1 John 3:7
Little children, let no man deceive you: he that does righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.
I. WHAT WE ARE TO UNDERSTAND BY THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF JESUS CHRIST.
1. He was preeminently righteous in His moral sentiments. His mind was entirely free from pollution, and no unrighteous or unholy affection ever harboured there. He had the law of God in His heart, and it was His meal and His drink to do the will of His heavenly Father. By the original constitution of His nature, and the plenary inspiration of the Spirit, He was holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners. His love to God was intense, rational, and pure, and His benevolence to man was without the slightest ingredient that could sully the purity and heavenliness of His motives.
2. He was righteous, not only in His moral sentiments, but also preeminently righteous as it regarded His moral actions. From the perfection of His knowledge He knew intuitively both what was good and what was evil; but His heart never consented to what was evil, and His will led him invariably to choose the good and reject the evil. He endured a severer series of temptation than any other human being that ever appeared in the world. He had no other motive to direct His moral conduct but the glory of God, and the desire of advantage to the bodies and the souls of men. The only ambition by which He was actuated was the noble, the generous, the Godlike ambition of doing good.
II. WE CAN ONLY LAY CLAIM TO THAT DESIGNATION IN SO FAR AS OUR SENTIMENTS AND ACTIONS CORRESPOND WITH HIS. In one very important respect there is certainly a vast difference between even the holiest of men and our Lord Jesus Christ. From the native rectitude of His will He could do nothing that was evil; but, alas! we are naturally prone to evil; and how, then, it may be asked, can we be righteous, even as He was righteous? But we ought ever to recollect theft this is not a natural, but a moral inability; it is not so much the want of power as the want of inclination, and this will never excuse us before the tribunal of Almighty God. We know what is good, and what the Lord requires of us; but we too often voluntarily follow after, and do that which is evil.
Parallel VersesKJV: Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.