Why does the Greek, in 1 John 3:9, say that those born of God are not able to miss the mark, when it states in Romans 3:23 that all have missed the mark and fallen short of God's glory?"


Clarify Share Report Asked September 25 2014 Me at sawdust fest 2b Craig Mcelheny

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Mini James Kraft 74 year old retired pipeline worker
When we are born in to the family of God, we have a new sinless nature given to us when we first believed. But, we still have our old sinful nature. If you do not believe it ask your wife.

So now we have two natures. Our first birth which was born of Adam, and our second birth which is of Christ. We either live out of the first, or the second. But we all still sin because of our old nature. The second birth can not sin because His seed remains in us. But our old nature is still as sinful as it always was because it was born in Adam.

First John 1:8 says, if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. So we still all sin. Some of us are pretty good at it. But, the blood of Christ covers us from all sin. 

We are saved because of our new nature in Christ which can not sin. We all die because of sin in the flesh. The new nature does not do away with the old or change it at all. The old nature can not be saved and can not be made righteous. Don't even try. It is impossible for the old nature to be made righteous.

We are born in to the family of God by faith alone, We can not save our selves by changing our life or giving up sin. We can only be saved by what Jesus did for us in His finished work on the cross, plus nothing from us.

We have nothing to boast in because Jesus paid it all and we did nothing for it. The good news is we are saved the instant we trusted Christ alone by faith. We became the righteousness of God by faith, not by what we do or do not do. We are saved like Abraham, he believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness. Romans 4:5 So now we have eternal life, and can no longer be condemned. That is good news. Do we still sin? Yes.

So, we are not saved by giving up sin, or committing our selves to the Lord ship of Christ, or inviting Jesus into our hearts, or telling the Lord we are gong to do better in the future, or persevering in the faith, but by believing in the finished work of Christ that He gave us His perfect life and covered all of our sins with His blood sacrifice,

We are justified sinners by faith alone. We are made righteous by the new birth. In the new birth we can not sin because it has been made righteous, but the old remains with us and still sins. 

Flesh and blood can not enter the kingdom of heaven because of sin. We all sin but the old will die so that the righteous part, our soul/spirit will be saved.

February 23 2017 13 responses Vote Up Share Report

Me at sawdust fest 2b Craig Mcelheny Christian Author
This is all about the ‘perfect’ in 1 Corinthians 13:10 and when it comes about (1 Corinthians 13:12).

The Problem: If you accept the standard translation of the Greek word ‘Harmartano’ – to miss the mark (G264), as the word ‘sin’; then the Greek in 1 John 3:9, as well as 1 John 5:18, states that if you are born of God (‘born again’) you are NOT ABLE to sin. It does NOT say ‘cannot keep on sinning’ as translated in the ESV.

The Solution: Once you understand the meaning of the word ‘Harmartano’ and what it means to be perfected, or completed In Christ, you can begin to see that 1 John 3:9 speaks of the resurrection when we are in our glorified bodies. This requires a re-evaluation of what it means to be ‘born again’. As Peter said in 1 Peter 1:3, we have been “born again to a living HOPE”. The hope is that we will complete the process of being ‘born again’ at the resurrection. Until then, we are STILL ABLE to sin.

In my exchange with JD in his answer, I cite the difference between Paul’s view of one who is ‘born again’ (Romans 7:24-25) and John’s view in 1 John 3:9. John claims that “having been begotten of God” we are NOT ABLE to sin. Paul, in Romans 7:20, states that sin indwells us to compel us to do what we know to be wrong. Paul is definitely speaking of one who has been indwelled by the Holy Spirit, or he would not be serving “the law of God” (Romans 7:25, the law of the Spirit of life In Christ – Romans 8:2).

Paul draws attention to the duality that exists in us while we are on this earth. It is with our minds that we follow the law of the Spirit, but it is with our fleshly bodies that the law of sin and death still abounds (Romans 7:25). We all have the choice of serving the one over the other. It is not until we are in our glorified spiritual bodies that we will NOT BE ABLE to sin.

In 1 Corinthians 13:12, the ‘perfect’ comes when we are “face to face” with Jesus. This happens in 1 John 2:29. In the NKJV and the NASB there are two Greek words that are translated as the word ‘know’. The first one used is ‘eido’ (G1492). It is defined in Strong’s as: “Properly to see…by implication to know:- be aware, behold…” In 1 John 2:29 it is rendered “If you know that He is righteous”. It should read “if you see the righteousness of Jesus, face to face”.

The second use of the word ‘know’ in the NKJV and the NASB is the Greek word ‘ginosko’ (G1097). It is defined in Strong’s as, “to ‘know’ (absolute)…be aware, perceive, be sure, understand”. In the ESV it is rendered, “you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of Him" (1 John 2:29).

1 John 2:29 is saying that when we see (eido) the righteousness of Jesus face to face, we will know (ginosko) for sure that we will be completed in the image of the Father and possess our inheritance, the righteousness of Christ, no longer able to sin (Harmatano – miss the mark in 1 John 3:9).

For more detail on what it means to ‘miss the mark’ see my response to Sung Park’s answer.

For more detail on what the ‘perfect’ is, see my answer to “What is the meaning of ‘perfect’ in 1 Corinthians 13:10?”

God bless

October 07 2014 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Mini Sung Park Father to 4 Boys & "Assiduous Contemplater" of the Word
This is a good question. The answer is simple in that 1 John 3:9 is referring to the state of those who are "born of God" or regenerated, while Romans is referring to the condition of everyone who is unregenerate. 

The context of each verse makes it clear that the former is talking about how believers cannot continue practicing sin if indeed they are regenerated. The latter is referring to the universal fallenness of mankind apart from Christ. When you see the same words being used in different verses leading to seemingly contradictory meanings, let the context of the passage guide you.

September 28 2014 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

Q jcryle001 JD Abshire
I agree with Sung's explanation of Romans 3:23 but believe we need to take a second look at 1 John 3:9 "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God."

I believe the "seed" spoken of in this verse is the Holy Spirit. If truly born of God, born from above, this "seed" permanently and eternally indwells the individual. This seed cannot sin. However, the old Adamic, sinful nature remains and will continue until death or the rapture occurs.

Paul addresses the constant war that rages within his being in Romans chapter 7. As with all of God's Word, it is all a very wonderful and enlightening read but let's look at v. 14-25.

14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. 16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. 17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. 19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 

21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. 22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

September 28 2014 5 responses Vote Up Share Report

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