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Who's your family?

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. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. 1 John 3:9-10 ESV

Verse 9 parallels the first half of verse 6, “No one who abides in him keeps on sinning.” The phrase “born of God” is used by John frequently. It refers to a person who repented of sin and made the decision to receive Jesus as Lord and Savior. John says that these believers, do not make a “practice of sinning for God's seed abides in him.” The phrase “God’s seed” refers to God’s nature being planted into the life of the believer, helping the believer to continue to live righteously. “By which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire” (2 Peter 1:4). Because God’s seed abides to those who are born-again believers and their Father is God, they “cannot keep on sinning.” “A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit” (Matthew 7:18). It is God who guards the seed that has been planted in the life of believers and He will see to it that the seed grows and develops. Like from the previous passages, the phrase John used “cannot keep on sinning,” is in the present tense, which means that a believer might still sin in their lifetime, but they should not pursue habitual sin. As we have seen throughout John’s letter, there is no gray area: you are either of the light or darkness, truth or lie, God or the devil. John establishes the line in the sand, through a person’s conduct. “Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother” (1 John 3:10). Jesus Christ Himself declared this command in John 13:34-35, “I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” God sees the heart and can tell who is a believer and who is not, while us humans do not have such ability. Yet, it is through our actions that give a good idea as to who is a believer and who is an imposter or “going through the motions.” if we claim we are believers, and yet, we do not love one another, follow God’s commands, continue to sin habitually, we need to seriously evaluate whether or not we have truly surrendered our hearts to God. The new birth we have determines whose family we belong to. And if we belong to God’s family, it should show and it will show.


Isaac De Guzman


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