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"Insights" from the New Testament Greek

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 "Insights" From the New Testament Greek

By Bob Jones, Northside Bible Church, Jacksonville Florida

The Wonderful Riches of Godís Word. Example, 1 John 3:9.

Part Two of Three
"The Seriousness of Christian Sin"
I John 3:9

The two statements in 1 John 3:9, in the KJV, that "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin" and, they "cannot sin", sound like a born again child of God does not sin at all. But, the Greek words in this context are teaching that the child of God cannot live in "continual sin".

In 1 John 3:9, the phrases "doth not commit sin" and "cannot sin", both have Greek "present tense" verbs. This means that the born again child of God cannot "CONTINUALLY PRACTICE sin". We see in 1 John 1:8&10 that every child of God does sin to some extent, and that if we say we have no sin, we are self deceived and call God a liar. But, 1 John 3:9 states that God will not allow his children to CONTINUALLY PRACTICE sin.

What happens when we sin? First of all, we lose fellowship with God, and divine discipline is applied to correct us. Hebrews 12:3-11 is very important to us and describes how God corrects us. The word "chasten" in these verses means to correct a child with what ever it takes, from a verbal chastisement, to "skinning alive" with a whip. Godís chastening of his children is said to come from his love for us in verse 6. Just like a good earthly father, the proper discipline is chosen, not to punish, but to CORRECT, and does not come from Godís anger, or justice, but from His LOVE for us!

What happens when a child of God sins and refuses to confess the sin and return to fellowship, and lives in continual sin? The scriptures state that God will cut the physical life of His children short, for their own ultimate good. This is what 1 John 3:9 means by "the one who has been born of God cannot CONTINUALLY sin". I find at least 16 verses in the Bible that describe a condition of CONTINUAL sin that results in the PHYSICAL death of a child of God.

Many Christians do not believe in "sin unto death", but John himself in 1 John 5:16 states that "there IS A CONDITION OF SIN which results in DEATH" and that it will not even do any good for us to pray for that brother or sister in Christ. Two good examples are 1 Cor. 5:1-5 and 1 Cor. 11:27-32:

In 1 Cor. 5:1-5 a young man was apparently committing fornication with his step mother, and Paul states in verse 5 to "deliver such an one to Satan for the destruction of the FLESH, that his SPIRIT may be SAVED in the day of the Lord Jesus"! His continual sin would result in his PHYSICAL death, but he is still "eternally secure".

In 1 Cor. 11:27-32, many of the Corinthian Christians were under severe discipline for the sins listed in Chapter 11, and verse 30 states that some of them were under one of three stages of divine discipline:

1. Physically WEAK

2. Physically SICK

3. Physically DEAD

Sin in our life is not only serious in that we come under the three stages of God's discipline, but also that we are resisting our loving Savior and committing sins that He had to pay for on the Cross.

Our new nature is to love righteousness and hate sin. Would you agree with me that when a child of God sins, they are usually seeking love, inner peace, and joy, but in their own fleshly way? In Gal 5:22&23, Godís word states that He gives us REAL love, inner peace and joy when we stay in fellowship and live by His Word!

Bob Jones