Saturday, April 18, 2015


A born-again Christian, it is written, “cannot” commit sin. (1John 3:9)  As we all know, this verse has been the subject of controversy among worldly Christians and lovers of sin.  The reason is that the Bible makes no distinction between practical and theoretical possibilities.  The expressions “cannot” and “will not” are used interchangeably, saying at times of various people that they “will not hearken,” (Lev 26:27) and of the same people that they “cannot hearken.” (Jer 6:10)

In matters of moral weight, if it is said that one “cannot” do something, it means that this is a self-imposed restriction. We know this, because humans were created in the “image” of God, (Gen 1:26 freely able to choose whom they would serve, whether to sin or to righteousness. (Josh 24:15, Rom 6:16)  In other words, a Christian “cannot” commit sin because he has chosen to walk in the spirit, and not in the flesh, “That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Rom 8:4)

Just as it was with Christ, it is theoretically possible to do some known, wrong act, but it is a practical impossibility.  Luke was speaking with someone recently about the Victory message, and he shared with me some of how the conversation went.  The individual with whom he was speaking put it very well.  He said, essentially, “There is no way I would commit a known sin.”  That is exactly what the Bible means by “cannot;” that, “there is no way.”  We may just as correctly say, “There is no way I would ever drink poison.”  Of course we have arms capable of lifting a vial of poison to our mouths, and we have mouths and throats to swallow, but our very human nature restricts us (unless we are suicidal) from knowingly doing something that will result in our deaths.  We may, theoretically, do such a thing, but there is “no way” we ever would.  This is how the Bible, when speaking of moral issues, uses the term “cannot.”  Are there any questions on this entry?

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