Intro

This blog gains its name from the book Steele's Answers published in 1912. It began as an effort to blog through that book, posting each of the Questions and Answers in the book in the order in which they appeared. I began the project on Dec. 10, 2011. I completed it on July 11, 2015. Along the way, I began to also post snippets from Dr. Steele's other writings — and from some other holiness writers of his times. I still do that every once in a while.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Believers Cannot Sin

QUESTION: Explain 1 John 3:9: "Whosoever is begotten of God doeth no sin, because his seed remaineth in him, and he cannot sin because he is begotten of God."

ANSWER: The verb "begotten" is in the Greek in the perfect tense, denoting the continuance of sonship. The verb "sin" is present, denoting not a single act, but a series of acts, a habit of sinning. He cannot be a sinner and a saint at the same time. Such a contradiction is an impossible character. In chap. 2:1: "If any (Christian) man sin (Aorist denoting a single act) we have an advocate," etc. If any believer contrary to the tenor of his life under the pressure of some sudden temptation commits a sin, he is not to give up in despair, drop his oars and go over the Niagara of damnation, but to remember that he has a Friend at Court through whom he may find forgiveness. If he does not do this, but enters on a career of sinning, he is no longer a child of God, but a child of the devil, as 1 John 3:10 declares, and is on his way to the place where Judas is.

— From Steele's Answers p. 19.