Title: Names of God; part 38. Being a son in the house of YHVH.
1JO 3:1 See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us [perfect tense: it is our permanent possession], that we should be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
1JO 3:2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is.
1JO 3:3 And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
1JO 3:4 Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.
1JO 3:5 And you know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin.
1JO 3:6 No one who abides in Him sins [present active indicative of harmatano]; no one who sins [present active participle of harmatano] has seen Him or knows Him.
1JO 3:7 Little children, let no one deceive you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous;
1JO 3:8 the one who practices [present active participle of poieo] sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, that He might destroy the works of the devil.
1JO 3:9 No one who is born [perfect participle] of God practices sin [present active indicative of poieo], because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin [present infinitive], because he is born of God.
The entire passage speaks of habitual sin. The divine seed, or the divine nature makes it impossible for the believer to habitually sin. He cannot habitually sin is the present infinitive.
The infinitive in the present tense in Greek always speaks of continuous, habitual action, never the mere fact of the action.
"No one who is born of God continually practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot continually practice sin, because he is born of God."
If John wanted to speak of the mere fact of performing a sin he could have easily used an aorist infinitive, but he chose the present infinitive in accordance with the other present tenses he has used in speaking of habitual sin.
He is not saying that there is an allowable amount of sin in the believer's life. The wave of false doctrines that would eventually overtake the church had started to build up its momentum and was quickly reaching its crest.
1JO 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
The Holy Spirit was preparing the church through John's final years in presenting this epistle that emphasized the ideal spiritual life and resolutely declaring that it cannot be compromised in any way.
Take the time to read through the entire epistle. Read it through once and then read it again more slowly. Once you have understood its main thrust then read it again more quickly. In this way you will get its feel.
1JO 3:9 No one who is born of God practices sin [present active indicative of poieo], because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin [present infinitive], because he is born of God.
"he cannot sin" - present infinitive always speaks of continuous, habitual action.
2PE 1:1 Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ:
2PE 1:2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord;
2PE 1:3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.
2PE 1:4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, in order that by them you might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.
The fact that we are made righteous by grace, and that we are empowered and given wisdom by grace, and that we are who we are as new creatures in Christ reveals to us another aspect of the works that God has given us to do.
God's works are done spontaneously by the positive believer since he possesses a divine nature or seed. Spontaneously means that they are done by nature.
By spontaneous we mean done from the very nature of the person, as opposed to premeditated in which we seek God's favor.
This is why God doesn’t tell us exactly what the works are. He only tells us that He has foreordained them for us to walk in.
When we say nature, we do not at all mean of the earth or the natural world. We mean the nature of our being. We might say it is our genus, but the Bible uses the Greek word phusis, which Peter uses here in verse 4. It derives from phuo, which means to bring forth. Jesus is called the monogenes, the only begotten One. Mono prefix speaks of His uniqueness, for no one is like Him. We do not become Christ’s. From Him we are born again of the Spirit. Nicodemus confused this phrase with natural birth. We are phusis, of the divine nature, and as such we are designed, fearfully and wonderfully made, to spontaneously perform divine works from our very nature, and all by means of grace. Any believer who can get a glimpse of that will wonder in his soul of the wonderful, dynamic, blessed, and exciting life that awaits him in time and in eternity.
The psalmist speaks of his physical birth in Psa 139, how much more wonderful is our spiritual birth.
PSA 139:13 For Thou didst form my inward parts;
Thou didst weave me in my mother's womb.
The development of the child in the womb was look upon by the Jews as one of the greatest mysteries of wisdom.
PSA 139:14 I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Thy works,
And my soul knows it very well.
PSA 139:15 My frame was not hidden from Thee,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth.
He views the depths of the earth as the secret lab where God skillfully makes each person, referencing the dust of the earth from which our physical bodies were formed and combining that with the unknown.
PSA 139:16 Thine eyes have seen my unformed substance [raw material];
And in Thy book they were all written,
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.
Among the days which were preformed in the idea of God there was also one, says the poet, for the embryonic beginning of my life. The divine knowledge embraces the beginning, development, and completion of all things. The knowledge of the thoughts of God which are written in the book of creation and revelation is the poet's cherished possession, and to ponder over them is his favorite pursuit: they are precious to him.
PSA 139:17 How precious also are Thy thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
PSA 139:18 If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand.
When I awake, I am still with Thee.
There are a number of interpretations of this last line. I personally like it to mean that the wonderfulness of what is said is like a dream and harsh reality sometimes snaps me out of it, but even when I lose sight of the wonderful in life, God is still with me.