How Do You Know If You Are Born Again?

Are there biblically-based affirmations as to the authenticity of one having been regenerated by the Holy Spirit?[1]  I’d like to list some indicators from the Bible that I believe point to the reality of having been born of the Spirit because they indicate the presence and ministry of the Holy Spirit in one’s life experience.

This is something that Jesus said about the Holy Spirit in John 16:8: And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment.” 

You are born again, if the Holy Spirit has brought you to faith in Jesus Christ by convicting you of sin and convincing you of the righteousness and judgment of God.

And in John 16:13, He also said this about the Holy Spirit regarding our life experience: When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth.” The apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians: “ … no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. 13And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. 14The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.”  (I Corinthians 2:11-14) So, you are born again, if you are beginning to understand the thoughts of God in His Word, and you accept the things of the Spirit of God and experience the spiritual realities of the things God has freely given.

People often say: “I read the Bible, but I don’t understand it.”  You are born again if you are beginning to understand the Bible.  You don’t have a relationship with a book, but God’s Book is helping you to have a relationship with Him.  That’s why God gave us the Bible.  You are born again if you are convinced of what Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 3:16 – that All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.”   

You are born again if you are experiencing the word of God to be “living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart”, as it says in Hebrews 4:12. If this is your experience, the apostle Peter says, You have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God.”[2]

You are born again if you have begun to see yourself as having a new spiritual identity. As Paul wrote in Romans 8:15a-16: “… you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.”

You are born of the Spirit, if you have begun to experience the “Fellowship of the Holy Spirit”. (II Corinthians 13:14)  In other words, you have begun to experience a new spiritual dimension to your life – the presence of “Immanuel” – “God with us” – and you are experiencing fellowship – that is, a personal relationship with some degree of intimacy with The heavenly Father, the Spirit of His Son Jesus Christ, and other regenerated believers. The apostle John speaks of this “Fellowship of the Holy Spirit” in 1 John 1:1-4: 1 “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— 2 the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— 3 that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4 And we are writing these things so that our  joy may be complete.”

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“How Do You Know If You Are Born Again?” is an excerpt from the eBook “You MUST Be Born Again”, pages 15-17. See the corresponding eBook on our website.

At Christ’s Table – ACTpublications © 2010

“Explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.” 1 Corinthians 2:13

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[1]  J.C. Ryle authored an article and sermon entitled, Are You Born Again?, in which he lists 6 marks of being born again.  What he had to say was based squarely on Scripture depicting what most would consider to be a “mature Christian”.

[2] I Peter 1:23

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Quo Vadis

God is always moving forward in His kingdom plans and purposes. He never moves backward. And for those who love Him, He never stops moving in our lives for His glory. But to continue moving on with God “from glory to glory” requires our living “from faith to faith”. It takes an act of faith