Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His [God’s] seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. (1 John 3:9)
Does this verse tell us that a born-again believer never sins? If so, a lot of us would be left out, myself included! Is there any one of us who is truly born of God of whom it could be said, “He cannot commit sin”? I do not believe so. What, then, is the meaning of this verse?
My understanding is that it is talking about the new nature that has been born in us. This is a nature that cannot sin—the Jesus nature. It is the new man. This is very important to realize because only as we cultivate and yield to that nature do we come into a life of victory over sin.
In 1 John 5:4, we read, “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world.” Notice that John specified “whatever is born of God,” not whoever. He was referring to a person, but also to a nature. That is my understanding. It is the nature of the new man. This new nature cannot sin; it is incorruptible. Do you know why it is incorruptible? God’s seed remains in the new man. What is the seed? We find out in 1 Peter 1:23, “Having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever.”
What is the nature of the seed of God’s Word? It is incorruptible. Its exact opposite is the nature of the old man, which is corruptible (and is indeed already corrupt).