life.
It’s true that we may not be manifesting all of them in our lives. I for instance, have struggled with self control issues. And I can’t say I have shown love to everyone. But I am not happy with myself. Such instances disturb me a lot. And I am trusting that God will help me cultivate the fruit of the Spirit in my life.
Does that mean I am not truly born again?
No. This is because, yes I may not be having all the fruit evident in my life, but I am working on that. I am not comfortable knowing that I didn’t show God’s love to my sister when she annoyed me, or when my eyes wandered to pop – up I wasn’t supposed to view.
This is different from a person who is not truly born again. The evidence of the fruit of the Spirit will be lacking in their lives, and they won’t be bothered at all by it.
4.You don’t desire the same things you used to before you got saved.
Knowing Jesus changes everything in our lives. And one of the ways to know if you are truly born again, is to examine your life. Let’s say before you were born again you used to desire: fame, money, entertainment, career success, and the like.
But after you got born again, those desires ceased to be appealing, and instead, Christ became your delight, and living for him became your life’s mission. No longer do you desire God’s gifts, but instead desire him only.
Then there’s that person who before being born again, used to desire the same things mentioned above. And after being born again, they didn’t necessarily disappear. That means every now and then, with God’s help, they keep fighting the desires, with the hope that some day, they’ll be at that position where only God, and not his gifts, will be their desire.
If you fall in either category, it shows that you are truly born again. The opposite is when you claim you are born again, but nothing changed. You still live the same life you used to, still desire the same things, and earnestly seek after them.