Practicing Righteousness (1 John 2:29)

A week ago in my post called Qadash (Holy), I talk about the principle of rewards. Typically when we think of righteousness, we think of what we’ve been given through our Messiah’s sacrifice, but there is our own righteousness as well – it will not earn us salvation (so that no man can boast, Ephesians 2:9), it will however bring rewards.

First let’s consider if there is a righteousness we are to walk out and not just what we are given through Christ for our salvation. In 1 John 2:28-29 we read:

And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him.

The fact we’re instructed to practice righteousness coupled with the fact that this was written after Christ’s sacrifice brings us to the conclusion that there is a righteousness we need to walk out.  The question then become, what is that!  Next let’s peek at 1 John 3:4-10:

Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.

Here we see “practicing sinning” balanced against “practicing righteousness”, we also see sin defined as “lawlessness” and many translations read “transgression of the law”.  Since contextually we know John (the author of book) was a Hebrew, if we could have read this letter in it’s original Aramaic or Hebrew we’d have seen the word Torah (i.e. God’s instructions aka Law).

We see this confirmed again in 1 John 5:3 and even see one of the typical arguments against observing Torah addressed:

For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.

And to tie all this back to the concept of rewards, let’s briefly look at Matthew 5:18-19. Also to understand how it also ties into rewards (i.e. blessings) on earth, you can visit my post from last Saturday called Conditional Promises.

For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

I realize contemplating pursuing the Torah today is a paradigm shift for most (it certainly was for me!).  I lay out many more verses in my post Is Torah for Today? which may be helpful. Additionally, I’ve posted many more blogs with other verses that point to the same conclusion and have tagged them Torah. Finally, I have documented what this looks like practically in my life as well.

Father, please give us eyes to see and hears to hear what You desire for us to see and hear.  We desire to be righteous before you in both heart and deed. May our lives be a pleasing sacrifice to You!

2 thoughts on “Practicing Righteousness (1 John 2:29)

  1. Pingback: Meghan W » Blog Archive » Being Holy (1 Peter 1:14-16)

  2. Pingback: Meghan W » Blog Archive » 2 Kinds of Righteousness (Philippians 3:9)

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