“Since you know that Christ is righteous, you should understand that everyone who lives that way is child of God” (1 John 2:29).
When we read in the New Testament that Christ is righteous, we should understand that he always does the right thing. People tend to think of righteousness as a personal quality rather than how it expresses itself in the moral choices of life. A righteous act is one in which a person chooses to do the right thing rather than the wrong thing. It describes what people does, not what they are. I am stressing this because I believe the Bible teaches that righteous people are recognized as such because they do right things, not because they have a lofty and cultured sense of bearing. How do we know if a person is righteous? The best way is to watch their acts over a period of time. How do they treat others? Are they quick to do what is right. In my book, Jesus, as Mentor I discussed the things that Jesus did as he passed through life rather than dwelling on what he taught. Since he lived among us as a man and was “tempted in every way, just as we are” (Heb. 4:15), we can watch him as a mentor and we will begin to act more like him. In time people will see Jesus in us in the same way that a boy begins to “look” like his father when time is spent together and life is shared at a deeper level. There seems to be two levels in life: what we think about and what we do. They are not are unrelated, in fact, the first finds expression in the second. Both levels need instruction from without. The secular mind draws on the world around it to determine how best to think and live. The spiritual mind (that is, the mind in which the Spirit dwells) is aware of the world in which it exists but belongs to eternity. The believer has been ”born again” into a spiritual world for which the present world is only preparatory. To put it in biblical language, we are “sojourners” from our real home in heaven, God is our Father, Christ is our brother and we are waiting to go home. According to John, the result of belonging to God is that we are to be recognized by the way we live – we make correct moral decisions and our life is characterized by good acts. That is how the world knows that we are children of the One who is “righteous” (read “always does the right thing”).