Verses to review today: 1 John 1:1-2:28
New Verse: 1 John 2:29
If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him. (ESV)
If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him. (KJV)
Greek: ἐὰν εἰδῆτε ὅτι δίκαιός ἐστιν, γινώσκετε ὅτι καὶ πᾶς ὁ ποιῶν τὴν δικαιοσύνην ἐξ αὐτοῦ γεγέννηται.
Transliterated Greek: ean eidēte hoti dikaios estin, ginōskete hoti kai pas ho poiōn tēn dikaiosynēn ex autou gegennētai.
Literal Word for Word Translation: if you know that he is righteous, you know also that everyone who practices righteousness has been fathered by him.
Vocab: εἰδῆτε, eidēte, you know; δίκαιός, dikaios, righteous; γινώσκετε, ginōskete, you (pl) come to know/recognize; ποιῶν, poiōn, he who is doing; γεγέννηται, gegennētai, he was brought forth (begotten, given birth to).
Commentary: The first “you know” is to be aware of a fact. The second is a different Greek word which means to come to know by experience or observation. Thus, by the fact that Jesus is righteous (because He is God), and an additional fact that no one is righteous but God (Ro 3:10, 11), anyone who does righteous works can be known to be born again of the Spirit of God. It does not say one who is righteous, but one who does righteous works. We are made righteous by Christ. However, no one would recognize that we are righteous, and thus born of God, unless we practice righteousness. (see John 1:12,13; Eph 2:10)
No one can say they are born again if their life doesn’t show it. We often hear that to say that a person who is saved ought to look godly or ought to keep His commandments (1 John 2:3, 4, 5, 6) is being legalistic or insisting on a works salvation. However, that is often a comment made to allow for continuing in sin. John sure isn’t advocating staying in sin. Legalism is to say that a person’s salvation is dependent on their keeping of the commandments or some set of rules. No one can be saved by keeping the law. But, as John is saying throughout this epistle, one who is saved, will keep the commandments – not perfectly – but in practice.
Here is what Paul says about accountability with regard to each other’s (believer’s) sins (Gal 6:1-10): 1 Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. 5 For each will have to bear his own load.
6 Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches. 7 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
God is looking for His children to be pure in heart. Matt 5:8 says that the pure in heart will see God. Let’s not confuse legalism with the fruit of salvation. As verse 2:29 states, all who are of God, will practice righteousness. A human child looks human like his parents. A child of God looks like his Father as well in the way he lives his life.