4. I can know that I have been born again if I understand spiritual things, because I have the anointing (Holy Spirit) within me to teach me.
I John 2:27 says, “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.”
Here is a test to help you know whether or not you have been born again. Do you understand spiritual things? When you read the Bible, do you need someone to explain it to you, or can you understand it and apply the principles to your own life. If you are able to understand spiritual concepts from Scripture, this is evidence that you have been born again. It means that you have the anointing (Holy Spirit) abiding within you to teach you the truths found in the things you read. As the Holy Spirit leads you, you will understand and obey truth and you will abide in Him. I John 3:24 explains a little more. It says, “And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.”
The Holy Spirit helps you understand God’s commandments and obey them. He is your power to live the Christian life. You abide in Christ and Christ abides in you by the Holy Spirit which God has given you. This Holy Spirit is your Helper and will guide you into all truth. In John 16:13,14, Jesus tells how the Holy Spirit works in you. He says, “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. 14He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you."
You can know that you have been born again if you understand the Scripture and have power to apply it to your life and obey it because the Holy Spirit lives in you.
5. I can know that I have been born again if I keep my heart pure and do righteousness.
I John 3:3 says, “And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.”
This verse does not mean that you can make yourself pure, but it does mean that you desire to have a pure heart and your daily walk shows evidence of that purity.
One way to keep your heart pure is to guard it against evil. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” Memorize God’s word. Hide it in your heart and mind. The Psalmist explains, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” (Psalm 119:11)
If you do sin after you have been born again, you “have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” (See I John 2:1) It is Jesus’ blood that “cleanseth us from all sin.” (1:7) If you sin, God has a remedy for it, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1:9) Keeping short accounts with God is another way to keep your heart pure.
A third way to keep your heart pure is to live righteously. If you hide God’s word in your heart and confess your sin to God, and Jesus has cleansed you from all unrighteousness, then you will see that righteousness is characteristic of your life. If you keep close to Jesus, you will be like Jesus. I John 3:7 says, “Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.”
A person whose life and walk are not characterized by God’s righteousness needs to examine his or her heart because that indicates that he or she has not been born again. I John 3:10 explains, “In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God…” A person who is not a child of God through the new birth is a child of the devil and needs to be saved. That person cannot do righteous works.
If you keep your heart pure, and if you walk righteously as Jesus walked, you can know that you have been born again.