Does 1 John 3:9 Actually Say a Christian Can’t Sin?

The Question

There is no shortage of passages exhorting Christians not to sin.1 So it is no surprise that John also acknowledges in his first letter that Christians can sin.2 It might be surprising, then to discover that John says that “All those who are born of God sin they do not do.”3 John adds that they do not, “because His seed abides in him.”4

Discussion

Hate the Sin and Love the Sinner?

Body

“Christians can be guilty of making pithy statements of a theological nature that require a lot of explanation for the phrase to be accurate. If an explanation is not offered, we are sometimes demanding a lot of the reader to put all the pieces together.” - Ref21

Discussion

“The Last Enemy”: A Brief Theology of Death (Part 2)

Read Part 1.

Physical Death

Not only did God’s curse upon humanity entail a spiritual death; it also resulted in physical death or the dissolution of the body. You may recall God’s judicial pronouncement on Adam:

Discussion

“The Last Enemy”: A Brief Theology of Death (Part 1)

The Bible portrays death as the consequence of human sin. Death was the sanction that God tied to the Garden of Eden stipulation: “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Gen. 2:16-17). And God’s expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden on account of their covenant breach and treason demonstrated that His threats were not empty. Death became the lot of Adam and his posterity.

Discussion

Is Our Perspective on Sin Warped?

There are a lot of sins in the Bible. We don’t feel the same way about all of them, though, do we? Some sins trigger strong righteous indignation or an intense “ick” response. Others we barely notice.

We’re not entirely wrong to feel that way. Though there are not really any small sins, some are bigger than others. (See Bob Gonzales’ excellent study on that topic: The Greater Sin: Are There Degrees of Sin?).

But this range of reactions to different sins should prompt us to ask some questions.

Discussion

What Is the Unpardonable Sin?

Body

“There are Christians who live in mortal fear that they might at some point commit that sin that would cause them to lose their salvation and to lose the hope of heaven.” - RC Sproul

Discussion

Is suicide an unforgivable sin?

Body

“It is a peculiarity of Catholicism and the issue of last rites that consigns suicide to the category of the unforgivable sin…. it is surprising how deep-seated that view of suicide is among Christians.” - Ligonier

Discussion

Same-Sex Attraction as Sin

Body

“What is temptation? As John Owen notes, ‘It is raising up in the heart, and proposing unto the mind and affections, that which is evil; trying, as it were, whether the soul will close with its suggestions, or how far it will carry them on, though it do not wholly prevail….’” - Ref21

Discussion