This week we will continue to deal with this question:
Pastor Jackson can you explain I John 3:9 which says:
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.
Does this mean that once you have been born again you cannot sin? If so, I am in real trouble.
I gave the first part of my answer to this question in last week’s blog which I summarized with this statement:
So in summary, when Paul says in I John 3:9, Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; Paul is in essence saying, whosoever abides in Jesus does not commit sin (please read last week’s blog to see how I arrived at this conclusion).
This week I promised to deal with the rest of what is said in I John 3:9 which explains why abiding in Jesus is the only way to stop committing sin. Notice how the rest of I John 3:9 reads:
… for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. (Emphasis supplied).
Now that we understand that abiding in Jesus is the key to being born of God and not committing sin we must look at what the apostle Paul tells us in Romans 8:1-4 to understand why Jesus’s seed makes it impossible for us to commit sin:
8:1 [There is] therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 8:4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (Emphasis supplied).
The first thing that Paul tells us is that there is no condemnation as long as we abide in Christ Jesus (v.1). He then goes on tell us in verses 2-4 the reason there is no condemnation is because there is another law in Jesus that is able to do what the law of God cannot do because of our sinful flesh. Do you know what the law of God cannot do? It cannot take away our sinfulness and make us righteousness. All the law can do is to condemn us to death by revealing our sinfulness. This is exactly what we are told in Romans 3:19-23 which reads as follows:
3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law [is] the knowledge of sin. 3:21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 3:22 Even the righteousness of God [which is] by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (Emphasis supplied).
In Christ the condemnation of the law is taken away because in Christ Jesus there is another law that guarantees that His righteousness will be fulfilled in us. This law is called the law of the spirit of life (Romans 8:2). It is called that because as long as we abide in Christ Jesus His seed (which is the Holy Spirit) will remain in us and as long as the Holy Spirit remains in us it is guaranteed that the righteousness of the law will be fulfilled in us (see I John 3:6 and Romans 8:4). This is why we are told in Romans 8:26-32:
8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 8:27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what [is] the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to [the will of] God. 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose. 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate [to be] conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 8:30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God [be] for us, who [can be] against us? 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
As long as abide in Jesus we are predestined by the law of the spirit of life to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ.
Next week we are going to deal with how the Holy Spirit (the seed of Jesus) works in us to keep us from committing sin and what we must do to cooperate with His work. Until then I leave you with this portion of scripture to ponder and pray over:
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. (Emphasis supplied).