How do you know if God has begun a new work in you? How can you be certain that the Holy Spirit is alive and working in your heart? Is there any way you can have assurance that you are a Christian? Jesus’ beloved apostle, John, helps us to answer some of those questions. The truth is that we can have assurance of these things. Two litmus tests are laid out for us in 1 John. First, do you keep on sinning? This doesn’t mean that true believers never sin, but true believers do not willfully continue down paths of sin. How do you respond if someone draws attention to sin in your life? With anger? Or with brokenness? God is not looking for perfect people (otherwise Jesus wouldn’t have had to die on the cross), but He is looking for broken people. When you have the Holy Spirit dwelling in your heart, you cannot continue on in gratuitous sin. Secondly, do you love others? The way you treat other people – friend and foe – reveals whether or not you have the Spirit in your heart. Those who have accepted God’s sacrificial love cannot help but love others because loved people love people – regardless of race, background, or anything else. So to recap: how do you view sin, and how do you love others? Your answers to those two questions reveal a lot about God’s work in you.