If you know that he is righteous, you know that everyone who does what is right has been born of him. 1 John 2:29 (NIV)
John’s point is simple: some likeness of a father and mother is seen in the life of a child. “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” So what would it look like to be born of God?
John says, “If you know that God is righteous, it will be obvious to you that everyone who does what is right has been born of God!”
What does that mean? John says, “If we claim to be without sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1:8). John is not saying that everything Christians do is right. He’s saying that a true Christian hungers and thirsts after righteousness, pursues righteousness, and, by the grace of God, makes progress in doing what is right.
Righteousness does not begin with a personal system of values. It begins with God…“If you know that he is righteous.” You’ll allow him to tell you and show you what is right. How? Through what God has said in his Word he teaches, rebukes, corrects, and trains us in righteousness (2 Tim. 3:16). If you are born of the God who is righteous, you will do what is right, and you will learn what is right as you place your life under the authority of God’s Word.
John does not say, “If you do what is right, you will be born of God.” He says, “If you are born of God, you will do what is right.” If the life of the God who is righteous is in you, then it will become evident in your pursuing what is right.
Are you pursuing and making progress in doing what is right?