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First John: 1 John 2:29b-The Practice of Divine Righteousness Lesson # 94

First John   •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  58:33
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First John: 1 John 2:29b-The Practice of Divine Righteousness

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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
Thursday October 12, 2017
www.wenstrom.org
Lesson # 94
If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him. (ESV)
You may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him” is composed of the following: (1) second person plural present active indicative form of the verb ginōskō (γινώσκω), “you may be sure” (2) conjunction hoti (ὅτι), “that” (3) conjunction kai (καί), which is not translated (4) nominative masculine singular form of the adjective pas (πᾶς), “everyone” (5) articular nominative masculine singular present active participle form of the verb poieō (ποιέω), “whoever practices” (6) articular accusative feminine singular form of the noun dikaiosune (δικαιοσύνη), “righteousness” (6) preposition ek (ἐκ), “of” (7) genitive third person masculine singular form of the intensive personal pronoun autos (αὐτός), “him” (8) third person singular perfect active indicative form of the verb gennaō (γεννάω), “has been born.”
The verb ginōskō means, “to know experientially” in the sense of personally observing something through a process.
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 which emphasizes no exceptions.
The adjective pas means “any one, any person” since the word pertains to totality with emphasis on its individual components and here the word is of any person in the human race who practices righteousness.
The verb poieō means, “to practice” and its object is the articular accusative feminine singular form of the noun dikaiosune, “righteousness.”
The present tense of the verb poieō is a gnomic present which is not used to make a statement of a general, timeless fact but rather is used to describe something that is true any time and does take place.
Therefore, the gnomic present of the verb is expressing the idea of a person who “at any time does” practices righteousness of God.
The noun dikaiosune means “righteousness” and refers to a person exemplifying God’s integrity and virtue which constitutes righteousness.
It refers to believer exemplifying Christ-life character which is perfectly sound by practicing righteousness and speaks of perfectly adhering to God’s perfect standards, which appear in the gospel.
It denotes a child of God doing all that God commands them in the gospel and all that He demands of them in the gospel as His child and all that He approves, and all that He provides through Christ.
It refers to a believer experiencing the righteousness of God by appropriating by faith their union and identification with Christ in His crucifixion, death, burial, resurrection and session, which results in obedience to the various prohibitions and commands that appear in the gospel.
This constitutes loving God with one’s entire being and strength and one’s neighbor as oneself.
Therefore, the noun dikaiosune refers to the believer fulfilling their obligations to both God and man.
The former required that they love God with their entire being and the latter required that they love their neighbor as themselves.
Their obligation to their fellow-believer is to love their fellow-believer as Christ loves them.
The articular construction of the abstract noun dikaiosune particularizes the general quality of this noun and defines it more closely distinguishing it from other notions.
Here it is distinguishing this righteousness from relative human righteousness since the former is absolute divine righteousness and specifically, it speaks of a person practicing God’s righteousness in their life after conversion.
The article also indicates that this word is in a class by itself and the only truly deserving of the name and thus, it speaks of the righteousness which is of any value to God.
Therefore, the idea expressed by the article is that the person who practices that which is truly righteousness has been fathered by God.
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. (My translation)
If you compare with , John is saying to the recipients of this epistle that they must continue to make it their habit of living in fellowship with Jesus Christ by practicing God’s righteousness since the failure to do so will result in shame and loss of rewards at the Bema Seat.
He is also saying in these verses that to continue making it their habit of living in fellowship with Jesus Christ by practicing righteousness is consistent with the fact that they are children of God.
To not do so is inconsistent with their being children of God.
The practice of righteousness is another metaphor that John uses to describe fellowship with God which is in addition to the previous one he uses in this epistle such as “living in the light,” 1 (; ) “knowing Him experientially” (, ), or “living in fellowship with Him.”
John is teaching with this fifth class condition that a person will live in a manner consistent with their parents or household.
The non-believer will live in a manner which is consistent with the character and standards of their father the devil while on the other hand, the believer will live in a manner which is consistent with the character and standards of their heavenly Father.
A believer will practice righteousness whereas a non-believer does not have the capacity to do so since they do not possess God’s righteousness as the believer does.
Since the recipients of this epistle are believers, the purpose of is to reassure them that they are children of God and the antichrists are emphatically not but rather they are children of the devil.
Now, John is not teaching that every believer will always practice righteousness and that if a person does not practice a righteousness they are not a child of God.
Rather, he is teaching that the mark of a child of God is that they do practice righteousness or in other words, he is teaching the recipients of this epistle as to how they can identify someone who is a child of God and one who is not.
Of course, sometimes a believer can live just like the non-believer because they have a volition and can still reject the will of the Father for their life by obeying the lusts of their sin nature and living according to the standards of Satan’s cosmic system.
God disciplines this type of believer (; ).
The non-believer will never practice the righteousness of God whereas the believer does have the capacity to do so at any time.
The work of transforming the believer into the image of Christ involves the manifestation of the righteousness of God in the believer, which like the believer’s sanctification and salvation is accomplished in three stages.
The first stage is described as “positional” which refers to the moment the believer exercises faith in the gospel message and trusts in Jesus Christ as their Savior.
At the moment of justification and their spiritual birth, God imputed His righteousness to the believer so that they are “positionally” the righteousness of God meaning God has given His righteousness as a gift to the believer and He views the believer as righteous as Him.
This in turn sets up the potential for the believer to experience this righteousness in time.
Therefore, the moment a person believes in Jesus Christ as Savior, God the Father imputes the righteousness of Christ so that He becomes the believer’s righteousness (cf. ).
The second stage can be described as “experiential” which means that after justification or conversion the believer experiences the righteousness of God by exercising faith in the gospel message that they have been crucified, died, buried, raised and seated with Christ.
After conversion, the believer is commanded to present the members of their physical body as instruments of righteousness, which is accomplished by appropriating by faith the imputed righteousness they received at justification (See ).
This faith is demonstrated by the believer through his obedience to the teaching that he has died with Christ and has been raised with Him (See ).
This “experiential” stage also means that the believer is fulfilling their obligations after justification to love God with their entire being and their fellow human being as they would themselves.
It also speaks of the believer obeying the Lord’s command in to love their fellow-believer as He loves them.
The third and final stage can be described as “perfective,” which speaks of the righteousness of God being perfected in the life of the believer when they receive their resurrection body at the rapture of the church (cf. ).
The children of the devil and the children of God are distinguished from each other because the latter practice the righteousness of God and the former practice evil according to .
Undeserved suffering and divine discipline are designed to produce the righteousness of God in our lives and not to hurt us ().
The believer will be rewarded with a “crown of righteousness” by the Lord Jesus at the Bema Seat for executing the Father’s will and growing to spiritual maturity according to .
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