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The New Birth Tested By Righteousness (5 of 9)
(Or getting your act together for the Lord)
I John 2:29-3:10
The next three messages in this series deal with the new birth. The new birth will be tested by righteousness, love, and belief. This is the beginning of the second cycle of I John.
John in this letter states the following about those who are born of God.
1. Everyone who doeth righteousness is born of God. (2:29)
2. Whoever is born of God doth not commit (practice) sin. (3:9; 5:16)
3. Everyone who loveth is born of God and knoweth God.
4. Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God. (4:7)
5. Whatever is born of God overcometh the world. (5:4)
It is very important that you remember these five things about those who are born of God. Underline these passages and link them together because in these passages we see the basis for the three tests of Divine Sonship or the new birth. The tests again are righteousness, love, and belief.
The new birth tested by righteousness ... In these eleven verses we see John contrasting righteousness with unrighteousness. So let's look at it in these two ways. The text logically develops along these two lines.
I. RIGHTEOUSNESS DEFINED (Verses 1-3)
In these verses John reveals three things that reveal what righteousness really is.
1. WE HAVE BEEN MADE RIGHTEOUS. (Verse 1)
The key words in this verse are "hath bestowed". That is past tense. We are already righteous. We have been made righteous. This came when we believed upon the Lord. Paul said in II Corinthians 5:21, "For he hath made him, who knew no sin, to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." Christ finished this at the Cross, and we get in on it when we believe.
2. WE ARE NOW RIGHTEOUS. (Verse 2)
We have been made the children of God (past tense), and we are now the children of God (present tense). This is the area in which we do "righteousness". (Verse 29) We are some ...
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