“Since we know that Christ is righteous, we also know that all who do what is right are God’s children.”1 John 2:29
Being righteous is not merely a state of being. It’s a descriptive state. It describes one who is actively in sync with the character of God in real space and real-time. Many Christians have fallen into the trap of thinking that righteousness is something to be attained. It is not. Righteousness is attributed depending on how one maintains their godly characteristics. When we are attributed righteousness, it is because of Christ’s righteousness and not ours. As finite creatures, this will always be true no matter how much in line with God’s character we become through the process of sanctification. As John wrote these words, there were some who argued that righteousness was attained by gaining the knowledge of it. This is not unlike the eastern practice of seeking to become one with the universe to find inner peace and nirvana. But all this mentality created was those who thought they were better than others. Christ didn’t live or teach this. Righteousness is active obedience to his example and thoughts. Anything more or less, ironically, breeds a type of toxic Christianity that is often seen in modern churches. We must strive to discipline our holistic selves. Righteousness is attributed and maintained. It isn’t gained through self-reflection.
This post first appeared at JoshMcGary.com