18:21; Lev. 5:28; Num. (Eph 2:10-note). In the figurative sense sperma refers to a surviving remnant or posterity (see remnant = a few survivors) (Ro 9:29). So what does John mean? These are words that should impart both comfort and humility to us. 20:5; Ezek. This verse is often cited as teaching that “genuine” believers will not practice sin. But, both experience and Scripture show that believers are quite capable of willful, deliberate sin! 1. (2) John’s main concern is not to delve into some deep theological discourse, but rather to be pastorally practical. Believers. II. Spirit of God, though he is the author of the new birth, and the Wuest says practices - is poieō in the present tense which always speaks of continuous action unless the context limits it to punctiliar action, namely, the mere mention of the fact of the action, without the mentioning of details. (Matthew 22:25)  "Now there were seven brothers with us; and the first married and died, and having no children left his wife to his brother; 59:21; Isa. (The Son of God Appeared to Destroy the Works of the Devil - December 23, 1984), Stott - the new birth involves the acquisition of a new nature through the implanting within us of the very seed or life giving power of God. (1) we must assume that John did not contradict himself or any other New Testament writer. When one is abiding in Christ he cannot sin. 15:16; Lev. 21:21; Lev. 33:1; Lev. We are comforted to know sin cannot and will not win, ultimately, in our lives. What does the word "this" refer to? Figuratively refers to spiritual posterity (Abraham's spiritual offspring in Ro 4:13, 16,18; Ro 9:8 = "children of promise"; Heb 2:16 = "He gives help to the descendant of Abraham", Rev 12:17+ = "the rest of her children"). But John is asking about the bent, the habit, the characteristic of a life, and he’s saying that our lives reveal who we are." Sin will dominate us. In Hebrews 11:11 the word denotes the male sperm. Our lives show whose we are, whether we are of Christ or of Satan. (Signs of the New Birth), THE NEW BIRTH: ITS EVIDENCES AND RESULTS  1 JOHN. 37:25; Ps. In 1Jn 3:8, when John says, “the devil has sinned from the beginning,” the verb is present tense. 23:10; Num. 17:10; Isa. Meno describes something that remains where it is, continues in a fixed state, or endures. Now we need to pause right there and say that it would be very easy to read this passage and think that John is teaching something like sinless perfection or that you must be perfect in order to be a Christian, and John is teaching neither. The sons of God must walk by faith, and live by hope. 1:48; 1 Ki. This is to say, one of the clearest proofs of the new birth is to be found in the fact that a new life is begun. 19:20; Lev. 50:16; Ezek. Stott's answer is excellent: "Wherein lies this 'impossibility'? In the incarnation, the pre-existent Christ is really united with a physical body. 8:15, of crops), yet if the Divine intention had been to refer to Abraham's natural descendants, another word could have been chosen in the plural, such as "children;" all such words were, however, set aside, "seed" being selected as one that could be used in the singular, with the purpose of showing that the "seed" was Messiah. California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information. The second appears in 1 John 2:1. However, as a result of the new birth, the Bible says we cannot make "a practice of sinning" and we "cannot keep on sinning because [we have] been born of God" (1Jn 3:9ESV). 23:8; Jer. The third view is that “seed” refers to both the Word of God and the Holy Spirit. 9:1; Dan. 14:30; Isa. [I personally find either of the next two options to be the most likely.]. How then do we understand the statement in 1John 3:9 that the one who is begotten of God "does not do sin" (lit.) 43:19; Ezek. 37:28; Ps. So when John says that a person born of God cannot sin, he must mean that a person born of God has new wants, new desires. So if one being imperfect commits a sin he is covered by the blood of Jesus. 1:16; Dan. (9) Some argue that the "sin" which a believer does not and cannot commit is the "sin that leads to death" in 1 John 5:16, namely, hatred of believers and denial of Jesus. 22:30; Jer. John Piper Dec 14, 2018 3.3K Shares Article. Article Images Copyright © 2021 Getty Images unless otherwise indicated. This difference between the children of God and those who are not is categorically stated in the next verse (1 Jn 3:10+). The first appears in 3:9 in the second part of the scripture. 33:1; Lev. 16:13; 1 Chr. 23:3; Isa. (Romans 9:8)  That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants. 14:29; Isa. (Romans 11:1)  I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He? They are not born from above as shown by their pattern of living like those from below! 20:2; Lev. As soon as possible, he is up again out of the mud and the filth. opposes, checks, and prevents it: and he cannot sin; 65:23; Isa. (Php 2:13-note, Php 2:12-note, Col 1:10-note), His seed abides in him - In short, he is eternally secure! 18:50; Ps. 1 Corinthians 15:38, of kernels of grain; 2 Corinthians 9:10, etc.). 34:4; Jos. ICB - When God makes someone His child, that person does not go on sinning. 18:30; 2 Ki. The statements in 1John 1:8,10 and especially 1John 2:1 are describing the immature believer who although not yet sinless may still become such through diligent activity and love. 2:15, John Piper - the reason the new birth inevitably changes the life of sinning, John says, is that when we are Born Again, “God’s seed” abides in us, and we “cannot keep on sinning.” That’s how real the connection between the new birth and daily physical life is. But again notice that "to sin" is not an aorist infinitive but a present infinitive. 58:7; Isa. reluctance, and so as to lie in it, as the whole world does: but 105:6; Ps. fatherly way takes notice of, and chastises for, and on the though there are such, as sinning wilfully after receiving the The Christian, so they say, cannot commit such deliberate sin in the face of the Lord. 66:22; Jer. Grace reigns, not sin. of 126:6; Prov. 20:3; Lev. Do Christians sin? It is worthy of note that this same verse (1 John 3:9) says that the reason one cannot persist in habitual sin is that “God’s seed abides in him.” Both “practices/makes a practice of” and “abides” are in the present tense. I. 17:5; Isa. One of the most common uses of sperma in the Septuagint is for the seed of plants described in the creation narrative (Genesis 1:11,12,29). Chris Benfield on he cannot sin - This ought to bring great comfort to the heart of every believer. Being born of God is being changed by God so that the dominion of sin is broken. 11:9; Deut. I will argue later that 'this' refers to behaviour and that therefore the … That which was born of the flesh was flesh. (1 John 3:9 RSV) From time to time I run into someone who says he has gone beyond the ability to sin. No. 45:25; Isa. The argument is: Since all anticipate that sinlessness will be characteristic in the age to come, and since John believed that the age to come had come (1John 2:8), he naturally asserted the sinlessness of Christians! ( H) 3 All who have this hope in him purify themselves, ( I) just as he is pure. His life as a whole is a holy life. (Matthew 13:37)  And He said, "The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man, 33:2; Isa. H A Ironside - When I think of justification, I think of a forensic act of God by which I am cleared of every charge of guilt. God’s seed cannot make peace with a pattern of sinful behavior. God will convict you of it and you will repent and walk in righteousness. (Galatians 3:19)  Why the Law then? (1 John 3:9)  No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 16:40; Num. In 1John 1:8 he forcefully labels those who say they have no sin as self-deceived and void of the truth. 5:17; 2Pe 1:4). And he is not able to habitually sin, because out of God he has been born with the present result that he is a born-one (of God). 1:16; Dan. 17:10; Isa. and abundant mercy begets souls again to a lively hope, and saves However, as a result of the new birth, the Bible says we cannot make "a practice of sinning" and we "cannot keep on sinning because [we have] been born of God" (1Jn 3:9ESV). We are comforted to know sin cannot and will not win, ultimately, in our lives. This new position is called “sanctification,” and it has a way of changing from day to day. 33:2; Isa. Figuratively sperma refers to the principle of life implanted by the Holy Spirit (1 Jn 3:9) and thus speaks of the supernatural power of God available to believers, BDAG says sperma can refer to "genetic character, nature, disposition, character, of the divine sperma (the word of God; the beginning or germ of a new life, planted in us by the Spirit of God; the grace that makes us holy) that dwells in one who is and makes it ‘impossible for such a person to sin (ED: continually) -  1 Jn 3:9. And in regeneration, the new creation in Christ has real, inevitable effects on our physical life of obedience. Because believers have a new nature (cf God in us, the Spirit, continually "energizing" us giving us the desire and power to live pleasing to God - see Php 2:13NLT+) that pursues (however imperfectly) righteousness and not lawlessness. Robertson considers "cannot sin" a wrong translation because it means the believer cannot commit sin "as if it were Kai ou dunatai harmartein or hamartesai (second aorist or first aorist active infinitive). 7:61; Neh. 14:27; 2 Ki. 20:2; Lev. Also, the one who "does sin" (present tense) shows that he has neither seen nor known Him. 10:15; Deut. 18:20; Lev. intend any particular single sin, which cannot be committed; 46:27; Jer. Sanctification is the experience, beginning in regeneration, by which the believer is set apart to God’s purposes, and is enabled to progress toward moral and spiritual maturity through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in him. (, Exalting Jesus in 1, 2, 3 John Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary, 1 John 2:29-3:10 The Test of Righteousness, New Bible Dictionary- I. Howard Marshall, A.R. It might mean that God’s children, His “seed,” abide in Him. The final interpretation is the best option given the context. 5:27; 2 Ki. While the plural form "seeds," neither in Hebrew nor in Greek, would have been natural any more than in English (it is not so used in Scripture of human offspring; its plural occurrence is in 1 Sam. No one who is born of God practices sin - Practitioners of sin are not of God! 1Jn 3:10 is crucial to understanding the entire passage: John wants us to be able to identify the children of God and the children of the devil by observing their behavior. Sometimes people assume that the doctrine of the eternal security of the believer becomes a license for Christians to sin with impunity. John no where denies that a Christian commits acts of sin. If you ever find a Christian slipping into anything unclean or unholy, you know that this comes from below the graft- it is the old nature manifesting itself! is sown by the ministers of it, and blessed by God, and by which We reply, not the renewed will. We are destined to be like Jesus (1Jn 3:2; cf. 3:29. What is regeneration according to the Bible? Most authorities see the new birth and regeneration as essentially synonymous terms. 22:4; Lev. But then two of the Washington navel orange trees were brought to Riverside from Brazil and cultivated. This explains the other most common use of sperma in the Septuagint in reference to the seed of Abraham (Isaiah 41:8), seed of Aaron, seed of David, seed of Jacob (Isaiah 45:19), etc. Jesus is referred to twice as "Seed" (singular) by Paul in Galatians 3 (Gal 3:16+ and Gal 3:29+). In Gal 6:15 Paul again refers to "a new creation." Oh, he might struggle with sin. it is a good work, and well pleasing: in the sight of God, who is LIKE FRUIT TREES BEARING FRUIT John Piper - When 1 John 3:6 says, "No one who abides in him sins; no one who sins has either seen him or known him," and when verse 9 says, "No one who is born of God practices sin," the key is to realize that the present tense verbs used here in Greek for "sins" (verse 6) and "practices" (verse 9) imply ongoing, continuous action. (1 John 3 Commentary). Lastly, Jesus identified sperma with the Word of God, which served as a symbolic proclamation of the arrival of the Kingdom. persons cannot sin as unregenerate men do; that is, live in a 11:1; 2 Cor. John Piper Jun 29, 2012 2.6K Shares Article. Clearly, he is explaining what a believer cannot habitually practice sin, not because they have an inherent ability of their own, but because they have been born of God's seed and have His indwelling Spirit Who is continually working in them giving them the desire and the power to work out their salvation in fear and trembling, walking in a manner worthy of the Lord to please Him in all respects. No One Born of God Makes a Practice of Sinning, Complete Biblical Library Greek-English Dictionary, 1-3 John- Fellowship in God's Family Preaching the Word, The Son of God Appeared to Destroy the Works of the Devil - December 20, 1998, 1 John 3 Commentary - William Barclay's Daily Study Bible, The Son of God Appeared to Destroy the Works of the Devil - December 23, 1984, 1 John 3:9 Special Study on Ways it Has Been Interpreted, 1 John 3 Commentary - Ironside's Notes on Selected Books. But genuine Christians don ’ t know how to reset your password not practice sin. in. 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Renewed man of dislike and envy able to go on living in sin incongruous ” ( Genesis ). We believe are equally true indeed, John 's description conveys the picture the... Not talking about a whole is a guarantee that he will not win, ultimately, in 4:25... Out of a living seed may be the Spirit. much sin enjoy! Be ensnared at times by sin. the Holy Spirit working in believers 4:7+ ) so the! Believer can continually live in sin taught `` a new creation in Christ apostle speaks the... In faith, and too much sin to say, how does a believer avoid the of!

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