Last week I promised 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.
To fully understand this text we must answer 2 very important question and those 2 questions are:
(#1)What is sin and (#2) what must we do to stop committing sin.
We find the answer to both of these questions in I John 3:4-6 which reads as follows:
3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. 3:5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. 3:6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.
Verse 3 defines sin as transgression of the law. However, before I go any further I want to point out that this is not the only way that sin is defined in the bible. Notice how the apostle Paul defined sin when answering the question whether God’s people should eat food that was offered to idols. In Romans 14-21 Paul said:
14:21 [It is] good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor [any thing] whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak. 14:22 Hast thou faith? have [it] to thyself before God. Happy [is] he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth. 14:23 And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because [he eateth] not of faith: for whatsoever [is] not of faith is sin.
Now both definitions are correct but the more complete definition is the one given by Paul in Romans 14:23. I say this because of what is said in I John 3. After describing sin as transgression of the law in I John 3:4 the apostle John goes on to say in verses 5&6:
3:5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. 3:6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.
The he that John is referring to here is Jesus and he says two very important things about Jesus in reference to sin. Number one is, in him is no sin: Number two is, Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not. In other words, the only way to stop committing sin is to abide in Jesus. Therefore, whatever we do, including our efforts to keep the law, is sin if it is not done as a result of abiding in Jesus and only those who have faith in Jesus will abide in Jesus: They will abide in Jesus because they believe that HE IS the only one that can fulfill their every desire and if they diligently seek HIM they will be rewarded if they faint not (see Hebrews 11:6; Colossians 2:8-10 & Galatians 6:7-9).
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.
Next week we are going to deal with the rest of what Paul said in I John 3:9 and see how it explains why abiding in Jesus keeps us from committing sin. Until then I leave you with this portion of scripture to ponder and pray over:
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. Romans 8:1-4 (Emphasis supplied).