Five Marks of an Authentic Christian
13I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.14And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 15And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him. —1 John 5:13-15
The apostle John didn’t leave us guessing. “Hey John, why did you write this letter?” Read his answer above again. “ I write these things . . . so that you may know that you have eternal life.”
You can know it. People say, “I think it’s kind of arrogant when people claim they know they’re going to heaven.” No, it’s not arrogant. It’s biblical. If God wants you to know, it’s okay to know. The Holy Spirit inspired John to write so“that you may know that you have eternal life.”
Which begs this question: What things? In this letter, John included five marks of an authentic Christian; five clues that reveal those “who believe.” I’m going to summarize them and we will look at each one in the days to come.
· Mark One: We love deeply. A true follower of Jesus Christ loves deeply. You love God more as time goes on. You love other people more. If you’re not a more loving person than you used to be, you’re missing one of the marks.
· Mark Two: We obey faithfully. “I used to do my own thing. If I wanted to do something, I did it!’ That was before I came to Christ. Now I’m more concerned about what God wants me to do and I’m obeying increasingly and faithfully.”
· Mark Three: We live authentically. “Man, I used to be all about putting on a mask and making people think certain things about me. Now I don’t want to play games. I just want to be real, honest, open, and transparent.”
· Mark Four: We know completely. “When I think back to how little I knew about the Lord when I came to the Lord compared to what I know about the Lord now. I’m knowing Him more and more.”
· Mark Five: We believe confidently. “I used to be filled with fear, anxiety, and uncertainty. But I’ve learned I can trust God with my life. I don’t know what’s coming up ahead, but with His help I know I am going to get through it.“
These are John’s five marks of authenticity. I trust you will be challenged to pursue them and encouraged to find them in your life as you trust in Christ.—James MacDonald
· Which of these five marks do I know God wants me to focus on?
Prayer - Father, thank You not only for the promise of transformation in Your Son, but also for the personal details of Your work in me so I can track my progress and allow You to correct my failures. Thank You for the deep thrill of knowing I have eternal life, not by any merit of my own, but fully and freely given to me by You. And I’m so very thankful to Your Son, Jesus, who made all this possible. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.