John has two very important reasons for writing this letter. He wanted people to know that Jesus Christ really came in human flesh and dwelt on earth. But he also wanted to assure believers that they were truly children of God. And he gave them several important evidences, or, what you might call "Signs of Life," to show a person has truly been born into God's family. I'll just give the chapter and verse. All quotations from the NKJV.
2:3 - "Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments." OBEDIENCE
Now, when John gives these signs he is not saying, "this is what every Christian MUST do." He is saying, "this is what every Christian should find their DESIRE and DELIGHT to do!" In other words, don't try to be a Christian! Just be the person God made you to be. And this first sign simply emphasizes that a believer wants to obey the Lord.
2:29 - "If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness if born of Him."
This is more than just obeying Christ's commands. This is living a life righteously as only God's child can. And the emphasis here is the word "practice." This is the normal way a true Christian will want to live their lives. Again, the emphasis is on being righteous because Christ lives in you, not trying to be righteous with your own effort.
3:9 - "Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God."
DOESN'T PRACTICE SIN
Now, I quoted this from the New King James Version so I could explain what John is saying. Your new nature doesn't sin! Your new nature is Christ living in you. But, your old nature, the flesh, does sin. However, the believer will not keep on practicing sin without grief and desire to improve. There's a lot here to teach when I have more time and you have more patience! But let it be clear, a believer in Christ, by nature, does not want to make sin a practice in his/her life.
4:7 - "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God."
LOVES OTHER BELIEVERS
A true Christian will find their heart filled with love for other believers. Now that doesn't mean that Christians always agree with one another and always get along with one another! But the evidence of new life in Christ is the desire to love your brothers and sisters in Christ because they belong to your Savior just as you do.
5:2 - "By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments."
Almost goes without saying, but a true child of God has God's love poured into their hearts by the Holy Spirit, Romans 5:5 and will naturally love the One who loves them, 1 John 4:19.
Now please remember, if you find yourself "struggling" to see these signs in your life, then you're missing the point! A baby should not have to struggle to breathe, cry, suckle, move, giggle, etc. It does those things NATURALLY! It's what any mother and father expect to see in their child. The same is true of these "Signs of Life" in a Christian: they are Divinely NATURAL, what God expects to see in His children.