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Bible Question I John -No More Sinning…

Bible Question Answered


Someone had the following question and it is a good one…

A verse keeps sticking with me that has me puzzled.

1 John 5 v.18 We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin….

1 John 3 v.9 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seen remains in him. He cannot go on singing because he has been born of God. This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are….

It’s not humanly possible for us to stop sinning. We should always be continuing to improve and be more Christ-like but the versus above seem harsh. Is there something lost in the translation or am I not getting the entire text of how it was intended?

OK, here is the first thing that I do when I have something like this verse that come up.

1. I know from studying the scriptures that we are all sinners and God doesn’t love us because we are good. I also know the bible teaches us that we will get to heaven by only one way, through faith in Christ, the work he has already done. Ephesians 2: 8&9

2. This is puzzling in relation to salvation by faith and the fact that we son’t stop sinning until we meet Christ face to face or at death so there must be something that is missing in translation. I always keep several translations of the bible handy to see what each one says. If there is great agreement or all the translations read the same then that doesn’t help much. But, if the translations vary to a good degree we have to get closer to the Greek that we received the Bible to begin with. Never fear, there are lots of tools available, you don’t have to be able to read Greek, although it would be great and fun to do so.

Lets see what a few of the translations say about these verses.

1 John 5:18

New International Version (NIV)

18 We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them.

1 John 5:18

GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

18 We know that those who have been born from God don’t go on sinning. Rather, the Son of God protects them, and the evil one can’t harm them.

1 John 5:18

Living Bible (TLB)

18 No one who has become part of God’s family makes a practice of sinning, for Christ, God’s Son, holds him securely, and the devil cannot get his hands on him.

1 John 5:18

New Living Translation (NLT)

18 We know that God’s children do not make a practice of sinning, for God’s Son holds them securely, and the evil one cannot touch them.

1 John 5:18

The Voice (VOICE)

18 We all know that everyone fathered by God will not make sin a way of life because God protects His children from the evil one, and the evil one can’t touch them.

I see in these different translations that there is a concept in the original Greek that means a Christian is not going to live in a habitual sin. Why?

#1. Because Jesus is holding us in vs. 18

#2. We are not under the control of satan, we choose sometimes to do wrong but satan can’t make us do anything. vs.19

#3. We are warned to keep away from things that could take 1st place in our lives over God.

Here are a few things to back up this thought.

In vs. 13 we are told that we can know that we have eternal life or that we belong to God.

In vs. 16 we are told that we could see a Christian sinning that we should pray for them.

The writer of I John is not changing the clear teaching of scripture that we are saved by grace through faith. The writer is saying that a person who truly knows God will not live in a habitual sin. We are convicted by the Holy Spirit who lives in us and eventually we will get it and stop. A person who says, I’m a Christian so I can live any way I want to probably doesn’t know God.

We can also reflect back to I John 3:9 and see this is what the writer was talking about.

1 John 3:9

New International Version (NIV)

9 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.

1 John 3:9

New Living Translation (NLT)

9 Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life[a]is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they are children of God.

Pastor Ronnie




October 10, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. Thanks so much for posting this ….. the thought crossed my mind you may have forgotten (which I couldn’t blame you as I’ve had a terribly busy week myself and quite forgetful unless i have a list). I appreciate you posting this. I also discussed this with a co-worker today who saw my post and she also had intended to post something for me. She shared with me a tool Bible Gateway I think was the name of it. You can click on commentary and see explanations – it also has all the translations like you posted above. THANKS AGAIN! This definitely helped!

    Comment by Judy | October 10, 2013 | Reply

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