The thread of the argument continues with a warning against being deceived by any false teacher who might try to insinuate himself into the church’s confidence.  From the very beginning, Christ’s assemblies have been assaulted by ungodly men, who with great subtlety attempt to turn the grace of our God into lasciviousness.  Such wolves in sheep’s clothing are always prowling about, and the ministers of Christ must forever be vigilant in their watchtowers.  They must relentlessly uphold the doctrine that the faith of Christ leads to an outworking of practical righteousness.  It is, in fact, the proof that the righteous man has attained to saving righteousness by the faith of Jesus Christ.  This seems to be the meaning of John in verse 7.  He certainly cannot be arguing that true Christians live up to a standard of impeccable righteousness, just as Jesus did when He lived upon the earth.  This perfectionist heresy John exploded back at the very beginning of his epistle.  Therefore, it seems to me that he is saying that the man who serves Christ, walking after the Spirit in a course of righteousness, gives evidence that he is a new creature in Christ.  And it is this man, and this only, who has the saving righteousness, which is imputed to all who trust in Christ as their Redeemer.  The righteousness of God is unto all and upon all them that believe, and it is this righteousness alone which gives us a title to heaven.  In this sense, we are righteous even as Christ is righteous.  And such persons who are righteous by imputation, will also hunger and thirst after a personal righteousness, which is the good fruit produced by the Spirit of God in those He has called into the kingdom of heaven.

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