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Thread: Whoever has been born of God does not sin

  1. #1
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    Whoever has been born of God does not sin

    1 John 3
    9 Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.


    Key words, 'does not sin' and 'cannot sin'...explain. Thanks. I have already had a hard time understanding this one.

    God bless
    "People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; We drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; We drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated?" - D A Carson

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    Hi Moonglow.

    In the Greek, we're looking at a present continuous tense... whoever is born of God does not keep on persistently sinning.

    Greek tenses are more sophisticated than English tenses... what John is saying is that someone who keeps on sinning, doesn't try to stop, someone who is in active indolent, self indulgent sin... he is the liar.

    Someone who struggles with sin and has occasional lapses is not in the same catagory as above.
    Please could everyone pray for Mieke and Charles.

    My testimony http://bibleforums.org/forum/showthr...ight=testimony

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    Quote Originally Posted by moonglow View Post
    1 John 3
    9 Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.

    Key words, 'does not sin' and 'cannot sin'...explain. Thanks. I have already had a hard time understanding this one.

    God bless
    Look at the context,

    1 John 3:1-10 ( KJV ) 1Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 2Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 3And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

    4Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. 5And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. 6Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. 7Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. 8He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 9Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 10In 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.
    John says that every man that has this hope (Christ) in him, purifies himself, as Christ is pure. Then he says those who commit sin transgress the law. He ends the passage by saying, whoever doeth not righteousness is not of God. The context of the passage is that the man who will follow Christ will keep himself from sin. When John says he does not sin, he means this man chooses not to sin, and when He say he cannot sin, he means he cannot (is not allowed) to sin because Christ is in him. If this man sins then Christ will not remain. That is why he says whoever doeth not righteousness is not of God.

  4. #4
    God's a bit bigger than our minds can fully latch onto!

    The use of paradoxical and categorical (extreme)
    statements in the Bible, and in I John


    For that reason, among others, God's word to us is also a bit bigger than we can fully appreciate. One result is that often there are double-edged, or multi-sided truths which can't be expressed without using a kind of paradox, or not without antinomies. ("Antinomy" means a situation where truths in tension, or apparantly opposed truths, work together to make a whole true picture.)
    Thus Prov. 26:4 says "Don't answer a fool according to his folly" ("lest you become like him!" But the next verse says the very opposite: "Answer a fool according to his folly" ("lest he become wise in his own conceits!" -- a phrase which means something like "content with, or proud of, his own stupidity."

    Right here in I John, similarly, I John 2:7 says "I don't write a new commandment to you" (but instead "the old commandment ... which you have heard from the beginning.") But the next verse, I John 2:8 says the very opposite: "I am writing a new commandment to you" (because now it is true in a new and revitalized way: "true in Him and in you -- since the darkness is past and the true light is now shining."
    Since John's epistle sometimes uses this kind of paradoxical style, it may be that the solution to your puzzle lies not in the exact construction in the verse you cite, but in the construction of balanced truths in the whole of John's letter.

    Us and our sinfulness in John's Epistle

    The opening verses of John's Epistle (I John 1:1-2:2)


    I think it helps to start a little earlier, in I John 1 and 2.

    There John writes these remarkable verses:
    Quote Originally Posted by I John 1:5-2:2
    This is the message which we received from Him and proclaim to you:
    that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all!

    If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness,
    .....we lie and do not live according to the truth;
    but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light,
    .....we have fellowship with one another,
    .....and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

    If we say we have no sin,
    .....we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
    If we confess our sins,
    .....he is faithful and just,
    .....and will forgive our sins
    .....and wash away all our unrighteousness.

    If we say we have not sinned,
    .....we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
    ..........(My little children, I am writing this to you
    ..........so that you may not sin)
    but if any one does sin,
    .....we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;
    .....and he is the propitiation for our sins,
    .....and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
    John's concern here is twofold. He sees sin as absolutely destructive and wrong, but he also understands that the basic message is that Jesus has come to take away our sins. Definitely Jesus washing away our sins means getting rid of our sins in the sense of stopping us from sinning, as well as in the sense of atoning for us to God. So John is concerned to deny the hypocrisy of those who think they are completely free from sin. Yet at the same time, as part of the very same motion and process, John says, God is taking away our sin, both forensically (bearing our guilt, and forgiving us for Christ's sake) and practically, in our lives, setting us free from sin and challenging us to stop sinning.

    Of course this is just exactly what Jesus did during his ministry on earth! John started off his letter by emphasizing that he was an intimate witness who lived close with Jesus (who is the eternal word) during His earthly ministry: "That which was from the beginning, we ourselves have heard -- seen with our eyes, looked upon and even touched with our hands -- the word of life, the life which was plainly shown, and we saw it, and testify to it" (I John 1:1-2). John saw Jesus both tell people not to sin -- to strictly adhere to a high standard of righteousness, beyond even what the Pharisees taught -- and yet also welcome sinners warmly, help them not keep sinning, but also realize that they, the disciples, would continue to make mistakes, and must forgive again and again, as God would be forgiving them again and again.

    It's all of this that is summed up, I think, when John says that "the message which we heard from" Jesus and now proclaim was that "God is light -- and in Him is no darkness at all." (The Psalms (139:11-12) say "If I say the darkness will cover me and the light around me turn to night, behold darkness is not dark, Lord, to you: to you the night and the day are both alike.") When people came to Jesus with the darkness in them, He dispelled that darkness. Thus His light constantly overcame the darkness, and was not pulled into more darkness. And this is the way it is with us coming to God also. God's light, God's healing, God's power, God's righteousness is for us.

    Again as the Psalms (25:8) say "Good and upright is the Lord: therefore He will teach sinners in the way!" More fully,
    Quote Originally Posted by Ps. 25:4-12
    4 Show me thy ways, O LORD;
    ..........teach me thy paths.
    5 Lead me in thy truth, and teach me:
    ..........for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.
    6 Remember, O LORD, thy tender mercies and thy lovingkindnesses;
    ..........for they have been ever of old.
    7 Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions:
    ..........according to thy mercy remember me for thy goodness' sake, O LORD.
    8 Good and upright is the LORD:
    ..........therefore will he teach sinners in the way.
    9 The meek will he guide in judgment:
    ..........and the meek will he teach his way.
    10 All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth
    ..........unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.
    11 For thy name's sake, O LORD, pardon mine iniquity;
    ..........for it is great.
    12 What man is he that fears the LORD?
    ..........him shall He teach in the way that he should choose.
    We see here that God pardons and heals from our sin, that God insists upon our being obedient to His ways and not sinning, and that we have to come to Him honestly and openly with our sins and faults, and keep coming.

    All that, IMO, is one of the chief teachings of I John, and the various parts of it cannot be separated: they are thoroughly intertwined.

    Thus the wonderful statement "God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all" is immediately explicated by a threefold repetition of the idea that (i) we are sinners, and must openly acknowledge that, to God and to ourselves and to others, (ii) that God's purpose is to bring us to righteousness, and stop us from being mired in sin, which will require our utmost effort, and (iii) that this is going to require our honestly coming to God for forgiveness and healing through the blood of Jesus.

    If we deny we are sinful (he says three times) we are in darkness and not truthful; but (he also keeps reiterating) if we come to Him acknowledging our sins we will find help and pardon. John's primary emphasis here is upon Who God is and what God does, and has so abundantly and amazingly done through Christ's blood poured out for us. Thus he emphasizes our need to acknowledge our sinfulness, and to come to God trusting in His forgiveness and healing. This forgiveness and healing is through Christ, and doesn't just refer in these verses judicial pardon (though of course that's a part of it): it means, as well, actual transformation of our lives. In both senses, "the blood of Jesus washes away our sins!" However, John does want to make sure, in emphasizing this, that we don't misinterpret this to mean that we can give up the ardent struggle to be pure and righteous, the struggle against sin. That we must seek to be righteous, to not sin, is implied in all that John has said, but it's so important that we not miss this, as a part (though not the center) of what he's saying that in his third repetition of the power of Christ coming to help us when we will be open about our problems John interrupts himself to emphasize that he is "writing this so that you will not sin"

    And indeed -- having emphasized (2:2) again the comforting message that if we do sin "we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, and He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but for the sins of the whole world" -- John immediately turns in the next section of the Epistle (2:3 ff) to a very strict message, calling us to a high standard of holiness. John here is emphasizing obedience to God's commands: "We know that we have come to know Him if we obey His commands" and (2:4-5) "The man who says I know Him, but does not do what he commands is a liar and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him." Whereas the verses 1:6-2:2 emphasize God's mercy and forgiveness to those who honestly come to Him acknowledging their sinfulness, and Christ's power to forgive us and wash us, these verses emphasize the need for strict obedience.

    We should not that this same combo can be found in Jesus's teaching -- in John's gospel and in the other gospels -- and indeed in the whole Bible (which is why I quoted at length from Ps. 25 to show the same two-edged dynamic at work there).

    These themes -- balancing our obedience and our hope in Christ --
    continued in I John 3:1-10 f.)


    What we have seen in I John 1:1-2:2 with the following passage in 2:3 ff., is developed again in later passages of John's letter such as 3:1-3, and then the following warnings of 3:4-10, and especially 3:7-9 which Julie (the OP) asks about.

    John writes
    See what love the Father has showed us
    that we should be called the children of God! And that is what we are! ...
    Beloved ones, although we are now the children of God,
    what we will be has not yet been made known. But we do know this:
    when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him as He is.
    Everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, as He is pure.
    Again, John's emphasis here is on the gospel, the good news, God's power at work, the mercy that has been shown to us. God by His merciful grace has called us "children of God." What God speaks always comes to pass. And so we indeed are children of God. Moreover, though, this is not the whole story. Although we are truly children of God (incomprehensible to the world, because we are Christ's, God's, and He is incomprehensible to the world -- verse 1b) yet our sonship and daughtership is not yet finished, completed, perfected. Rather "It does not yet appear what we shall be." But the outcome which God intends -- although not-yet fully realized -- is that we shall be changed into the likeness of Christ. This is an incredible, a staggering promise. (The more you start to know what a mess you are, the more staggering and incredible -- and the more gracious and wonderful -- it is!!) "When He appears, we shall be like Him, because we will see Him as He is!" It should again be noted, here, that the work is primarily God's! We aren't able to remake ourselves in Christ's likeness: God will have to do that. And in fact we are told that He will do that not mainly through extravagant moral effort and discipline on our part, but simply by our seeing Jesus fully. It will be as we see Him fully and clearly, and because of that, that we are transformed into His likeness. (It's about God and His transforming goodness, not about what virtuous little soldiers we are!! And we're not!)

    Then comes a pivotal sentence
    Whoever has this hope in Him purifies himself, as He is pure.
    What is meant by that sentence. In my view, that question is key to understanding all that John is writing in his letter, and to properly understanding what Julie asked, and to the dynamics of the first part of the letter which we have already looked at.

    John does go on at once to emphasize again the importance of obedience to God, and of living in His ways.
    Every one who commits sin is guilty of lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he appeared to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him sins; no one who sins has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. He who does right is righteous, as he is righteous. He who commits sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God commits sin; for God's nature abides in him, and he cannot sin because he is born of God. By this it may be seen who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not do right is not of God, nor he who does not love his brother.
    This includes the statement that this thread specifically asks about "No one born of God commits sin; for God's nature abides in him, and he cannot sin because he is born of God." or "Whoever is born of God does not commit sin; for His seed remains in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God." It's an urgent matter to John to make it clear that living in God, being a child of God, is not merely a matter of some verbal profession, but requires actually living as God requires us to live. To place faith in God, to trust in Christ, is not a matter of mere intellectual assent, but of placing our trust in Christ by living as He has commanded us to live.

    John's very strong emphasis upon this point probably reflects that fact (so scholars tell us) that false teachers (sometimes called "gnostic") were going around saying that it made no big difference whether one sinned or not because one sought salvation from God. On that weird view, also, the material world does not matter (and thus our sins in this world) don't matter, since all to do with God is spiritual. (Thus John's strong teaching, which follows, that helping the poor in concrete material ways is in a sense the test of whether our love is genuine or not!) For all these reasons, John is insisting that being born of God -- abiding in God and God abiding in us -- is not some abstract spiritual or mental act that's apart from concrete obedience. Rather "Whoso does what is right is righteous"; and if God's word, God's nature, God's seed of eternal life, the seed that makes us "born of God" abides in us, that precludes our sinning.

    However, in the context of the whole letter that cannot mean, I think, that those who are God's never sin. It does mean that we are struggling to live righteous, and that that struggle is part of our trust in Christ. It does not mean, though, that we are freed from all bad habits, or besetting sins, or persistent faults of character here and now at once. That is part, I think, of the distinction John makes between "now being children of God" and that we shall yet be something far beyond our current state as "children of God" -- namely made "like Jesus" as we fully apprehend who He is.

    Everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself as He is pure.

    This post in continued in the following post, because it has too many characters.

  5. #5
    (Continued from the preceding post because the reply became too long for the maximum number of characters.)

    Everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself as He is pure.

    What is meant by this statement, then: "Everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself as He is pure"?

    In my view, this verse unites both themes -- the importance of our obedience and the grace of Christ given us as we trust in Him -- in a way which, like the Epistle as a whole, nevertheless emphasizes God's grace and mercy.

    The most common way of reading this verse -- the way I started to read it years ago -- instead emphasize our effort. Everyone who wants to have a store of savings has to put money into a savings account regularly. Everyone who want to get in better physical shape needs to work out in one way or another. Everyone who hopes to get a good grade in his courses had better study. It's easy to understand I John 3:3 in just this way. "Everyone who has this hope (that when Christ appears we will be made like Him) purifies himself ...." If you want to be part of Christ's triumph and resurrection, you'd best start purifying yourself now. In effect: "You hope to be made like Christ when he appears? Well Christ is pure. So you better start right in making yourself pure right now!"

    I don't think that that is wrong, exactly, and certainly it fits with the following context: "He appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him. Dear children do not let anyone lead you astray. ... He who does what is sinful is of the devil. ..." It's the strict side of John's letter, which emerges with full force in the verse the OP inquires about.

    However, I don't think it is the primary meaning of 3:3. I think a different meaning is dominent -- and certainly that meaning is present.

    When Christ appears we shall be made like Him "because we shall see Him as He is". We won't be thus transformed mainly because we try real hard to be like Him. We just aren't capable of doing that. (Partly that's a matter of our sinfulness -- but not entirely. Even if we were unfallen, that wouldn't necessarily make us immortal, and certainly not incorporate in Christ's body. These are things God must do for us.) Rather, we'll be transformed, this verse tells us "because we will see Him as He is." It's the vision of Christ, it's by gazing upon Him, it's by setting our hope fully upon Him, it's by faith, it's by the renewing of our minds that God transforms us into the likeness of Christ. We are to be transformed into the likeness of Christ "because we shall see Him as He is."

    This central promise, given in 3:2, controls, as I see it, the meaning of the following verse "Everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, as He is pure." That is, I think the primary emphasis is that the very act of hoping in Christ (our faith in Christ, our love for Him, our gazing upon him) is that through which, mainly, God starts to transform us here and now. It's not primarily my moral effort (which is to be sure very necessary) which changes me in this life, but primarily God working through my turning my heart to Christ. As I hope in Christ, my whole life starts to change. What I want changes. Who I am changes. What I value and love changes. And it's that way for all who hope in Him. "Everyone who thus hopes in Christ purifies himself" -- starts to become pure -- because the center of our heart and hope and attention is Christ who is pure. It's our hoping in Christ -- our seeking to "dwell in the house of the Lord to gaze upon his fair beauty" (Ps. 27:4) -- that starts, by God's grace -- to reformulate our hearts and our whole personality. "Everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, as He is pure"

    Summing up.

    Of course, our moral efforts -- our deliberate attempts to be pure, to purify ourselves -- are a part of wanting to follow Christ, and a part of hoping in Him. John insists upon this point throughout his letter. This is very important, and John is very emphatic about it.

    Nevertheless, I don't think it's where the accent lies in the letter: the accent is upon God's illimitable goodness, unbounded goodness to us as shown us in Jesus -- Jesus' life as well as his death for our sins and His resurrection. "This is the message we have heard from Him (Christ) and proclaim to you: that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all."

    And because of that, or as a part of that, "when we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to purify us from all unrighteousness" giving us "fellowship with one another" and peace with God, as "the blood of Jesus His son washes away all our sins." This equally entails (1) that we are sinners, continuing to need God's grace and live by God's grace, and by the loving knowledge of God, as we know our wonderful heavenly Father in our wonderful Savior Christ Jesus, and (2) that we earnestly labor to be (what nevertheless only God's grace can cause us to be) obedient children.

    Thus, ultimately, John's strict emphasis on obedience, righteousness, purity, our setting our affections not on this world but on God, on sacrificial love for people who are poor or in need, and on not sinning is not so much in tension with as it is in partnership with John's emphasis upon the fact that we are and continue to be sinners, relying on God's grace, and looking to Christ in hope.

    Taken in this context, I think we can read John's verse 3:9 "Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God" in a dynamic way, an in-process way that emphasizes that God's word, God's seed is transforming us and taking away sin in our life and making us God's children, rather than as some assertion that true children of God never sin, or never continue to wrestle with besetting sins, continuing sins. John is, I think, saying that those who have the life of Christ within them, the seed of God's kingdom and His word within them, are being transformed, and that putting away sins is a central part of this process. If we're not very very serious indeed about getting rid of sin in our lives -- "working out our salvation with fear and trembling" (Phil. 2:12b) -- it's hard to see how we are really re-born as God's kids, or how He's alive in us. Yet that working out of salvation with fear and trembling is really a reliance upon "God who is at work within [us] both to will and to work according to the good that pleases him."

    Given the whole of John's letter, I don't think that his intent here is to say that only some perfect folks who never sin, or at least are free from all persistent faults, could be God's children. He intends that we should take sin, and self-purification very seriously. But the accent is upon God's redeeming love, upon honesty and transparency before God about our sins, upon loving one another in our weakness, and above all upon God's great love and transforming grace and forgiveness shown us in Jesus Christ.

  6. #6
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    Thank you Scruffy, Butch and daughter for your replies. Scruffy I will have to read through yours tomorrow ...not feeling well this evening...hoping its just bad allergies... Thanks for the time and effort you put into that..I look forward to reading it.

    God bless
    "People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; We drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; We drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated?" - D A Carson

  7. #7

    sinneth not

    The answer to the dilemma is - in abiding -Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. 1John 3:6
    when the spirit of god indwells one sinneth not neither can he sin - when the spirit of satan indwells one does sin. The two spirits cannot indwell in the same body at the same time. like in sampson and judas iscariot - one can quench the holy spirit that it leaves or does not enter.

    The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. John 3:8

    or
    When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Matt. 12:43

    Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Matt. 12:44

    Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation. Matt. 12:45

    wtj
    Last edited by wtj; Mar 2nd 2009 at 05:35 PM. Reason: clarification

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Butch5 View Post
    Look at the context,

    1 John 3:1-10 ( KJV ) 1Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 2Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 3And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

    4Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. 5And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. 6Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. 7Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. 8He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 9Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 10In 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.
    John says that every man that has this hope (Christ) in him, purifies himself, as Christ is pure. Then he says those who commit sin transgress the law. He ends the passage by saying, whoever doeth not righteousness is not of God. The context of the passage is that the man who will follow Christ will keep himself from sin. When John says he does not sin, he means this man chooses not to sin, and when He say he cannot sin, he means he cannot (is not allowed) to sin because Christ is in him. If this man sins then Christ will not remain. That is why he says whoever doeth not righteousness is not of God.
    how would this fit with Jesus promise to never leave us or forsake us? (not looking to argue but simply discuss this more)

    not to get personal, but would you mind sharing how often you sin personally? (i fully understand if you do not want to share this info as it is private in nature)

    im just trying to understand the real truth about how our salvific relationship with God works. my eternal destiny is in the balance here. if we lose salvation everytime we sin, then truth is truth and i must deal with it, but i know that there are probably sinful things i do that i may not even be aware of, for example if i do not show as much love as God would have intended, or i would feel like i was sinning if i spent anytime doing anyhthing but Christian things. for example if i wanted to watch the super bowl it would almost feel like sin. i wouold always be afraid every second if i have not dnoe exactly what the spirit wanted.

    that would be a ton of pressure on my back. my eternal destiny in my hands, a sinner. as i said, if that is the truth then i must live with it, but certainly i do not find how we can experience joy and rejoicing and love in a relationship in which every mistake gets you kicked out of Gods house? is that really how it works? we can share in Christ so long as we dont mess up? everytime we do we get kicked out? just sounds so hard, nearly impossible. i dont understand how to practically apply verses such as forsaking all for christ. what does that mean? quit my job and sell my house and go preach in Arabia? but then what about the bills i would owe? isnt debt a sin? also im in college and it takes alot of my time to study because i am a slow learner. because i spend so much time studying i feel like i am sinning by not spending more time with the things of God, but if i dont study i wont perform well, if i dont perform i can be dropped, if i am dropped i still owe money(whiich is a sin isnt it?) and i wont have a degree to get a job to pay those bills. also my parents paid for me to come here so i feel like i may be disohnoring them if i just drop out. this is the type of dillema i find myself in when i think tha i lose salvation with every sin. i am so paranoid because i always feel like i am missing or forgetting to do something. i feel guilty if i dont pray long enough, and then i just pray longer out of guilt and duty.

    if the path of salvation means: ur saved as long as you dont sin, i cant argue with it for God is just and none deserve to be saved, but on the other hand how can i have joy? i could only have it for seconds at a time. i dunno, maybe ive got this all wrong, but i want to know because eternity is a long long time

    it seems like all the disciples made mistakes: lacking faith to cast out demons, peter denying jesus, one verse called the rock, the next called Satan, they argued over who would be greatest in the kingdom, they had little faith. is this not sin? lacking faith in God? arguing about who will be greater in the kingdom?(arrogance?)

    these disciples were not sinless, nor is it recorded that they repented after every sin. Jesus did not say: Get behind me Satan! repent, for you are no longer a disciple and i no longer accept you as my chosen. He just rebuked him and kept it moving. as i mentioned before, even peter and barnabus commited hypocrisy. i dont know if i would say they had lost their salvation at that moment?
    Last edited by reformedct; Mar 2nd 2009 at 11:55 PM.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by daughter View Post
    Hi Moonglow.

    In the Greek, we're looking at a present continuous tense... whoever is born of God does not keep on persistently sinning.

    Greek tenses are more sophisticated than English tenses... what John is saying is that someone who keeps on sinning, doesn't try to stop, someone who is in active indolent, self indulgent sin... he is the liar.

    Someone who struggles with sin and has occasional lapses is not in the same catagory as above.
    are you sure?? please provide any links to sites that could help me to understand more. ive heard that this is not a continuos tens in the greek and that the english translations added that. im not judging your view im just saying what i have heard. i am simply seeking for truth.

  10. #10
    also how does this verse relate to sinless perfectionism:

    3:1 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. 2 For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.

    10 For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.

    ive heard that the greek word for fails and stumble are the same word. is this true?

  11. #11
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    Bumping up so reformedct might get some answers...

    God bless
    "People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; We drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; We drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated?" - D A Carson

  12. #12
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    Re: Whoever has been born of God does not sin

    The three different interpretations of 1 John 3:9 that I hear are:

    1. No one who is born of God practices sin (does not practice sin as a habitual lifestyle or bent of life).

    2. Whoever has been born of God does not sin (the part of us that was born again, born of God, cannot sin.) – the nature given to us when we were quickened by the Spirit.

    3. Whoever has been born of God does not (ever) sin, (again at all - sinless perfection).

  13. #13

    Re: Whoever has been born of God does not sin

    you ever read in scripture about the "new man" of the heart ?

    that "new man" of your heart never sins

    the old man of your flesh sins

    hence why they war with eachother, as spoken of by paul

    flesh vs sprirt
    old vs new

    "you" new man - never sins
    "you" old man - sins

    the born again part of you does not sin, because thats the new man.

  14. #14
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    Re: Whoever has been born of God does not sin

    Quote Originally Posted by fewarechosen View Post
    you ever read in scripture about the "new man" of the heart ?

    that "new man" of your heart never sins

    the old man of your flesh sins

    hence why they war with each other, as spoken of by paul

    flesh vs sprirt
    old vs new

    "you" new man - never sins
    "you" old man - sins

    the born again part of you does not sin, because thats the new man.
    Yes, I'm familiar with Romans 7. Do you see a conflict with these different translations of the Bible?

    Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin.. - KJV

    Whoever has been born of God does not sin.. - NKJV

    No one who is born of God practices sin.. - NASB

    No one born of God makes a practice of sinning.. - ESV

  15. #15
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    Re: Whoever has been born of God does not sin

    I tend to lean more toward the interpretation that the born again part of us does not and cannot sin. This part of us would be considered the new man that Paul spoke of in Ephesians 4 and the new creature that was spoken of by Paul in 2 Corinthians 5. What part of us is born of God? What part of us is new? It isn't the body because that won't be made new until the resurrection. It isn't our soul (mind, will and emotions) because they must be renewed daily. It has to be our spirit where we are made one with the Lord (1 Corinthians 6:17).

    That's my leaning anyhow.
    "What you do does not define who you are; it's who you are that defines what you do."

    -- Dr. Neil T. Anderson

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