The very first test given to a newborn in the delivery room is called the Apgar score. The test was designed to quickly evaluate a newborn’s physical condition after delivery and to determine any immediate need for extra medical or emergency care. It measures things like muscle tone, heart rate, reflexes, skin color, and breathing rate. Our second daughter came out of the womb with blue skin, and I was very alarmed. The doctor calmly cleaned the mucus out of her nose, and in a minute she was pink and crying. She didn’t get a very high Apgar score, but thankfully, she was alive. If she had not started breathing, we would have been overwhelmed with grief, not filled with joy. The vital signs of birth are essential!
A true child of God will have a spiritual Apgar score. We could probably come up with more, but John gives us three vital signs of the new birth:
- faith in Jesus Christ,
- love for others,
- and obedience to God’s commandments.
If you claim to be born again, you may want to check your spiritual Apgar score. If the vital signs of new life in Christ are not there, you need to get down on your knees and plead with God to cause you “to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead”(1 Pet. 1:3).
Pastor Steven J. Cole concludes a sermon on 1 John 5:1-5 with this: