"Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous" 1 John 3:7
What comes to mind when you think of the word "righteous?" Think of integrity, virtue, purity of life, rightness and correctness of thinking, feeling and acting. The apostle John, in his penning of this epistle, was addressing a scourge and a threat to the young Christian faith called Gnosticism. This system was a belief that involved among other things, the thought that pure knowledge was the key to salvation and that only things of the spirit mattered while things of the flesh did not. This, in turn, gave them license to behave in any fleshly way they chose because it did not affect their protected spiritual side. Of course a fuller treatment of Gnosticism exceeds the scope of this writing but suffice it to say that they viewed righteousness as separate and apart from the things they actually did.
Beloved, scripture is replete with exhortations for us to "walk in the light," "accomplish what is good," "put to death the misdeeds of the body," "season your words" and the like. There should be no confusion by anyone that God has expectations of us that involve behaving in a righteous manner in word, thought and deed. In fact, we are commanded to be holy because He is holy. We are without excuse when it comes to conducting ourselves in any other way. Further, seeking other interpretations, understandings or even religions that are counter to this teaching only gives place to that which God has prohibited.
Conversely, righteous thinking, speaking, acting and believing is in fact righteousness. In so doing, we gain the approval of God and participate in His righteousness. This is a far better plan than trying to live unrighteously and calling it righteousness. Let us pursue what the Lord says.
Loving Like Jesus,