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1 John 3:9, God's Child Cannot Sin???
1 John 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. [KJV] Whosoever is born of God (1 John 5:18) . . . is literally, "Everyone that is begotten of God" or born again into God’s family (John 1:12-13; Jn.3:3).
Commit = poieo; to make or do; abide, agree, band together, continue in, exercise, fulfil, transgress the law.
Commit here in 1 John 3:9 means repeatedly, continually, habitually. It does NOT mean that a TRUE child of God will not occasionally sin, but that they will NOT make a habit of sin . . . or a constant PRACTICE of sin. When we are born of God, we have a higher nature, and do NOT intentionally practice sin. To be begotten of God and to continue in sin, are complete opposites. IF a person continues on in sin . . . it is doubtful whether he/she is born of God.
His seed remaineth (1 Pet.1:23) . . . abideth in him. His seed . . . the living Word of God. The Holy Spirit in us assures us of a new life and the continual application of sanctification. That which abides in the heart of a TRUE Christian is not just the naked Word of God; not just the Gospel, or the Truth . . . it is instead the Holy Word made alive and effective by the working of the Holy Spirit. It is TRUE piety in the soul. This seems to imply two things:
- (1) the seed implanted in our soul abides there as a constant, necessary addition to our life, so anyone who is born of God CANNOT become a habitual sinner; and
- (2) that it will so continue to abide within that we will not fall away and perish. Piety and righteousness permanently abides in our soul, that he who is renewed can never become someone who practices sin again.
And he cannot sin . . . not just he will not sin, but he CANNOT sin! This does not mean that one who is renewed does not physical ability to do wrong, for every person has a free will . . . nor does it mean that anyone who is a TRUE Christian never sins. The truth is, we all sin, we all do wrong in God's eyes . . . in thought, word, or deed. Yes, even our thoughts can be sin, and we cannot hide them from God (Eze.11:5-b). My humble opinion is that anyone who is born of God CANNOT be habitual sinners. They CANNOT practice any sin in any way because the Holy Spirit convicts them. Anyone who is truly born of God will NEVER sin in such a way as to lose their salvation and be numbered with transgressors . . . they will NOT fall away and perish. TRUE Christians will NEVER fall from grace and perish. IF a person is truly saved, they are always saved!
Cannot here means morally unable, NOT physically impossible. Cannot here does NOT mean that the child of God has come to a place where he/she is unable to sin, but that we are morally restrained from sin by the seed (Word) within us, and by the Holy Spirit abiding within us (Rom.8:9). So . . . this means we cannot continue to PRACTICE sin as we did before we were born of God. Sin is ever active, but no longer reigns. The normal direction of the TRUE believer is against sin; the law of God in the inner man is the standard of his true self . . . even though the old nature, not yet fully deadened, rebels and sins.
“No one who is born of God will continue to sin” means that TRUE believers do not make a practice of sinning, nor do they become indifferent to God’s moral law. All believers will still sin, but they are constantly working to gain victory over their sin. “His seed remains in him” means that TRUE believers do not make a practice of sinning because God’s new life has been born into them, and that they have the very Presence of God within them in the form of the Holy Spirit. We are “born of God” when the Holy Spirit lives in us and gives us Jesus’ new life. Being born again is much more than a fresh start; it is a rebirth! A rebirth into the spiritual family of God, receiving a new family based on Christ’s death for us. When we are born again, God forgives us and totally accepts us, because we believe Him and accept His only Way to eternal life . . . JESUS! (John 14:6; Acts 4:12). The Holy Spirit gives us new minds and hearts, He lives in us, and helps us to become more like Christ every day. Our attitude changes also because we have a mind that is renewed day by day by the Holy Spirit (Rom.12:2; Eph.4:22-24). We think and act differently than when we were children of the devil (1 John 3:10).
Because he is born of God . . . or begotten of God. IF and when that God gives eternal life to a person, and makes that person a child of God (1 John 3:10), they have a new birth . . . they are born again (John 1:12-13; Jn.3:3) . . . that new life is PERMANENT! Once God gives a person His Holy Spirit, that awesome Presence remains for ever (John 14:16). This real, spiritual life will NEVER become extinct.
Passages mentioned above.
Ezekiel 11:5-b . . . . . for I know the things that come into your mind, every one of them. (KJV)
John 1:12-13 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:  Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. [KJV]
See John 3:1-21 for more on being born again.
John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.(KJV)
1 John 5:18 We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not. (KJV)
1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. (KJV)
Romans 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. (KJV)
Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (KJV)
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (KJV)
Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (KJV)
Eph.4:22-24 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;  And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;  And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. (KJV)
1 John 3:10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. (KJV)
John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; (KJV)
1 John 3:9 speaks of the Holy Spirit's work of sanctification in TRUE believers. Below are more verses that tell us of sanctification.
Sanctification involves more than just a moral reformation of character, brought about by the power of the Truth. It is the work of the Holy Spirit bringing a whole nature that is more and more under the influence of the new beliefs implanted in our soul when we are regenerated. Sanctification first sets us apart for God and His service. Then it continues as the Holy Spirit carries on His work to make us more like Jesus. (Rom. 6:13; 1 Cor.6:19; 2 Cor.4:6; Col.3:10; 1 John 4:7).
It is the special job of the Holy Spirit in the plan of redemption to carry on this work (1 Cor.6:11; 2 Thes.2:13). Our faith and God's grace (Eph. 2:8-9) is what secures our sanctification. #1 These secure our union to Christ, binding us to Him (Gal.2:20), and #2 brings the believer into living contact with the Truth, whereby we are willingly led to want to obey God (Phil.2:13). We actually tremble at the threatenings in God's Word, and we embrace His Promises for this life and that which is to come (Ps.73:24; John 5:24; 14:2-3; 1 Pet.1:4). These awesome Promises CANNOT be matched by anything that the world offers!
Perfect sanctification CANNOT be attained in this life on Earth (1 K.8:46; Pro.20:9; Ecc.7:20; Jam.3:2; 1 John 1:8). NONE of the righteous men in the Bible attained it . . . NOT Moses (Ps.90:8) . . . NOT David (Ps.19:12; Psalm 51) . . . NOT Job (Job 42:5-6) . . . NOT Daniel (Dan.9:3-20) . . . NOT the apostle Paul (Rom.7:14-25; Phil.3:12-14; 1 Tim.1:15). If they couldn't achieve it in this life, we certainly can't either!
The more godly and righteous a person is, the more humble, self-renouncing, self-abhorring they are . . . and they are extremely sensitive to every sin, and the more closely they cling to Jesus! All moral imperfections seem to be sins, and they lament and strive desperately to overcome them. TRUE believers find that their life is a constant warfare. They are always open to the constant chastisement of their heavenly Father's loving Hand, as he corrects their imperfections. The best Christians are those who NEVER claim the attainment of perfection for themselves.
John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. (KJV) We are sanctified by the Holy Word of God.
John 17:19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. (KJV) The word sanctify here refers to Jesus being set apart for the work of redemption. He consecrated Himself exclusively to the service of God . . . for us, because He wants us sanctified . . . both set apart for God and achieving holiness through Him.
1 Cor. 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: (KJV) Only JESUS can give us these unequaled blessings.
Ephesians 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, (KJV) Believers are sanctified and cleansed by the Holy Word of God.
1 Thes. 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (KJV)
2 Thes. 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: (KJV) The Holy Spirit continues His work of sanctification within believers after we believe the Truth.
Hebrews 13:12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. (KJV) It all begins with JESUS!
1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: (KJV) Please don't ever be ashamed of JESUS! Tell people what He means to you and what he has done for you.
Difficult or Confusing Bible Verses
1 Cor.3:13-15, What Motivates Us?
1 Cor.chapter 5, Should the Church Judge?
1 John 3:9, God's Child Cannot Sin . . . ???
1 John 5:4-5, Overcoming By Faith
1 John 5:16 . . . A Sin Unto Death???
1 John 5:18-20, Those Born of God Sinneth Not
1 Thes.5:23, Man's Trinity
2 Cor.2:14-17, Savour of Death, Savour of Life?
2 Thes.2:10-12, Those Left Behind
Col.3:12-17, How Believers Are To Live
Daniel 7:13-14, Christ in His Glory
Daniel 9:24-27, Daniel's 70 Weeks
Ecclesiastes 9:5-10, NO Soul Sleep
Genesis 3:15, Seed of the Woman
Genesis 6:1-2, Sons of God
Hebrews 6:4-9, Can a TRUE Christian Fall from Grace?
Hebrews 10:26, Do NOT Reject Christ!
Isaiah 53:4-5, By His Stripes We Are Healed!
John 6:47-58, Eating the Flesh and Blood of Jesus
John 15:1-6, Unfruitful Branches Burned?
Mark 3:28-29, The Unpardonable Sin?
Matthew Chapter 13, Mystery Parables of Jesus
Matthew 16:19, Keys to Kingdom of Heaven
Matthew 5:48, Being Perfect?
Matthew 7:21-23, Not Every One Goes to Heaven
Matthew 7:6, Cast Not Your Pearls before Swine!
* * * * Matthew 22:36-40, Believers' TWO Commandments * * * *
Matthew 23:13-30, Woes of Hypocrites