Paul's Passing Thoughts

How To Make A Protestant’s Head Explode…

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Young, PPT contributing editor on January 29, 2018

“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.”
~ 1 John 3:9

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  1. John said, on January 29, 2018 at 7:37 AM

    But you’re born so evil that even big mommy’s boys (who like little girls) like Voddie Baucham are scared of babies.

    And then you get to the born-again one-time event, which could happen even when you’re a child. That certainly also is able to implode the head of a Protestant/Calvinist.

    Someone pass me an I-don’t-care mint.


  2. Ken B said, on January 31, 2018 at 3:17 AM

    The RSV has No one born of God commits sin; for God’s nature abides in him, and he cannot sin because he is born of God for your verse.

    I have a question: do you think what John says earlier only refers to pre-Christian experience? I have in mind

    If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not live according to the truth; but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

    Surely ‘not committing sin’ does not entail sinless perfection, John seems to make provision for believers to find forgivenness for sins committed after conversion. I have understood 3 v 9 to mean the new man cannot sin, but we are still living with the weakness of the flesh, and can act out of character with our new nature. We have to put on the new man, be what we are.

    If, however, our way of life never really changes – which is what I think the ESV is hinting at, then we have never been converted in the first place, there is no new birth and no new man. A pious, religious, yea even Calvinist fa├žade, perhaps, but no more than that.

    Alex Guggenheim has incidentally done a very good piece on this theme recently well worth reading in this regard over a Pedestrian Christian.


    • Andy Young, PPT contributing editor said, on January 31, 2018 at 8:18 AM

      Thanks for the comment, and it is a great question. What we first need to understand is that in 1 John chapter 1, John is making the case for justification as contrasted against the gnostic teachings that had infiltrated the assemblies there. By the time he gets to chapter 3, John is stating the reality of the believer’s nature because of the New Birth. The reason Reformed/Protestant orthodoxy has such a hard time reconciling these two seemingly contradictory passages is because they do not treat the believer as being any different in nature as an unbeliever, thus, all “sin” is sin. They make no distinction between sin for the unbeliever and “sin” for the believer. I believe the ESV rendering of 1 John 3:9 is a vain attempt to reconcile this supposed contradiction in order to make it fit reformed orthodoxy.

      As we have stated many times here at PPT, because the old man is dead the law has no jurisdiction over him. In other words, even if we accept the notion that a believer has “sinned”, what law can you use to condemn him? The answer is there is none because the law was ended for him. He is no longer under law, therefore there is no condemnation. And the apostle John understands this when he says that the one who is the righteous born again offspring of the Father does not commit sin nor CAN he commit sin!

      I have elaborated more on this point at this post here:


      • Martin said, on January 31, 2018 at 2:24 PM

        This is a great summary Andy. I’m going to be forwarding the link you’ve provided for others’ benefits. Thank you!


      • Andy Young, PPT contributing editor said, on January 31, 2018 at 2:39 PM

        Thanks for the encouraging words, Martin!


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