Summary: Assurance of Salvation: Look for these 3 marks of a believer. Alliterated outline of I Jn. 5. Powerpoint at website.
Show Me Your Birthmarks
1 John 5:1-5, 13
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INTRO: If I were to ask you if you are sure that you have been born physically, you would think it a foolish question. Yet there are many people who are not sure that they have been born spiritually.
 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
We’ll receive the Lord’s Supper this evening…and we need to begin preparing our hearts…certainly we need to have the assurance of our relationship with the Lord nailed down…we need to KNOW that we are saved…and once we know, we need to be sure we are in RIGHT relationship with Him.
There are certain characteristics that mark those that are of the same family. Many times physical similarities, perhaps color of eyes, hair, size of frame, nose, hands or feet. Sometimes the characteristics are not physical and not so readily detectable. In like manner, those who share the spiritual birth have characteristics that distinguish them from the world…birthmarks if you will. How many of you have a birthmark? [don’t tell us where!] If you don’t have one, you probably know of someone who does…some more prominently than others! [Yeltsin]
The Bible teaches that this experience is definite and that you can know for a certainty that you are a child of God. So, let us look at these three birthmarks of a born again child of God:
I. APPRECIATION OF GOD’S CHILDREN (v. 1).
There are two things stated here about the child of God.
Love for the Father. — In 1 John 4:19 the Bible says we love Him because He first loved us. It is natural for a child of God to love his Father. The more we know about the Father and His love for us, the more we will love Him. We come to know Him through His Word. We’ll come to like Him, and be like Him!
Love for the Family. — Being born again means that you are born into a family. It is a natural thing for family members to love one another. This is one of the precious truths about being a Christian. How is love going to behave? Look at...
1 Cor. 12:26
And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
This is the way love behaves itself toward the members of the family of God. Is this love in your heart for the family of God?
ILLUS: Paul and Silas with the Philippian jailer. The jailer had beaten them, then when he saw their faith, and the earthquake, asked how to be saved…awkward! …but when he was born again the Bible says he washed their stripes, put a meal on the table for them and fellowshipped with them! If you are truly born again, the birthmark of love will be evident in your life.
If you’ve truly been saved, you’ll be in church…not out of duty…you’ll WANT to be there! You’ll love what Christ loves [the church]!
If you’ve got any doubt at all, you need to investigate it. And don’t start going to church so you can feel saved…rather, get saved for certain and you’ll WANT to go to church!
Appreciation of God’s Children…
II. APPLICATION OF GOD’S COMMANDMENTS (vv. 2-3).
Two times in these verses we are told that the children of God love Him and keep His commandments.
Desire to Keep God’s Law. — In the Old Testament people were forced to keep the law as a moral responsibility. The Pharisees professed to love the law and they kept it outwardly, but there was no joy and no peace. They did it as a duty. But, when you are born into God’s family, doing God’s law becomes your desire. It is love that turns duty into desire. You WANT to do right!
ILLUS: A young lady got a job typing manuscripts for an author…it was her main duty. Then she fell in love with the author and they were married. What had previously been a duty now became the desire of her heart. She desired to please the one she loved.
That is what happens when we are born again. When the Bible says, “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain...” That is not a duty for us. It becomes the desire of our heart not to take His name in vain. [Jeez, Goldarnit, etc.]
When Jesus comes into your life and you are born into God’s family, the duty of the law becomes the deepest desire of your heart.