1 John 3:9 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 John 3:9, NIV: "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, ESV: "No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God."

1 John 3:9, KJV: "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, NASB: "No one who has been born of God practices sin, because His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin continually, because he has been born of God."

1 John 3:9, NLT: "Those who have been born into God's family do not make a practice of sinning, because God's life is in them. So they can't keep on sinning, because they are children of God."

1 John 3:9, CSB: "Everyone who has been born of God does not sin, because his seed remains in him; he is not able to sin, because he has been born of God."

What does 1 John 3:9 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

John continues his teaching on the topic of those who continue in sin. This is most often interpreted as a warning that such people are not believers. While this seems to agree with the general sense of Scripture, John's advice here is actually being targeted specifically at believers. In particular, that there is no excuse for sin in the life of a believer. Grace is a not a license to sin. Those who sin without remorse, conviction, or change have no relationship with Christ whatsoever. But even a saved Christian has to choose good over evil.

In this verse, the emphasis is on the one "born of God." God lives in the believer and the believer can therefore no longer live the same life as prior to becoming God's child. Though believers continue to sin, they will be changed more into the likeness of Christ. God's children are expected to reflect his characteristics to some degree. Again, the emphasis is not on perfection, but likeness. An unchanged person is not a true believer. A true believer cannot help but live differently because God lives within them.