Born of God

1John 3:9 Whosoever is born of God does not commit sin; for his seed remains in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

‘Born of God’ when one is born of God he will have the following changes in his nature: A moral and spiritual change, not a physical one (John 3:1-8; Gal. 4:29) and a change of heart, will, motives, desires, life and conduct, and not an organism (2Cor. 5:17-18). There is a change of masters, not of constitutional makeup of body, soul, or spirit (Rom. 6:11-23; 8:1-4). Adoption takes place – one from the satanic family into the family of God (Rom. 8:14-16; Gal. 4:5; Eph. 1:5). There is not a coming into existence of the body, soul, or spirit, as in the natural birth, but a consecration of them to serve God and holiness instead of satan and sin (Rom. 6:16-22; 8:1-13; Col. 3:5-10; Gal. 5:16-26).  Not a begetting by the Holy Spirit in the sense that Jesus became and is the only begotten Son of God (John 1:14, 18; 3:16), but a renewal in righteousness and true holiness of one who is already in existence (Eph. 4:23-24; Col. 3:10; Ps. 51:10). A change of nature takes place, but not the coming into existence of that nature (Rom. 3:24-25; 2Cor. 5:17; Tit. 3:5) and a change of favour, a new standing before God (3:8-10; Rom. 5:1-2; Eph. 2:1-9; Tit. 2:11-14; 2Pet. 3:18) as well as a change of character, state and service (Rom. 3:24-31; 5:1-11; 1Cor. 13:1-13; Gal. 5:22-23; 2Tim. 2:21; Tit. 2:11-14)

The very moment one is grown enough to recognize he is a sinner and when he repents and believes the gospel a moral and spiritual change takes place (1:9; Mark 1:15; 2Cor. 5:17-18; Rom. 1:16; 10:9-10; Eph. 2:8-9;). The very moment he decides to sin again he has a moral fall, incurs the penalty of the broken law again and comes under the sentence of death again (3:8-10; John 8:34; Rom. 6:11-23; 8:1-13; 2Cor. 6:9-11; Gal. 5:4, 19-21; Heb. 6:4-9; 10:26-29; Jas. 1:13-15; 5:19-20; 2Pet. 2:19-22;; etc.). If a person sins, he must be forgiven and restored or pay the death penalty as in Galatians 6:7-8 and in the noted scriptures.

Many fallacies are regularly based on 1John 3:9: That a born-again person cannot sin or that his sins are not real ones. That God automatically forgives his sins without confession; That God does not see his sins; instead He sees the blood of Christ which he is trusting in. That sins are not imputed [credited] to him and that he does not practice sin, but commits occasional sin. That all his sins – past, present, and future – are already forgiven.

At best, these fallacies are vain attempts to explain this verse and all of them are unscriptural. The secret of a proper understanding of this verse is in the word ‘IN’ which means in harmony with or in union with and not physical entrance into. The seed is the Word of God by which a man is born again (1Pet. 1:23; Jas. 1:18). The simple idea is that as long as one remains in union with or in harmony with the seed, or the Word of God, he cannot sin. One who is consecrated to obey the Word and refuses to sin, cannot break the commandments of God. Therefore, he cannot sin, for sin is the transgression of the law (1Jn. 3:4). The reason given here for not being able to sin is that “His” (God’s) seed (the Word of God) remains (abides) in him. That is, the one born again refuses to transgress the commandment of God and commit sin. As long as this consecration remains he will be unable to sin. If he grows cold in his love for God, ceasing to pray and maintain his spiritual life, he then may be overcome again and sin by transgressing the Word of God (1Jn. 2:1; 2Pet. 1:5-10).

2 thoughts on “Born of God

  1. Interesting… this is the first time I’ve heard of someone interpreting “Seed” in 1 John 3:9 to be the word of God, instead of the Holy Spirit. Why have you interpreted to be, particularly when being born of God means being Born Again?

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    1. 1Peter 1:23 explain seed:  “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.”  Seed = incorruptible Word of God.
      According to Matthew 13:19-23 the Word of God is illustrated as seed sown by the Sower (Jesus Christ); when His Word is planted in us, as illustrated by this parable. we can grow in Him – see John 15 for having been washed with the Word.

      To be born of God is to be born again and refers to the new birth; there is a birth taking place when one becomes a new creature during salvation as described in 2Corinthians 5:17-19.

      Please note that we are not supposed to make our own interpretations of the Word, as we are commanded in 2 Tim. 2:15 to “rightly dividing the word of truth.” The Greek meaning is orthotomeo (G3718), to set straight; handle right. It means not only to give the true meaning but also the correct application to the various times and classes of people. Truth must be divided dispensationally, prophetically, historically, and with regard for classes and subjects. The chief fundamental principle of interpretation is to gather from the Scriptures themselves the precise meaning the writers intended to convey. One should take the Bible literally wherever it is at all possible. When the language cannot be taken literally, we know it is figurative. We should then get the literal truth conveyed by the figurative language.

      John 8:17; and 2Cor. 13:1 states the law of interpreting Scripture. Every doctrine must be proved by at least two or three scriptures to be accepted as truth and binding upon Christians (Deut. 19:15; Matt. 18:16). We use Scripture to interpret Scripture and lean not on our own understanding or opinion.

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