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Can a true Christian sin or not?

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Can a true Christian sin or not?

Yes, he can sin
  • 1 John 1:8-10
    • "If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us." (NASB)
    • "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us." (NKJV)
No, he cannot sin
  • 1 John 3:9,
    • "No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God." (NASB)
    • "Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God." (NKJV)
  • 1 John 5:18,
    • "We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him and the evil one does not touch him." (NASB)
    • "We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him." (NKJV)
Is John contradicting himself when he says in one verse that if we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves (1 John 1:8), and yet he also says the one who is a Christian cannot sin (1 John 3:9; 5:18 NKJV)? There is no contradiction, but to see why we will need to look at the original Greek language.



Analysis


I have bolded the words above on which I would like to focus. In 1 John 3:9, the Greek word ποιεῖ (poiei) means to do, to practice. The V3SPAI is shorthand for Verb, 3rd Person Singular, Present, Active, Indicative. Likewise, VPAN means, Verb, Present, Active, Indicative.

ποιέωa: a marker of an agent relation with a numerable event—‘to do, to perform, to practice, to make.’ διδάσκων καὶ πορείαν ποιούμενος εἰς Ιεροσόλυμα ‘teaching as he made a journey to Jerusalem’ Lk 13:22; οἱ μαθηταὶ Ἰωάννου νηστεύουσιν πυκνὰ καὶ δεήσεις ποιοῦνται ‘John’s disciples often fast and pray’ Lk 5:33; τῷ σῷ ὀνόματι δυνάμεις πολλὰς ἐποιήσαμεν ‘in your name we did many miracles’ Mt 7:22; πίστει πεποίηκεν τὸ πάσχα ‘by faith he performed the Passover’ Heb 11:28.3​

So we see that the word means to do, to practice. But that isn't all. In Greek, like English, there are verb tenses: past, present, future. But in Greek, the present tense is not quite the same as the English. Instead, it is more a continuous action.

Present tense: "The verb tense where the writer portrays an action in process or a state of being with no assessment of the action’s completion."4

Finally, in 1 John 3:9 we see an infinitive form of a verb. The infinitive is "to go," "to see," "to eat," etc. This is important.

"And he cannot sin (και οὐ δυναται ἁμαρτανειν [kai ou dunatai hamartanein]). This is a wrong translation, for this English naturally means “and he cannot commit sin” as if it were και οὐ δυναται ἁμαρτειν [kai ou dunatai hamartein] or ἁμαρτησαι [hamartēsai] (second aorist or first aorist active infinitive). The present active infinitive ἁμαρτανειν [hamartanein] can only mean “and he cannot go on sinning,” as is true of ἁμαρτανει [hamartanei] in verse 8 and ἁμαρτανων [hamartanōn] in verse 6.5​

Conclusion

There is no contradiction. What is happening is that John is saying that the one who is born again does not habitually abide in sin. He may fall into it, but he does not practice it as a lifestyle. The nuances of the Greek language are not carried over to the English, but when we understand what is happening, we then see there is no problem.
Finally, any Christian who would say that he does not sin anymore fails to agree with 1 John 1:8 which says, "If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us." He would then be self-deceived.

Article source: Can a true Christian sin or not? | CARM.org
 
Loyal Member
Good point -- a person who is born again does not Habitually abide in sin. And when we Do get into a rut of some sort , the Holy Spirit Does convict us and works with us showing us in various ways that what we're doing or thinking about Is wrong. We receive a new nature but don't loose the old one.
 
Loyal Member
A good write. Perfection and a sinless existence is a promise of Heaven and yet to come for the believer in this physical life. Jesus died for the sins of the living!
 
I give you a thumbs up on this one Chad. It's good to see someone put effort into their studies to understand God's Word. You do good on all your post and always a pleasure to read.

What interlinear are you using? It looks like the Textus Receptus but it's not worded like the one I use, I'm wondering on what web site you get it from. I like the way its formatted.
 
Loyal Member
There is no contradiction. What is happening is that John is saying that the one who is born again does not habitually abide in sin. He may fall into it, but he does not practice it as a lifestyle
There is no contradiction, You say the same as most...maybe you just say it better!
 
Loyal Member
Can a true Christian sin or not?

Yes, he can sin
  • 1 John 1:8-10
    • "If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us." (NASB)
    • "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us." (NKJV)
No, he cannot sin
  • 1 John 3:9,
    • "No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God." (NASB)
    • "Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God." (NKJV)
  • 1 John 5:18,
    • "We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him and the evil one does not touch him." (NASB)
    • "We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him." (NKJV)
Is John contradicting himself when he says in one verse that if we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves (1 John 1:8), and yet he also says the one who is a Christian cannot sin (1 John 3:9; 5:18 NKJV)? There is no contradiction, but to see why we will need to look at the original Greek language.



Analysis


I have bolded the words above on which I would like to focus. In 1 John 3:9, the Greek word ποιεῖ (poiei) means to do, to practice. The V3SPAI is shorthand for Verb, 3rd Person Singular, Present, Active, Indicative. Likewise, VPAN means, Verb, Present, Active, Indicative.

ποιέωa: a marker of an agent relation with a numerable event—‘to do, to perform, to practice, to make.’ διδάσκων καὶ πορείαν ποιούμενος εἰς Ιεροσόλυμα ‘teaching as he made a journey to Jerusalem’ Lk 13:22; οἱ μαθηταὶ Ἰωάννου νηστεύουσιν πυκνὰ καὶ δεήσεις ποιοῦνται ‘John’s disciples often fast and pray’ Lk 5:33; τῷ σῷ ὀνόματι δυνάμεις πολλὰς ἐποιήσαμεν ‘in your name we did many miracles’ Mt 7:22; πίστει πεποίηκεν τὸ πάσχα ‘by faith he performed the Passover’ Heb 11:28.3​

So we see that the word means to do, to practice. But that isn't all. In Greek, like English, there are verb tenses: past, present, future. But in Greek, the present tense is not quite the same as the English. Instead, it is more a continuous action.

Present tense: "The verb tense where the writer portrays an action in process or a state of being with no assessment of the action’s completion."4

Finally, in 1 John 3:9 we see an infinitive form of a verb. The infinitive is "to go," "to see," "to eat," etc. This is important.

"And he cannot sin (και οὐ δυναται ἁμαρτανειν [kai ou dunatai hamartanein]). This is a wrong translation, for this English naturally means “and he cannot commit sin” as if it were και οὐ δυναται ἁμαρτειν [kai ou dunatai hamartein] or ἁμαρτησαι [hamartēsai] (second aorist or first aorist active infinitive). The present active infinitive ἁμαρτανειν [hamartanein] can only mean “and he cannot go on sinning,” as is true of ἁμαρτανει [hamartanei] in verse 8 and ἁμαρτανων [hamartanōn] in verse 6.5​

Conclusion

There is no contradiction. What is happening is that John is saying that the one who is born again does not habitually abide in sin. He may fall into it, but he does not practice it as a lifestyle. The nuances of the Greek language are not carried over to the English, but when we understand what is happening, we then see there is no problem.
Finally, any Christian who would say that he does not sin anymore fails to agree with 1 John 1:8 which says, "If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us." He would then be self-deceived.

Article source: Can a true Christian sin or not? | CARM.org
There is no contradiction, You say the same as most...maybe you just say it better!
The last test of it all is how a supposed Christian hears this as his or her last applied sermon:
Matthew 7:15-29 (KJV)
15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
28 And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine:
29 For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

A simple note to this...There are expectations for Christians beyond merely believing Jesus was and is. There are traits to expect of us. Attitudes. Signs, such as love for the brethren. Doing His commandments rather than mostly just memorizing them then practicing a few now and then. I had to memorize 11 general military orders in boot camp. Then came a series of tests while on guard duty. They took it all very seriously, and so does Jesus concerning his commandments. All who are dedicated to that principle are immune to charges of sin, seeing God has separated His disciples from our sins and failures as far as the east is from the west.
 
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Staff member
Greetings,

smells like Calvanism, which would be OK with the author. Total depravity has it's purpose when you treat (love) others as Calvin did.


Bless you ....><>
 
Loyal Member
Yes, a true Christian can and does sin. Sinless perfection is only obtained in heaven.

Since Calvanism has been brought up by the moderator, I'll admit that I was recently bumped off what turned out to be a 5-point Calvinist forum. That particular forum was equating True salvation with acceptance Of Calvanism. I'd pointed out that amongst their topics of discussion were 'controvercial beliefs' ' and under That heading were 5 topics -- one of which was Calvanism. I also tried to suggest that both Mr. Calvan and Mr. Arminian were men just like any other man.

My husband graduated many decades ago from a 5-pt. Calvanist Bible college and 1 yr of seminary. Reality is that he's about a 4 pointer.

A true Christian will Not be continuously committing the same sin -- the Holy Spirit Will be 'talking to them'. There are lots of people who struggle with temptations in particular areas of their lives. And there Are those who say that Because God knows their heart and understand them, that they are free to do that particular sin and not be punished for it. But some of those sins need to have partners and That is where you'd be aiding another person in doing something they should not be doing. And I wouldn't want to held accountable for purposefully hurting someone because of my 'selfish' actions.

It's more living a life-style of a certain thing that will be the downfall.
 
Loyal Member
@regibassman57 this is a most excellent post I hope that would take the time to read and ask for God to give you and me spiritual eyes and not wordy eyes when you read it. In Jesus name I ask and pray and praise the all mighty.

John 1 8-10 is speaking to believers

Conclusion

There is no contradiction. What is happening is that John is saying that the one who is born again does not habitually abide in sin. He may fall into it, but he does not practice it as a lifestyle. The nuances of the Greek language are not carried over to the English, but when we understand what is happening, we then see there is no problem.
Finally, any Christian who would say that he does not sin anymore fails to agree with 1 John 1:8 which says, "If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us." He would then be self-deceived.
 
Loyal Member
Good point -- a person who is born again does not Habitually abide in sin. And when we Do get into a rut of some sort , the Holy Spirit Does convict us and works with us showing us in various ways that what we're doing or thinking about Is wrong. We receive a new nature but don't loose the old one.
One can't serve Satan and Jesus both, but love one and hate the other. Once born again we have power to serve Jesus as well as we comprehend his commands as a good master to a servant. The servant is wise to learn the preferences of his or her master/Lord. A new creature in Christ has benefit of God's law written on the heart, but must be discipled by the indwelling Holy Spirit day by day. That enables a Christian to perceive right/wrong even if an issue is not dealt with in scripture. We are marked as good learners who live by what God expects by faith. Since we reject the mindset of the world concerning sin and righteousness, the god of the wicked (Satan) can't directly influence us to sin since we have nothing to do with him except submit to God, resist the devil, then know he will flee from us. As soon as we sin God takes it as a teaching moment with forgiveness when we repent earnestly. That doesn't happen for people not born again, unable to experience that fleeing of Satan from their lives, a slave to sin even when knowing their acts involve sin. They are trapped in the power of the Man of Sin (Old Man), while a righteous believer (in right standing with God) lives according to the lordship of Christ in us. The "old man" mindset dies with Christ in us, replaced by the new spiritual creature needing the mind to be renewed. It isn't acceptable to God to be governed by both, as a double-minded person receives nothing at all from him.
 
Active Member
@regibassman57 this is a most excellent post I hope that would take the time to read and ask for God to give you and me spiritual eyes and not wordy eyes when you read it. In Jesus name I ask and pray and praise the all mighty.

John 1 8-10 is speaking to believers

Conclusion

There is no contradiction. What is happening is that John is saying that the one who is born again does not habitually abide in sin. He may fall into it, but he does not practice it as a lifestyle. The nuances of the Greek language are not carried over to the English, but when we understand what is happening, we then see there is no problem.
Finally, any Christian who would say that he does not sin anymore fails to agree with 1 John 1:8 which says, "If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us." He would then be self-deceived.
You are correct.

Also, regibassman57 (here on this forum) has written extensively, claiming that he sometimes does wrong, yet he claims that such wrongdoing is not sin.

So, I have persistently set before him this reasoning to correct him:

1. Regibassman57 confesses that he sometimes knows what is right to do, yet he does wrong.
2. Knowing what is right to do, and not doing it, is sin (James 4:17).
3. Regibassman57 sometimes sins (from 1 and 2).
4. Regibassman57 claims he does NOT sometimes sin.

CONCLUSION: Regibassman57 has contradicted James 4:17.

And, thus far in my extensive chat with him, he does not appear to be willing to correct this problem.

Thus, he appears to be willing to continue to contradict James 4:17, as best I can tell.

Therefore, he appears to be an unbiblical theologian.

Just wanted to let you know what I've been doing, in regards to this issue, in my conversations with regi.

blessings....
 
Active Member
The last test of it all is how a supposed Christian hears this as his or her last applied sermon:
Matthew 7:15-29 (KJV)
15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
28 And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine:
29 For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

A simple note to this...There are expectations for Christians beyond merely believing Jesus was and is. There are traits to expect of us. Attitudes. Signs, such as love for the brethren. Doing His commandments rather than mostly just memorizing them then practicing a few now and then. I had to memorize 11 general military orders in boot camp. Then came a series of tests while on guard duty. They took it all very seriously, and so does Jesus concerning his commandments. All who are dedicated to that principle are immune to charges of sin, seeing God has separated His disciples from our sins and failures as far as the east is from the west.
Lots of good points!

In fact, Mt. 7:21-23 has Jesus casting away religious people who exhibit Torah-lessness (lawlessness, Gr. "anomia").

That's a good reason for us to seek to grow in faithful obedience to the Torah which was obeyed and taught by Jesus and the Apostles!

blessings...
 
Loyal Member
@Dovegiven,
Hello, I'm curious, are you saying, "Matthew 7:15-29" is talking about deceived believers and truthful believers? And would you mind speaking with me on this?
Yes, most certainly can we discuss that in view of other backup scriptures and a reasonable logic around those under guidance of our Holy Spirit within. To begin with, to listen to our LORD Jesus means to agree with His demands on our service, which was and still is the disciple satisfying his teacher. In ancient times the servant didn't go out and strike a contract with someone for a field of grain from seed to harvest that depends upon current efforts and the weather, while his master/boss is in the business of acquiring only precious gems that only need discovery.
 
Loyal Member
God desires relationship with all -- but not all accept Him -- we are All sinners -- some are saved by grace and some aren't. In other wards born-again believers (saved by grace) are just as capable of sinning as anyone else. But the born-again believer has the Holy Spirit indwelling them. But the Holy Spirit probably Won't stop you from committing any particular sin. But your testimony and His Name will be tarnished by our willful sinning. And that is possibly why some people have been taken 'home' sooner rather than later, because , even though a person is a believer, sometimes satan is allowed - by the person - to undermine their living and God decides To take the person 'home'.

No one will live in sinless perfection while here on this earth. Now, some people may Appear to be nearly perfect, but , it's only nearly. Not totally. There will always be that propensity For sinning.
 
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@Sue,
Do you consider yourself a High Priest in The Lord and separate from sinners; undefiled from sin?

Heb 7:26 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;
 

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