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First John: 1 John 2:29a-God is Righteous Lesson # 93

Pastor Bill Wenstrom
First John   •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  59:07
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First John: 1 John 2:29a-God is Righteous

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If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him. (ESV)
Pastor-Teacher Bill Wenstrom
Wednesday October 11, 2017
www.wenstrom.org
Lesson # 93
If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him. (ESV)
If you know that he is righteous” is composed of the following: (1) conditional particle ean (ἐάν), “if” (2) second person plural perfect active subjunctive form of the verb oida (οἶδα), “you know” (3) conjunction hoti (ὅτι), “that” (4) nominative masculine singular form of the adjective dikaios (δίκαιος), “righteous” (5) third person singular present active indicative form of the verb eimi (εἰμί), “is.”
In , the apostle John employs a fifth class condition to communicate a spiritual axiom which would help the reader to identify the non-believer and thus this would aid them to identify those persons he describes in as “antichrists” since he teaches in that they were non-believers.
Verse 29 teaches that if the recipients of this epistle possess the conviction that God is righteous, then they know experientially that any person who practices that which is truly righteousness has been fathered by God.
John employs the figure of asyndeton in in order to emphasize with the recipients of this epistle the solemn nature and importance of this spiritual principle.
The conditional particle ean introduces the protasis of a third class condition which offers a condition, the fulfillment of which is realized in the present time which is also called a fifth class condition.
This is indicated by the fact that the fifth class condition requires a present indicative in the apodosis while the third class can take virtually any mood-tense combination including present indicative.
The protasis is “if you know that he is righteous” and the apodosis is “you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him.”
The relationship between the protasis and the apodosis is “cause-effect.”
The cause: “if you know that he is righteous.”
The effect: “you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him.”
John is offering no indication about the likelihood of the protasis being fulfilled and there is no hint of uncertainty about this event not occurring nor some eventuality being presented.
Rather, the fifth class condition is simply expressing an eternal spiritual principle or spiritual axiom with regards to determining if a person is a child of God or not.
Therefore, this fifth class conditional statement is simply presenting an eternal spiritual principle which asserts that if the recipients of this epistle possess the conviction that God is righteous, then they know experientially that anyone who practices righteousness has been fathered by Him.
The verb oida means “to know for certain, to be certain, to be of the conviction” since the word pertains to having knowledge of someone to the extent of having no doubt about a matter and speaks of having a conviction that is based upon the truth of the Word of God.
The second person plural form of this verb refers to the recipients of this epistle as a corporate unit and is used in a distributive sense emphasizing no exceptions.
Therefore, this verb speaks of the recipients of this epistle being certain or having the conviction that God is righteous.
The verb expresses their conviction based upon God’s revelation of Himself to them by the Son during His First Advent and by the Spirit at justification and after their justification.
It expresses their conviction they possess a result of accepting by faith John’s Spirit inspired apostolic teaching.
The verb eimi means “to possess a particular inherent characteristic,” and which characteristic is identified by the adjective dikaios, “righteous.”
The third person singular form of this verb is a reference to the Father and not Jesus Christ.
This is indicated by the use of the verb gennaō (γεννάω), “has been born” with the prepositional phrase ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ in First John.
This verb appears ten times in First John.
is the first time the word appears in the epistle.
It is always used of the Father in the other nine times the word occurs in this epistle (cf. twice; 4:7; 5:1 twice, 4, 18 twice).
The verb γεννάω is used with the prepositional phrase ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ twice in and .
It is used with this prepositional phrase once in and 5:1, and 4.
The noun theos refers to the Father which is indicated by the word’s articular construction which in the New Testament commonly signifies the first member of the Trinity unless otherwise indicated by the context.
In , the second time in which this verb γεννάω appears, it is used with the prepositional phrase ἐξ αὐτοῦ.
The context indicates that the intensive personal pronoun autos is referring to the articular construction of the noun theos.
Therefore, the third person singular form of the verb eimi is used of the Father expressing the idea that His character and nature is dikaios, “righteous.”
The adjective dikaios means “righteous” and functions as a predicate nominative meaning that this word is making an assertion about the person of God, namely that He possess inherently the attribute of righteousness and thus is characterized by righteous words and actions.
This word asserts that God the Father’s nature and character is eternally existing in the state or condition of being perfect “integrity” in the sense that His character is perfectly sound and adheres perfectly to His own holy standards and what He has promised to men.
Thus, He is upright, honest, perfectly whole, undiminished and sound, and unimpaired and in perfect condition.
It describes God’s character and nature as being perfect “virtue” in the sense that His character is perfect moral excellence, goodness, and He always conforms to His own perfect standards.
It speaks of the Father’s character and nature as being in a state or condition of always fulfilling His obligations to His moral rational creatures, whether angels or men.
If each of you possess the conviction that He is righteous, then each of you know experientially that any person who at any time does practice that which is truly righteousness has been fathered by Him. (Author’s translation)
The apostle John in employs a fifth class condition to solemnly communicate a spiritual principle to the recipients of this epistle which will help them to determine if a person is a child of God or not.
This is important in light of the situation with the false teachers who he describes as non-believers in and “antichrists” in .
John is not reassuring them of their eternal salvation or teaching them how they can determine if they are saved since throughout this epistle he addresses them with terms which he would only use when addressing children of God.
In fact, he affirms in that they were faithful to his apostolic teaching and had not been deceived by the false teachers.
In this fifth class condition, John asserts that if the recipients of this epistle possess the conviction that God is righteous, then they know experientially that anyone who practices righteousness has been fathered of Him.
He is teaching them that this is how they can discern if someone is a child of God or not.
Consequently, it also teaches them how they can discern if a person is one of the antichrists since John asserts in that they never belonged to the Christian community and were thus children of the devil.
They can know experientially if a person is a child of God by observing their conduct in that they can observe them practicing righteousness or not.
Now, in the protasis, John asserts that God is “righteous,” which means that God the Father’s nature and character is eternally existing in the state or condition of being perfect “integrity” in the sense that His character is perfectly sound and adheres perfectly to His own holy standards and what He has promised to men.
Thus, He is upright, honest, perfectly whole, undiminished and sound, and unimpaired and in perfect condition.
It describes God’s character and nature as being perfect “virtue” in the sense that His character is perfect moral excellence, goodness, and He always conforms to His own perfect standards.
It speaks of the Father’s character and nature as being in a state or condition of always fulfilling His obligations to His moral rational creatures, whether angels or men.
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