Read - 1 John 2:29
Message - Alan Burke
As John continues to encourage us, he seeks to give us assurance that we can be confident and unashamed before Jesus, the righteous one that John speaks of here is Jesus in verse 29 and the reason that he gives for assurance is that we know that everyone who does what is righteous has been born of him. Looking around there we see people who have no claim to faith who do things that we would applaud them for, those whom we see in the street who pick up that piece of litter that someone else has dropped, the neighbour who has called in with Mrs so and so ever since the pandemic came, making her a dinner every night, those on the front line of the pandemic, the NHS staff who have continued to do their jobs even though they place themselves at a higher risk, then there are the firefighters who willingly put their lives on the line to run into the building that’s on fire to save someones life, while there are many others who do things quietly for others not looking for praise, and many who morally upright who put us to shame.
John does not mean that those who are morally upright in their actions, who have civil righteousness is a child of God, for we know that is not the case, there are many who are morally upright who do not profess faith. John has already made it clear that we must acknowledge (2:23), confess to be true, bear witness, make a public acknowledgement of ones allegiance, in Jesus Christ the Son of God, that we are to declare it as what one believes, for being a Christian is dependant on believing in Jesus and loving one another (3:23). Salvation is not dependant on our works, not on what we do but they are the visible result of what has happened within us. Whereas those who do what we would call civil righteousness are not united with Jesus by faith as branches are joined to a vine (John 15). It is only by this union that we can bear fruit, and if we are in union with him we cannot help but bear fruit.
Personal righteousness assures us of our salvation because it shows we reflect the character of God our Father. The “him” in verse 29 refers primarily to the Father, and it is only those who practice righteousness who have been born of God. Just as children in earthly families resemble their parents, so too will there be resemblance between the Father and His children in the heavenly family. When we come to know him, as we abide in him, we become living fruitful branches, we are enabled to do good works. Because we know we have a secure place in heaven, we need not be overly anxious about making a wrong step and losing our citizenship. Instead, we serve Him boldly, knowing that He is our Advocate when we fail. John has are lady told us of this truth, look back to verse one of chapter two, but if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defence, Jesus Christ the righteous one. We have an advocate, Jesus Christ who pleads on our behalf, he stands before the Father pleading our case and the case is grounded in the work that he has done to secure a favourable verdict (Rom 8:1-4). So this day and every day, let us abide in him, knowing that when Jesus appears that we have confidence and will be unashamed at his coming for he has done it all on our behalf!
Q25 How doth Christ execute the office of a priest?
Christ executeth the office of a priest, in his once offering up of himself a sacrifice to satisfy divine justice, (Heb. 9:14,28) and reconcile us to God; (Heb. 2:17) and in making continual intercession for us. (Heb. 7:24–25)