2 difficult verses in the book of "1John" are: 1John 3:9 and 5: 16 (17)
1. John 3:9 (click verse link or scroll down to view explanation)
"Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin . . ."
2. 1John 5: 16-17 (Coming soon)
"If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death . .."
What Does 1John 3:9 Mean?
"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."
The key to understanding this verse is found in the next verse in which John contrasts the nature of the children of God with the nature of the children of the devil. We read,
1Jo 3:10 In this [born of God] 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.
The children of the devil operating out of a corrupt nature are incapable of the love and righteousness of God. In contrast, the children of God are born again of the seed of Christ, a nature that is pure and of a holy God. We do possess the righteousness and love of God.
As believers in Christ we have God's Holy Spirit (Christ) within us, and we are indwelt with the love of God, being delivered from the power of sin, Satan and his kingdom of darkness. We have been regenerated with a new nature, one that is incompatible with the hate or nature of the devil in a contrast of light versus darkness. God's seed remains in us and this is what is meant by "he cannot sin" because "he is born of God." There is nothing that we can do to corrupt that seed or the new nature that is placed within us, even though we can still sin in the flesh.
1Pe 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
Christ's seed within us is not perishable nor corruptible; it is immortal!
1Jo 3:5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.
When we abide in Christ we cannot sin because there is no sin in Him and there is nothing that we can do to change or corrupt that nature that God has given to us. The Apostle John is demonstrating the sharp contrast between the children of God and the children of the devil. He exhorts the church to walk in God's love, and as it states in verse 3, "And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure." Christ dwells in the believer and likewise the believer is exhorted to also dwell in Him, for this is our true and God-given nature in which we were sealed.
1Jo 3:7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he [Christ] is righteous.
This section of Scripture in 1 John 3:9 is not saying that a Christian is incapable of committing sin, for any Christian can commit sin. If a Christian cannot sin then there would be no need to seek forgiveness, in contrast we are clearly instructed in God's Word that,
1Jo 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
We still struggle with the weaknesses and the lusts of the flesh, but by the regeneration of the Holy Spirit we are now sons of God and new creatures in Christ. Unlike the unregenerate soul, we have the conviction and power of the Holy Spirit (Spirit of Truth) to assist us in our struggle with sin and the carnal nature and a conscience to guide us; however the unbeliever is not illuminated in this fashion. A good example of regeneration is found in its relation to biology described as "Regrowth of lost or destroyed parts or organs." As Christians, we are delivered from the condemnation of the fallen nature or a life of perpetual darkness and corruption, instead we are restored to life and have become partakers of the divine nature of God. This new nature remains eternally present with us!
Regarding sin Paul tells us,
Rom 6:2 . . .How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
The unregenerate souls of those who exhibit the hate of their father, the devil, have no eternal life abiding in them. They have never seen or known the Lord.
The characteristics of the devil are hate and murder void of any love or justice that is found in the nature of God, for God is light.
1Jo 3:15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
From a primary word (hatred); to detest (especially to persecute); by extension to love less: - hate (-ful).
John's exhortation to the believer is:
1Jo 3:18 - 24
My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.
The life of Christ within is confirmed in our fellowship with Him, and even if our own hearts condemn us, God is greater than our hearts.
We encounter the hate of the devil operating in his seed in our spiritual warfare; a warfare that takes place between light and darkness and love and hate. We are the children of light in the world, in which the Spirit of God is uniquely expressed in each and everyone of us as we abide in Him.
Also see - Abiding in the True Vine
July 16, 2010
What Does 1John 5: 16-17 Mean?
"If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life (zoe) for them that sin not unto death."
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