A missionary once said that if one is a true Christian (one who has been BORN AGAIN), there will be EVIDENCE OF LIFE. He liked to call them BIRTHMARKS. Here is a list of passages from Scripture which give us some of these “birthmarks”:

1) 1st John 2:29 says, “If you know that He is RIGHTEOUS, you know that everyone who PRACTICES RIGHTEOUSNESS is born of Him” (NKJV). This is one of the greatest signs of a genuine Christian, for before one is born of God they PRACTICE SIN (which means that is the CHARACTER of their life). The believer in Christ has had a new life implanted in them so they now PRACTICE RIGHTEOUSNESS, which means they are known for “doing what is RIGHT” towards their fellow-man. They will no longer “practice sin” as we see in 3:9, “No one who is born of God practices sin” (NASB).

2) 1st John 3:14 and 4:19 tell us, “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we LOVE THE BRETHREN….We LOVE HIM (God) because He first loved us.” LOVE will also be one of the greatest signs of a genuine Christian. We will LOVE GOD and we will LOVE OTHER BELIEVERS. I would encourage you to read 1st John 4:7-21 where we are taught that “God is love” and that all those who are “born of Him” have the love of God abiding in them and thus it should be manifested in their lives. I would add that not only will we love God and other believers, we will also LOVE UNBELIEVERS and desire to see them saved. The most well-known verse in the Bible says, “God SO LOVED THE WORLD that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. This “birthmark of love” will cause us to pray for their salvation and to witness to them so they too can be born again through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

3) Ephesians 2:10 declares, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for GOOD WORKS, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” In our witnessing to lost souls we often quote verse 9 to show them that salvation is “not of works, lest anyone should boast.” But once a sinner has been “created in Christ Jesus” (i.e. born again), they should be known as one who does GOOD WORKS. They are the FRUIT of salvation. This is emphasized in James 2:14-17 where James begins by asking these questions, “What use is it my brethren, if a man says he has faith, but he has not works? Can THAT FAITH save him?”  He is not teaching us that faith alone doesn’t save us (for that would be a contradiction of Ephesians 2:8-9); he is teaching us that a true LIVING FAITH will be evidenced by GOOD WORKS. If one professes to be saved and there are no good works that follow, “that faith” is a DEAD FAITH; in other words it is a MERE PROFESSION without reality.

4) Galatians 5:22-23 reads, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” Here we have a beautiful nine-fold cluster of FRUIT that are the “birthmarks” of a genuine Christian. Love is mentioned first because of its importance (as we have seen in #2 above), but added to love are these other 8 moral characteristics of the genuine believer. One has said that these verses give us “a portrait of Christ,” for He displayed these nine virtues throughout His life. But as we have seen, the believer has had the very life of Christ implanted in them at the time of their New Birth and now we have the privilege (and responsibility) of manifesting the life of Christ in our lives. We learn here that it is in the power of the Holy Spirit, for though we have the New Nature where these qualities reside, we still have the Old Nature where SIN resides (see Roman 7:13-25, especially verses 17-21). Yet if we yield to the Holy Spirit in our lives, He will keep the Old Nature at bay and we will live victorious lives, displaying the “fruit of the Spirit” before the world. Verse 16 confirms this victory, “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.”  (361.1)  (DO)