May 11, 2019 ● 19-27
1 John 2:29: If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone also who practices righteousness is born of Him.
1 John 3:4: everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness
1 John 3:7: Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as he is righteous.
1 John 3:8: the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.
1 John 3:9: No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
Last year, in Blog Post 18-8, I asked the following question:
“Is our relationship with Jesus Christ, our faith, something we “practice” or something we live?” And the answer is, “yes!” I went on to write, ‘Faith and life cannot be separated; the practice of our faith is life itself.’
Reading 1 John 2 & 3, we get a clear picture of the stark difference between the saved person (child of God) and the lost person (“of the devil”). The important word that separates the two is the word, “practices.”
Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon defines the word, ‘practice’ as, “to perform something worthy of a Christian.” To ‘practice’ is to do or to live. In other words, to practice righteousness, or right living, means to live a life that honors God. To ‘practice’ sin means to live a life that is characterized by sin.
1 JOHN 3:10: By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.
Practicing righteousness is not simply trying to live a good life, being a moral person, helping others out, being generous, and so on. Practicing righteousness is living a life that was modeled by Jesus, and the only way that can be done is through and by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. This is what it means to live the spirit-led life. Paul wrote about this matter of practicing righteousness this way:
GAL 5:16: walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.
GAL 5:25: if we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit
The bottom line for John, and indeed for us as Christians today, is simple:
If you have been saved by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, then live like it. This “practicing” is why discipleship is so important, learning how to live the life of the Christian. While we still have a sin nature, the whole point is to make sure sin does not dominate our lives. Earlier in 1 John 1, the apostle wrote that if we say we have no sin we are deceiving ourselves (1 John 1:8) and if we say we have never sinned we make God out to be a liar (1 John 1:10).
From the moment God saves us He begins to work in one area at a time in our lives. As each area of our lives is brought into conformity with His will, God continues to work on other areas as we live the lessons we have learned. As we walk with the Lord, He builds us up in the power of the Holy Spirit (1 Pet. 2:4-5).
I want to encourage you to allow God’s Word to equip you in understanding how important it is to, “practice righteousness.” Use the following verses of Scripture to help you as you grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ:
Deut. 6 / Psalm 119 / Matt. 5:48; 7:24-27 / Eph. 5:1-4 / Phil. 4:8-9 / Col. 3:12-17 / 1 Peter 1:13-16