What Does 1st John 3:9 Mean?
...“Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin”!

By David J. Stewart | February 2014

1st 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.

The Presence Of The Holy Spirit Is Biblical Evidence Of Salvation

Many believers misunderstand 1st John 3:7-9, “Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He 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. 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.” Christian believers still have the capacity as human beings to commit any of the horrible sins of an unbeliever. Your salvation does not change you one bit. The Holy Spirit indwells the believer the moment we are saved (Romans 8:9), beginning a lifetime growth in grace process (1st Peter 2:2).

Notice that the Bible says in 1st John 3:9 the righteous man “CANNOT SIN.” Well, every believer sins every single day, multiple times, whether in deed or in thought. It's a horrible sin even when we don't pray as we should for others (1st Samuel 12:23). So what does the Scripture mean by saying that the man born of God “cannot sin”? That's impossible! It simply means that when we choose to sin as a believer, it is the carnal nature doing so, not the Holy Spirit indwelling us. Although a Christian believer can live above reproach, no believer can live above sin. We all sin, every day, and only an immature believer or heretic would dare say otherwise. It is the presence of the Holy Spirit in us that evidences we are God's child.

When reading any Scripture from the Epistle of 1st John, always interpret them in the proper context that the Holy Spirit Who indwells the believer is the only evidence that we are truly saved, and not the presence of good works or the absence of bad works. Many unsaved religious people perform abundant good works (Matthew 7:21-23); and shun bad works, such as the Pharisees, who were filthy on the inside (Matthew 23:27). Clearly, the presence of good works or the absence of bad works is not an accurate way to determine whether a person is saved. It is the indwelling Holy Spirit that bears witness with our Spirit that we are the children of God. Romans 8:16, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.”

Did you know that it's a horrible sin not to pray? (1st Samuel 12:23). Even the ignorance of our sins is sin. Psalms 19:12, “Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults.” As we draw nigh unto our holy God, it is normal to increasingly see our sinfulness. The believer who walks closest to the Lord will feel like the worst Christian in town. This is because of the consuming holiness of our great God and Savior. Hebrews 12:29, “For our God is a consuming fire.”

Hebrews 4:12 teaches that God's Word pierces to the dividing asunder of man's soul and spirit, to show us when our heart is wrong and we need to confess and forsake sins. Jeremiah 17:9 teaches that the human heart is desperately wicked and deceitful above all else... WHO CAN KNOW IT? That's why we need the Bible to discern the thoughts and intents (motives) of our heart. Sadly, the Bible is often a believer's last resort, instead of their first choice as it should be in all our lives. Albeit, it's better late than never to obey the Bible. When all else fails, read and follow the instruction manual. Amen!

1st John 5:10, “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself [the Holy Spirit]: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.” 1st John 5:13 teaches that the Epistle of 1st John was written to Christians, to help us know that we are saved, and the evidence set forth here is that the presence of the righteous Holy Spirit in us is proof of salvation. That's what 1st John 3:1-10 means. It is the presence of the righteous Holy Spirit in us, that compels us to love our brother, live for God and care that evidences our salvation. The presence of good works or the absence of bad works is NOT the Biblical evidences of salvation; but rather, the presence of the righteous Holy Spirit in us.

The Epistle of 1st John was authored by God to teach us that the presence of the Holy Spirit in our body is proof that we are God's child (1st John 5:13). 1st Corinthians 3:16-17, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” 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.” 1st John 4:13, “Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.”

We are saved immediately by trusting Christ, but becoming Christlike takes a lifetime. 1st John 3:7-9 speaks of the new nature, which is Christ in us (Galatians 2:20). The Bible teaches that believers who “WALK IN THE SPIRIT” will not fulfil the lusts of the flesh (Galatians 5:16), which means that we still have a choice as believers. WE HAVE A CHOICE! We can either walk in the Holy Spirit Who indwells (lives in) us, by obeying the Word of God; or we can walk in the lusts of the flesh and follow the world. Galatians 5:25, “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”

3,000 Converts Baptized In One Day!
(beware of anyone who criticizes easy-believism and immediate baptism)

“Repent, as Christ meant it to be in terms of salvation, means to change your mind from trusting in what you can do for God to trusting only in what He can do for you.”
SOURCE: Michael Patrick Bowen, a quote from the awesome book, “I NEVER NEW YOU” (Page 114)

Good Works Or Bad Works, Both Are Works!

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