Getting Properly Started
“He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness In himself” (1 John 5:10)
The starting-point in the way of Christianity has proved to be the weal or woe point to thousands of immortal souls. Therefore, the greatest care is to be taken here. The one thing that should concern every person at this point more than anything else in the world is that he obtain a clear, definite witness from God that his many sins are all forgiven and under the blood.
The Holy Scriptures not only insist that men firmly believe that they are accepted of God, but that they positively know it beyond a shadow of doubt.
In 1 John 4:13, we find the following statement: “Hereby know we that we dwell in Him and He in us, because He hath given us of His Spirit.”
It is not sufficient evidence that we are saved, because we have confessed our sins, turned over a new leaf, joined the church and are living a better life. All of these things are good and commendable but will never take the place of the “New Birth.”
Jesus said to His moral inquirer, “Ye must be born again” (John 3:7). There are hundreds contenting themselves with the fact that they have joined the church and are enjoying a degree of the rest of conscience, but this is by no means to be taken for the “New Birth” or for the witness of the Spirit mentioned in our text.
Many good, honest people are told to just believe that Jesus is the Son of God and join the church and they are saved, but Satan never forged a greater lie. No one is a Christian who has not received a definite witness that he is accepted of God. What saith the Scriptures on this point? “Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His” (Rom. 8:9). Every one who has received the “New Birth” bears the following earmarks: He has realized a definite change; he has a hatred for all sin and worldliness; he has a hearty relish for truth and righteousness, and a growing love for every man and woman in the world.
If he is wanting in these fruits, his Christianity is false no matter how piously he lives or zealously he labors for the cause of Christ.