“If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who does right has been born of him.” (Reference: 1 John 2:29 )
The first thing I noticed is that this scripture excerpt is much shorter than yesterdays. Means I may not have to write as much. The second thing I noticed is that the verse seems kind of obscure. That means I might have write a lot in order to explain it to my satisfaction. Just saying . . .
Ah! It helps to understand who “he” and “him” is. The editors of the book say “Righteousness before God depends on rebirth by God’s power; but rebirth will be made visible in righteousness” It would be nice just to end it there, with one reflecting back on the other; being righteous according to God means you have to be reborn through God, and this rebirth will be evident because you are righteous according to God’s standards.
So, maybe we can stop there. But let’s just see what sort of commentary the historic Anabaptists had on this theme. Dirk Philips is cited again, from his work “The New Birth and the New Creation.” The following is excerpted from that work:
“New creatures in Christ Jesus are those who are born again out of God the heavenly Father through Christ Jesus and are renewed and sanctified through the Holy Spirit, who have become participants of the divine nature, of the being of Jesus Christ, and of the character of the Holy Spirit . . . In summary, these are righteous and do righteousness just as God out of whom they are born is righteous; these are minded like Christ Jesus and are motivated by the Holy Spirit, 1 John 2:29; Phil. 2:5; Rom. 8:14. Where this takes place, there one sees the kingdom of God, John 3:3; there one comes into the kingdom of heaven; there is a new creature in Christ Jesus, Gal. 6:15.”
This actually the last scripture passage under the theme of “Rebirth” and this does a good job of summing up the idea of rebirth through God and what it should mean in a person’s life. Note that I did not say historic Anabaptist, or modern Anabaptist/Mennonite. Any Christian who calls themselves a Christian would have undergone rebirth and would show the inward and outward signs of rebirth. Historic Anabaptists may have made a big deal about it, but it should be a life-changing event in every Christian’s life. May it be, beloved, that it was part of yours. Selah!