How can I know if I have been reborn?

Jesus told a man named Nicodemus that in order to see the kingdom of God (go to heaven) a person must be born again (John 3:5–7). He goes on to explain that this new birth we experience by God's grace through faith is not a physical birth but a spiritual one. We may not be able to see it, like the wind, but we can sense its effects on our lives.

The first way we know that we are reborn is because of the assurances found in Scripture. According to Romans 10:9–11, "if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, 'Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.'" Having faith in who Jesus is and what He did for us means we have been reborn—we are saved. Jesus assured His followers, "I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one" (John 10:28–30).

A second way we know that we are reborn is because the fruit of the Spirit is now evident in our lives. We are characterized by things like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22–23). Ephesians 1:13 tells us that we are sealed with the Holy Spirit when we believe, and it is He who produces this fruit in our lives when we rely on Him. When before you believed in Jesus you found it difficult to be patient with people, you can now ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with patience.

This is especially true in a newfound ability to love those around us, to see them as God sees them. His greatest commandment to us is connected to our love for Him and then for others. When asked about the greatest commandment in the Old Testament law, Jesus said, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets" (Matthew 22:37–40). Jesus told His followers, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another" (John 13:34–35; cf. John 15:1–17; James 2:8; 1 John 4:7–12). Jesus also told them to "If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full" (John 15:9–11).

A third way we know that we are reborn is that we start to see development of a gift or gifts from the Holy Spirit, like teaching, discernment, exhortation, generosity, serving, or others. Each believer is given gifts from the Spirit for the edification of the Church, known as the Body of Christ (Romans 12:3–7; 1 Corinthians 12:4–31, 1 Peter 4:19–11). These gifts are very often linked to our natural talents and abilities.

Overall, when we are reborn, our hearts and minds have a whole new way of looking at the world. We are a brand new person after we place our faith in Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). Galatians 2:20 tells us that the person who was born into sin is crucified with Christ. That version of us no longer lives. The new, reborn version of us empowered by the Holy Spirit and can be assured of salvation (Romans 8:14–17; 1 Peter 1:3–9; Ephesians 1:3–14).

You need not base your certainty of being reborn on a feeling, experience, or action. It is God who guarantees our salvation now and for eternity, and the truth of God's Word (the Bible) that proclaims it and to which we can confidently hold (1 John 5:13).


Related Truth:

How can a believer have assurance of salvation?

Is there a feeling connected to salvation? What if I don't feel saved?

What are some signs of authentic, saving faith?

Am I one of the elect? How can I know?

How can I have a personal relationship with God?


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