|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:24-29 The truth of Christ, abiding in us, is a means to sever from sin, and unites us to the Son of God, Joh 15:3,4. What value should we put upon gospel truth! Thereby the promise of eternal life is made sure. The promise God makes, is suitable to his own greatness, power, and goodness; it is eternal life. The Spirit of truth will not lie; and he teaches all things in the present dispensation, all things necessary to our knowledge of God in Christ, and their glory in the gospel. The apostle repeats the kind words, little children; which denotes his affection. He would persuade by love. Gospel privileges oblige to gospel duties; and those anointed by the Lord Jesus abide with him. The new spiritual nature is from the Lord Christ. He that is constant to the practice of religion in trying times, shows that he is born from above, from the Lord Christ. Then, let us beware of holding the truth in unrighteousness, remembering that those only are born of God, who bear his holy image, and walk in his most righteous ways.
Verse 29. - This verse forms a bridge between the two main divisions of the Epistle. The coming of Christ suggests the righteousness of Christ; for it is as the righteous Judge that he is coming, and those who would not be ashamed to meet him at his coming must be righteous also. Once more (verse 27) we are in doubt between indicative and imperative: γινώσκετε, in spite of the preceding μένετε and following ἴδετε, is probably indicative. To know that God (not Christ; comp. 1 John 1:9; John 17:25) is righteous is to perceive that every doer of his τήν righteousness is a son of God (not of Christ; we are nowhere in Scripture said to be born of Christ). To partake of that righteousness which is God's nature is proof of birth from him. With ποιεῖν τὴν δικαιοσύνην, compare ποιεῖν τὴν ἀληθείαν (1 John 1:6; John 3:21). Righteousness must be shown in conduct; mere desire to be righteous will not suffice. And the conduct must be habitual ὁ ποιῶν not ὁ ποιήσας; a single act of righteousness will not suffice. Note the change from εἰδῆτε to γινώσκετε. To know (intuitively) that God is righteous is to come to know (by experience) that whoever habitually acts righteously is God's offspring.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
If ye know that he is righteous,.... That is, Christ, who is righteous as God in his nature and in his works; and as man in his obedience, life, and conversation; and as Mediator, in faithfully discharging the work he undertook; and is the author of an everlasting righteousness, which is imputed by God, revealed in the Gospel, and received by faith; all which they knew, for this is not said as doubting, but rather as taking it for granted that they did know it; "if", or "seeing ye know", &c. then it follows;
ye know, or "know ye"; ye may assure yourselves,
that everyone that doeth righteousness; not merely works of righteousness, especially in order to justify him before God; for such an one is so far from being born of God, or born again, that he is manifestly in a state of nature, and of opposition to, and enmity against God; he is not subject to him, he does not submit to the righteousness of God, but goes about to establish his own and betrays his ignorance and want grace; but it intends such an one who with the heart believes unto righteousness, and lays hold by faith, and lives upon the righteousness of Christ for justification; and who performs, good, works in faith, and from a principle of love, not to obtain a justifying righteousness, but because he is justified by the righteousness of Christ: and: such an one
is born of him; either of God, or rather, of Christ; being regenerated by his Spirit, having his, grace implanted in him, as appears by his faith in his righteousness and by his works of righteousness, as fruits of faith; and having his image stamped on him, and he himself formed in him, and so made like unto him; by all which it is evident he is one of his spiritual seed and offspring. The Syriac version reads, "is of him"; belongs to him, is one of his; and this makes way for what is said of adoption in the following chapter and which should begin here.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
29. The heading of the second division of the Epistle: "God is righteous; therefore, every one that doeth righteousness is born of Him." Love is the grand feature and principle of "righteousness" selected for discussion, 1Jo 2:29-3:3.
If ye know … ye know—distinct Greek verbs: "if ye are aware (are in possession of the knowledge) … ye discern or apprehend also that," &c. Ye are already aware that God ("He" includes both "the Father," of whom the believer is born (end of this verse, and 1Jo 3:1), and "the Son," 1Jo 2:1, 23) is righteous, ye must necessarily, thereby, perceive also the consequence of that truth, namely, "that everyone that doeth righteousness (and he alone; literally, the righteousness such as the righteous God approves) is born of Him." The righteous produceth the righteous. We are never said to be born again of Christ, but of God, with whom Christ is one. Hollaz in Alford defines the righteousness of God, "It is the divine energy by whose power God wills and does all things which are conformable to His eternal law, prescribes suitable laws to His creatures, fulfils His promises to men, rewards the good, and punishes the ungodly."
doeth—"For the graces (virtues) are practical, and have their being in being produced (in being exercised); for when they have ceased to act, or are only about to act, they have not even being" [OCUMENIUS]. "God is righteous, and therefore the source of righteousness; when then a man doeth righteousness, we know that the source of his righteousness is God, that consequently he has acquired by new birth from God that righteousness which he had not by nature. We argue from his doing righteousness, to his being born of God. The error of Pelagians is to conclude that doing righteousness is a condition of becoming a child of God" [Alford most truly]. Compare Lu 7:47, 50: Her much love evinced that her sins were already forgiven; not, were the condition of her sins being forgiven.
1 John 2:29 Parallel Commentaries
1 John 2:29 NIV
1 John 2:29 NLT
1 John 2:29 ESV
1 John 2:29 NASB
1 John 2:29 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible