1John 3:9 - What does it mean?

Discussion in 'Doctrinal Discussions' started by Steve Amato, May 23, 2015.

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  1. The phrase; "Cannot sin” means one who is born again does not "continually" sin, as he once did or is not "habitually" a sinner as he was before he came to know Jesus. There is a difference, as light has come to rule over the darkness. The born again believer should have no compulsion to do sin over and over as He once had been driven by his fallen nature. If a man continually and habitually sins, it may prove that he has "never" been born again in the first place. He who is born again will not continue in, or like their sin for “His seed remaineth in him.”

    We still possess the mental and physical ability to do wrong, as believers we are free moral agents who can make a choice; one who is a true Christian will want to what is right because of his knowledge of the word and will have a willingness for submission to the new nature, he will choose God’s way more than to choose to sin.

    As John writes previously I Jn 5:4.......
    “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world-- our faith.”
    Euphemia and Fish Catcher Jim say Amen and like this.
  2. Good point to bring up :)

    Its sad to me that many believers do not realize that this can also come from inside the church (and has been happening since Jesus was raised from the dead or even before), when pastors preach religion instead of the Word.

    And is a huge reason why we really need to be checking what everyone says against Scripture. Not because we think all people have a desire to deceive, but dor the simple fact that people can make mistakes in interpretation and even just simply reading with blinders on.

    Thanks again for bringing this verse to light :)

    Fish Catcher Jim likes this.
  3. Hi Major,
    That's very true and when sin is found in us, we'll we know who must take the blame. lol Truly not the Holy Spirit.

    Sad truth is as you look around you find where people won't own up to their mistakes and admit they messed up or simply was wrong.
    Now what's even more sad when you find a Christian with this mentality or attitude and won't admit their mistskes.........this is a big red flag.......they are not growing in Christ or being lead by the Holy Spirit.

    God corects, chastises those He loves and if you can not admit your wrong or made a mistake then truly you will miss God's correction.

    Note......you is used as general character and in No Way directed at any one individual....
    Cturtle likes this.
  4. Now you may not agree with me on this.......but do you think that the deception always comes from within the church?

    Would 1 Tim. 4;1........."Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith".

    Does that say to us that one had to be "in the faith" to depart from the faith.???

    I am not referring to OSAS but instead to those who were and are "religious" but were never saved to begin with. Would not their departure then lead us to understand that they would give in then to the doctrines of demons and false teachings.

    1 Tim. 4:1........
    "............................... giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons".
    Big Moose likes this.
  5. Absolutely!

    2 Tim. 3:16-17........
    "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work."

    I have over the years had more people than I can remember say that God does not speak to them and that is why they do not know what to do or what to say or where to be. The truth is that God speaking is not the problem. It is our hearing that is the problem.

    God speaks to us all the time but some of us are so entrenched in sin that we can not hear God yelling at us.
    Fish Catcher Jim likes this.
  6. Nope I think it comes from a lot of places...and is why I said it can "also." Influences are everywhere, and if believers don't choose to put the Word first above everything, its possible they will be deceived in some way.

    Another very good insight and point to bring up! I do agree with you on both points :)

    Love to you and your family, My Friend :)
    Major and Fish Catcher Jim say Amen and like this.
  7. I think Romans 7:18 elucidates the meaning of 1 John 3:9.
  8. 1 John 3:9
    No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.

    Romans 7:18
    For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.

    Now we can say we all start out as born again Christians and Romans 7:18 becomes so real to us.

    So ok how can we then make 1 John 3:9 so real to us and get our selves operating just as this scripture says?

    Here is an excellent diagram on how one can do this.....

    Romans 12:2. 2 Corinthians 10:4-5.
    Galatians 5:16. 2 Corinthians 9:8

    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

    (Get His word in you each and every day and speak His word each and every day)

    2 Corinthians 10:4-5
    4... For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to pulling down strong holds

    5... Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.

    (Begin to practice the words you speak and thoughts you think for our thoughts and words to control how we act or react and believe. Our own words do more do influence our thinking then most of everything else)

    Galatians 5:16
    This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh

    (The more you do the first two the more you will begin to walk in the Spirit and you will be amazed to say the least)

    All done through the Grace of God who maketh all grace abound to me. (2Corinthians 9:8)

    Blessings and love in Christ
    Big Moose and Cturtle say Amen and like this.
  9. Good thoughts, brother. I'm curious as to how you square these two verses. Paul affirms both that he was a child of God and that he had a sin nature. How does this sit with 1 John 3:9, in your view?
  10. That's all too simple really.
    We are all born with the sin nature. It's in every person born of a woman.

    Just like everything else we overcome the power it once had.

    Paul was teaching and bringing up the first churches. He often spoke to them using himself to show he was no different.

    Far to many people use this verse alone, stripped from its context in order to make them selves feel better about sin in their own lives as well as claiming things like even Paul couldn't stop sinning etc.

    Truth is the sin nature no longer had control over a born again believer . .. However they must fight the good fight of faith for there is power over sin in the born again man.
    Cturtle likes this.
  11. I could not agree more with the first sentence. A big AMEN to that. As for the second sentence, I wonder if the difference is a matter of degree. I mean, at what point does a life become a life of sin?
  12. Hi FKJ:

    I think I get your point, but I have a question. Paul said that his sin nature caused him to keep doing that which he hates. How is this not control to some degree?
  13. Again, is Paul teaching or claiming he has trouble doing what he should.

    If Billy is big and full of strength and gets beat up every day by little david. Some might say little David had control over Billy to some degree.

    However if Billy used the strength he truly had to fight off these attacks from little David then Billy would not be getting beat up nor would David have the control he once had.

    It's the same with us. We have Christ in us and have God's word. Now if we deal with sin in our own strength the out come can be hard and overcoming to us.

    Now if we learn who we are in Christ and use God's word and Ways then we are the overcomer and sin has no hold over us.
    Cturtle likes this.
  14. Thanks for the thoughtful post, FCJ. You make many important points.

    In romans 7, Paul states that it is sin within him, and not Paul himself, which causes him to sin and do that which he does not want. What do you make of this?
  15. Instead of placing the focus on just one thing Paul said, it's best to include the entire conversation Paul is having.

    Tell me is Paul saying he is a sinner or is Paul talking about the difference of walking in the new nature compared to not?

    Is Paul showing that when you don't do what you know you should, then it's the sin nature Still Dwelling in you that you have yet to over come.

    This taking the scripture or Paul saying it's the sin nature in him and making a point tends to use what paul said out of context.

    Include the entire conversation.
    Now then where have we talked before?
    Cturtle likes this.
  16. I don't know that we have ever talked before, FCJ. Why do you ask?

    Context, as you point out, is always crucial. I certainly do not mean to set aside the bigger picture in focusing on this detail.

    To answer your first question, I believe that Paul is both admitting to being a sinner and also talking about the difference between walking in the flesh and walking in the spirit.

    As for your second question, it seems to me that the answer is 'yes'. Why do you think this answer does not account for the context?
  17. The way you write seems all to familiar to me. Lol I will figure it out.

    It's just that far to many use this one line as an excuse, such as hey, even Paul struggled with giving in to sin.

    There is yet another way to see this.
    Paul is teaching and using examples as we all do.
    Example.....if I do the things I know I should not then it is not me but the sin within me.

    So then this is a clear picture that one needs to deal with this sin in them. It shows you still have not over come the sin nature and that your spirit man is not built up.
    Shows the flesh is still stronger in the person.
    Paul says doing what you know not to do.
    This means one makes the choice to give in or not fight or refuse.

    This is not saying a spirit filled man won't sin. However there is a huge difference in doing what you know is wrong vs sinning and not being aware of it.

    For once the spirit filled man accepts the conviction from the Holy Spirit, he will repent and address the issue and over come this area.

    Cturtle likes this.
  18. Not everyone agrees with me on this Rudy but I will share with you my thoughts and understanding. You are free to disagree and many do.

    When I refer to the sin nature, I am talking about the fact that we have a natural inclination to sin; given the choice to do God’s will or our own, we will naturally choose to do our own thing. The sin nature abounds. No one has to teach a child to lie or be selfish; or to lie or take things from other children, rather, we go to great lengths to teach children to tell the truth and put others first. Sinful behavior comes naturally.

    I for one do not believe that the old sin nature ever goes away and can not be eradicated. I believe that it is with us warring against our new nature when we invite the Holy Spirit to indwell in our hearts. From the moment of salvation the battle begins within. Just as Paul said in Romans 7.....we want to do right, we know what we need to do but we seem to do what we know we should not do.

    Humanity is sinful, not just in theory or in practice but by nature. Sin is part of the very fiber of our being; the stain runs deep—it’s in the warp and woof of our souls. The Bible speaks of “sinful flesh” in Romans 8:3. It’s our “earthly nature” that produces the list of sins in Colossians 3:5. And Romans 6:6 speaks of “the body ruled by sin.” The flesh-and-blood existence we lead on this earth is shaped by our sinful, corrupt nature.

    The sin nature is universal in humanity. All of us have a sinful nature, and it affects every part of us. This is the doctrine of total depravity, and it is biblical.

    It is through Christ that we are born again. John 3:6 tells us .....
    “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit”.

    When we are born of Adam, we inherit his sin nature; but when we are born again in Christ, we inherit a new nature as seen in 2 Corth. 5:17.......
    “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”.

    Now here is the part where there will be disagreement with me and that is OK. We don’t lose our sin nature once we receive Christ. The Bible says that sin remains in us and that a struggle with that old nature will continue as long as we are in this world. Paul bemoaned his own personal struggle in Romans 7:15–20. But we have help in the battle—divine help. The Spirit of God takes up residence in each believer and supplies the power we need to overcome the pull of the sin nature within us and help us so that sin does not rule and control us.

    1 John 3:9..........
    “No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God”.
    Big Moose likes this.
  19. If I may be allowed to chime in here.
    They key to understanding a verse is taking into consideration the verses around it...what is the "conversation" about. He is speaking about who we are...children of God, and speaks of "purifying" ourselves as He is pure. Verse 7 is important speaks about "practicing" righteousness...purposefully pursuing it...being the direction of our life. Whenever he says "whoever is born of God does not sin" can be interpreted by what he says in v.10 "whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God." He is speaking of the practice...be it of sin or righteousness.
    Big Moose likes this.
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