Lesson 5 - Doing Righteousness

Lesson 5 - Doing Righteousness

(1 John 2:28-3:10)

"Everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him."  No one is born of God because he is righteous.  In fact the Bible is clear, "As it is written, 'There is none righteous, no, not one."  Romans 3:10.  Believers practice righteousness because they are born again.  Regeneration is the root, right living is the fruit.

"We should be called the children of God," because we are the children of God.  This is a reality because of the "manner of love the Father has bestowed on us."  God Himself is our heavenly Father.  In John's gospel he explains how we become His children.  Read John 1:11-13.

The Bible teaches that there is an imputed righteousness and an imparted righteousness.  We can summarize the doctrine of imputation in three statements.

  • 1.  Adam's sin was imputed to the human race.  "By one man's disobedience many were made sinners."  Romans 5:19.
  • 2.  Our sins were imputed to the righteous Son of God.  It is Jesus Christ "Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree."  1 Peter 2:24.
  • 3.  Jesus' righteousness is imputed to those who believe.  "For He (God) made Him (Jesus) Who knew no sin to be sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."  2 Corinthians 5:21.

The righteousness of God in Christ gives the believer a solid standing before God.  The believer has been justified, judicially declared righteous by faith apart from works.  Romans 4:5-8.

Imparted righteousness is that righteousness produced in the Christian through Jesus Christ by the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.  As we "abide in Him," the fruits of righteousness are manifest in the believer's life.  See Philippians 2:11 where "the fruits of righteousness...are by Jesus Christ."

Hope in the second coming of Christ has a purifying effect in the life of those believers who are looking forward to His appearing with great anticipation.  With this confidence we know that we will "not be ashamed before Him at His coming."  It is also true that "when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is."  This will be the joyous fulfillment of the sixth beatitude, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."  Matthew 5:8.

The purpose of John's letter is not to make light of sin.  "Sin is lawlessness."  Jesus dealt with our sins at the cross.  "He was manifested to take away our sins."  He makes a difference in the way we live.

There is an obvious distinction between the children of God and the children of the devil.  Some people like to say, "Well, we are all God's children!"  The Scriptures have something else to say.  "He who sins is of the devil."  Also, "Whoever has been born of God does not sin."  What?  Is John writing that Christians never sin, and are incapable of sinning?  Of course not!  Take another look at 1 John 1:8, 10.  The apostle is writing about a life style, not a solitary act.  God's children are capable of sinning and do sin, but it is not their manner of life.

Those who have been born of God do not practice sin, because "His seed (the word of regeneration) remains (abides, lives) in him; and he cannot (practice) sin, because he has been born of God."  If you have been made righteous (imputed), you will do righteousness (imparted).  We cannot live in sin, and walk with God.

Children of the devil practice sin.  They love the world, and the things of the world.  They are likened to pigs, wallowing in the mire.  2 Peter 2:22.  They love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil.  John 3:19.  The way we live is an indication of who we are.

 

Lesson 6 - Loving the Brethren

 
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