Article written by Pastor Tan Kok Beng

11 December, 2022


The Apostle John writes, “Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is Righteous” (1 Jn 3:7 – NKJV). The NIV puts it this way: “Dear Children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as He is Righteous”. John then goes on to elaborate in verse 10: “This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor anyone who does not love their brother and sister” (NIV). Can anything be clearer than this? The Bible says that through Christ’s death we have been imputed the righteousness of God: “God made Him Who knew no sin to become sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor.5:21). This is the divine exchange: on the Cross Christ took our sins on Himself and then He imparts His Righteousness to us by His redemption, the forgiveness of sin (Col.1:14). Hence, we are to live and walk in righteousness, “just as He is Righteous”.

There is now no excuse for a “born again” Christian not to live righteously. That is because in Christ we have “become a new creation; old things are passed away and all things have become new” (2 Cor.5:17). This life transformation comes to us through the power of the Holy Spirit Who lives in us. The Apostle Peter confirms this: “His divine power (the Holy Spirit) has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him Who called us by glory and virtue” (2 Pet. 1:3 -NKJV). This divine power in the Holy Spirit enables us to live a godly life morally and spiritually. That is what Paul exhorted the believers: “Therefore, be imitators of God as dear children” (Eph.5:1). We are to be righteous “just as He is Righteous”. We are to be “Like Father, like son”.

The Apostle Peter elaborates on what this godly living means: “As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance (of Christ). But just as He Who called you is Holy, so be holy in all you do. For it is written, “Be holy, for I Am Holy” (1 Pet.1:14-16). We do not go back to our old sinful ways any more, as “old things are passed away and all things have become new”. Instead, we are to be holy in our conduct – “be holy in all you do”. The reason is that we have a holy calling. We are to be holy just like “God is Holy”, and be righteous “just as He is Righteous”. May we desire to be like Jesus! Amen!

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