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Last updated: Sep 23, 2013
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What's New: Is the Bible "inspired"?
"Insights" from the New Testament Greek
By Bob Jones, Northside Bible Church, Jacksonville Florida
The Wonderful Riches of Godís Word. Example, 1 John 3:9.
1 John 3:9 in the KJV states: "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God".
This is a very rich verse, and it has three parts that should be treated individually:
Part 1. "Whosoever is born of God" Part 2. "doth not commit sin" & "cannot sin" Part 3. "his seed remaineth in him"
Part One of Three "The Child of God is Eternally Secure" I John 3:9
The word "born" appears twice in 1 John 3:9, and both times the Greek verb is in the "perfect" tense. The Greek "perfect" tense means that the action has already taken place, and that the results of the action continue. This means that being "born of God" is permanent, leaving no possibility that the child of God can be "unborn".
The "new birth" is a "spiritual" birth, at an instant in time, as Jesus taught Nicodemus in John 3:3-8. The New Testament also teaches that we were in the Kingdom of Satan, and at an instant in time, the new birth, transferred each of us into the kingdom of God. Col. 1:13 states that God has "delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son".
Two New Testament synonyms for the "new birth" are "regeneration", and "quickening":
--- New Birth = Gennao = To procreate, give birth. Primarily human, but in John 1:13, John 3:3-8, 1 Cor 4:15, 1 John 2:29, 3:9, 4:7, and 5:1, 4, & 18, it is our spiritual birth.
--- Regeneration = Palingenesia = To regenerate, recreate, the restoration of a thing to its pristine state. Only used in Titus 3:5 , for the new birth restoring us to the state of Adam before the fall.
--- Quicken = Zoopoieo = To make alive, give life where there was no life. Translated "quicken" in the KJV, in John 5:21 , Eph 2:1&5, and Col. 2:13 .
The Greek verb tenses where we find the "new birth" teach that the child of God is eternally secure. There is no possibility of the child of God being "unborn" and reverting to the kingdom of Satan. The eternal security of the children of God is virtually taught all over the New Testament, and even the familiar John 3:16 is a very strong statement of our "eternal security":
John 3:16 Translated from the Greek: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, for the purpose that anyone who is presently trusting and relying on him cannot even begin to perish, but will keep on having everlasting life."
So, the first part of our verse, 1 John 3:9, teaches that the "new birth" is permanent. Now, some people will bristle at the mention of eternal security of the believer, thinking that it gives them a "license to sin". This could not be farther from the truth, and we will take up this subject in part two, 1 John 3:9 - "The Seriousness of Christian Sin" .