Jesus tested His disciples. As we read in John 6;5-6 “He said to Philip, Where shall we buy loaves so that these may eat? And He said this to test him, for He Himself knew what He would do.”
We who say we are his, who profess to be born-again Christians, are also given tests, as in First John 2:3-6 where the Apostle Paul himself says: “And by this we know that we have known Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, I have known Him, and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His Word, truly in this one the love of God is perfected. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk even as He walked.”
John actually gave us three tests:
1) The Theological Test
2) The Moral Test and
3) The Witness of the Spirit (within our hearts)
The Theological Test:
Those who know God and believe Jesus is the Christ, are born of God.
First John 2:22 “Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He who denies the Father and the Son is antichrist.”
Those who know God and believe Jesus is the Son of God, are born of God.
First John 4:15 “Whoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwells in him and he in God.”
First John 5:5 “Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
First John 5:10 “He who believes on the Son of God has the witness in himself. He who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he does not believe the record that God gave of His Son.”
Those who believe Jesus has come in the flesh, being sent by the Father to make propitiation for our sins, are born of God.
First John 4:2 “By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God.”
First John 4:9-10 “In this the love of God was revealed in us, because God sent His only begotten Son into the world that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation concerning our sins.”
The Moral Test:
Those who believe in Jesus and do what is right, are born of God.
First John 3:6-10a “Everyone who abides in Him does not sin. Everyone who sins has not seen Him nor known Him. Little children, let no one deceive you. He who does righteousness is righteous, even as that One is righteous. He who practices sin is of the Devil, for the Devil sins from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was revealed, that He might undo the works of the Devil. Everyone who has been born of God does not commit sin, because His seed remains in him, and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. In this the children of God are revealed.”
Those who believe in Jesus and love fellow believers, are born of God.
First John 3:10 “In this the children of God are revealed, and the children of the Devil: everyone not practicing righteousness is not of God, also he who does not love his brother.”
First John 4:7-8 “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God, and everyone who loves has been born of God, and knows God. The one who does not love has not known God. For God is love.”
First John 3:16 “And we have known and believed the love that God has in us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.”
First John 3:19-21 “We love Him because He first loved us. If anyone says, I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar. For if he does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And we have this commandment from Him, that he who loves God should love his brother also.”
The Witness of the Spirit:
Those who believe in Jesus and have the witness of the Spirit in their hearts, are born of God.
First John 3:34 “And he who keeps His commandment dwells in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit which He gave to us. “
First John 3:4:13 “By this we know that we dwell in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.”
Those who believe in Jesus and have the witness of the Spirit who anoints us so that we may discern, hear and heed the truth, are born of God.
First John 2:20 “But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things.
First John 4:6 “We are of God. He who knows God hears us. The one who is not of God does not hear us. From this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. “
Amen and Amen.
This teaching is based on the ideas from page 126 of the book “Grounded in the Gospel – Building Believers the Old-Fashioned Way” by J.I. Packer and Garry A. Parrett.