Hello, I was reading I John 3:9 and was hoping you could help clarify this for me. “Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him, and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.” I know you advocate for us who educate ourselves and our children at home to learn Greek, I’m wondering if that will make the scriptural interpretation a lot different than, say, the Revised Standard Version? Thank you, L.P.
Everyone who has once-and-forever been born of God [Perfect Tense, signifying a finished act with abiding results] does not habitually produce sin [as his fruit] [Present Tense, signifying a continuing, repeating, or habitual activity], because His [=God’s] Seed [=Christ] continually remains in him [Present Tense], and so he [=the one with the new nature once and forever born of God] is not of himself [Middle Voice, here signifying acting for his own benefit or detriment] able to habitually practice sin [in that capacity] [Present Tense], because he has once-and-forever been born of God [Perfect Tense].
See also 1 John 1:8-10; 3:6; 5:18. Those who are genuinely regenerated are irreversibly regenerated; they have Christ abiding in them, and so they — as new men — are not able to live in sin as a pattern of life because that new nature overcomes. That does not mean that they never sin, nor that they do not sin continually in subtle ways unknown or unrecognized to themselves, nor that they do not in certain times and ways sin repeatedly until God’s discipline becomes effective on them. It means that the direction of their life has been reversed, that the righteous nature of the new man — which itself cannot sin — is moving in this life toward greater mastery over that sin nature of the old man which one day will be completely removed in the resurrection. His new nature — the real him — cannot sin, and his old nature — what remains of the old him — is defeated in principle. The Christian life is putting that principle into practice. As we live in the spirit, let us also walk in the spirit. Galatians 5:25