Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall (II Peter 1:10).
In this text, the Apostle Peter urges the readers to evaluate their personal standing before God. It is certainly possible to be a professing believer but not a possessing believer. James talks about a belief that is mere assent to intellectual knowledge rather than a realization of ones utter sinfulness and in faith calling upon God for mercy. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble (James 2:19). Such faith does not save, for James earlier declares it to be of no profit (v.14). Even Christ warns that: Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord . . . And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you (Matthew 7:22,23).
No book of the Bible deals with this topic more than I John. Three times in the first chapter we find the words, If we say . . . . Verse six focuses on one making a profession but preferring an ungodly lifestyle.
Again three times we see a similar phrase in chapter two. For example: He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also to walk even as He walked. Verse 9 states: He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.
Chapter three largely focuses upon the unique ability of the true believer to have victory over sin. The chapter ends by introducing another indicator of true possession: And hereby we know that He abideth in us, by the Spirit which He hath given us (v.24).
I John 5 recaps the five marks of a true believer: love for the children of God (v.2), ability to gain victory over worldliness and sin (v.4), a witness of the Spirit within (v.10), answered prayers (v.15), and a clean pattern of life (v.18). DW