The Practice of Righteousness
1 John 2:29 If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him. NKJV
This verse of Scripture really should be self-explanatory, but it has been butchered over the many centuries since the Apostle John was inspired to write these glorious words so long ago. Great is the mystery of godliness but Jesus Christ has come (in a human body) and unveiled that mystery to all of mankind. Righteousness is not something that people are born with and during their increase in age they build it up or improve upon it. God’s standard of righteousness is absolute perfection and this no human being is born with no matter what era they lived. When we look at the Lord Jesus through the lens of the Scripture, we find Him continually connected to the Father in vital communion. While on the earth, Christ was still the second member of the Trinity or Godhead, yet He would do or say nothing without communing with the Father. He told us that if we abide (continue, remain, and stay connected to Him) in Him as a grape branch stays in the vine, then we would do what He desires us to do and it would be pleasing to Him and subsequently those things would always be righteous.
The Lord Jesus said that the world hated Him because He testifies of its evil. Therefore, if we abide in Him how could we think to gain acceptance from worldly people. The practice of righteousness means saying what our Lord says about any modern day issue. The issue is never what people will think of my stance, but what does Christ tell me in His Word to do or say about a matter. When a person desires fame or worldly acceptance they must reject or resist Jesus Christ, because He is not a friend of the world. The Apostle John spoke boldly about the issue of loving the world over Christ and concluded that it is impossible to do both. The two are like the negative and positive post on your car battery, they are separated for a reason they don’t go well when put together. This disposition is impossible to obtain by trying harder to do what is right or by steps one may get from a counselor or therapist. The man or woman who can practice doing what is right is the one who has been born of God, not by any human effort on their part, or any goodness in them, but due to a Sovereign act of God whereby He makes that person a partaker of His own life or nature giving them a new bent toward hating sin and loving righteousness.
1 John 3:1-3 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. NKJV
Love is the motivation for every action of all people. People don’t drink alcohol or do drugs to be friendly or sociable with other people, they do it because they love and desire it and love how it makes them feel. So is the man or woman who loves Jesus Christ, they witness the gospel, talk to the Lord Jesus, listen to Him speak through His Word, buffet their bodies, resist the devil and temptation, speak wholesome words, turn away from lustful practices, and desire to do what is right as taught by Christ all for love.
Romans 13:8-10 Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not murder," "You shall not steal," "You shall not bear false witness," "You shall not covet," and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. NKJV
The practice of righteousness can be summed up in the fact that through Jesus Christ men and women have been given a new want too or new desires to please Him and no longer please the old sinful nature we all are born with in our first birth. It is God who works in us both to will or desire and to do according to His good pleasure. The love of Christ constrains the true believer.
“A faith which works not for purification will work for putrefaction. Unless our faith makes us pine after holiness, it is no better than the faith of devils, and perhaps it is not even so good as that. A holy man is the workmanship of the Holy Spirit. I would sooner be holy than happy if the two things could be divorced. Were it possible for a man always to sorrow and yet to be pure, I would choose the sorrow if I might win the purity, for to be free from the power of sin, to be made to love holiness, is true happiness. I believe the holier a man becomes, the more he mourns over the unholiness which remains in him.” Charles H. Spurgeon
“God has one destined end for mankind - holiness! His one aim is the production of saints. God is not an eternal blessing-machine for men. He did not come to save men out of pity. He came to save men because He had created them to be holy. Holiness, not happiness, is the chief end of man.” Oswald Chambers
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reader, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…
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