No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning. (1 John 3:9)
Expanded Passage: Mark 12:28–34; Romans 6:19–22; 1 John 3:4–10
One of the unjustified accusations commonly made against the doctrine of holiness is that its adherents believe that they cannot sin (non posse peccare). At no time in history have they ever made such a claim. Instead, followers acknowledge God’s power to destroy the source and the power of sin in them and admit that they can sin not (posse non peccare) by God’s grace.
The apostle John briefly touches upon this controversy in 1 John 3, and contrasts two types of persons. The one who is of the devil, and inherits the sin of his father, the devil—a sinner from the beginning, who does not practice the love of their neighbor (vv. 8, 10). In contrast, the child of God practices righteousness (v. 7). Since they are begotten of God, they have become his children by faith in the work of Christ. They will not continue a lifestyle of sin when God's seed (sperma in Greek) remains in them (v. 9). They are free to act and live as children of God in every way.
Being begotten by God and living as his child drives us away from sin. It compels us to do what is right, love our neighbor, and maintain a life of holiness. Be encouraged to continue to make this seed sprout, grow, and bear fruit in your life.
Do whatever possible to live as a child of God.
Handy Calixte is the national director of Christian education for L’Église Wesleyenne d’Haïti. He is pursuing a master of divinity at Wesley Seminary and studying biblical Hebrew at Israel Institute of Biblical Studies.
© 2023 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.