“We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him.”
is born of God
John again picks up the idea of the family of God (3:9). Father and son carry similar characteristics. Since Christians possess the same nature as God, they manifest His distinctive viewpoint on life.
does not sin;
The phrase “does not sin” carries the idea of abiding results. The believer born of God at one point in the past remains a child of God with permanent sinless constitutional orientation (1 Jn 2:29; 3:9; 4:7; 5:1,4). The new nature is inherently sinless, so it cannot sin under any condition.
By being “born of God,” Christians have a new nature or capacity that does not sin [just as in 3:9]. The sin capacity can sin, and the divine capacity cannot sin. A sinful life is not compatible with the “new man” or the divine capacity to relate to God. Divine life received from God at salvation is sinless; it does not have the capacity to sin. God rules this new life in Christ.
Anyone that comes from God cannot sin because God is absolute. The divine dimension of the Christian’s life cannot sin. His sin nature/capacity will sin, but not his divine nature/capacity. If there is no inkling inside a person to please God, he is not a Christian.
1 Jn 2:18-19, 18 “Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.”
The divine life received from God at salvation is sinless and sets a radically new orientation toward life in the believer.
Conversion is a result of the new nature indwelling the Christian. That is why accepting Christ is so revolutionary. God puts into the believer a dynamic new bearing and attitude of life.
The new nature/capacity of the believer makes a powerful claim on us. It makes compelling demands on the direction of his life. There is no way to become a Christian and not significantly change our way of life.
Every truly born again person has the capacity to meet temptation and the wiles of the devil. His new life in Christ makes him abhor sin. This capacity does not imply that he will be sinless but that the new divine capacity within him cannot sin and moves him to resist sin.
The ability to resist sin lies within every Christian. We do not master sin personally, but we have the nature of the Master over sin dwelling within us. By imparting His nature to us, we have a whole new capacity for life. That capacity cannot sin because it is absolute as an entity from God Himself. God cannot sin, and anything that He gives is perfect.
The Christian sins by his old nature or sin capacity. The believer doesn’t need to follow the dictates of his sinful nature. The only way a Christian can sin is to allow the old nature to dominate the new nature.