The Perseverance of the Believer

I Jn 3:9-10

9 Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.

10 In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother. (NKJ)

This message was preached March 10, 2002 at FBC Toulon, by Albert Harmon. See it at  

 Have you sinned since you became a believer? I think that if you answer honestly that your answer will be yes. We all sin. Sometimes it is only in thought that we sin, but we still sin. So then how do we deal with this verse, verse 9.

It says they that are born of God do not sin. And that is true, in what it says.

The further explanation of that is in verse 10, to Practice sin or Practice Righteousness.

What it is saying is that those who born of God cannot practice, live in sin as they once did.


  1. We cannot sin, we will persevere. V-9
    1. This teaching goes had in hand with the eternal security of the believer.
      1. The believer is secure not only because Jesus died in his place.
      2. The believer is secure because God continues to work within the believer.
        1. Phil 1:6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; (NKJ)
        2. Ps 37:24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the LORD upholds him with His hand. (NKJ)
        3. 1Thes 3:12-13 And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you, so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints. (NKJ)
    2. God is sovereign and can accomplish His plan for our lives, therefore we are secure.
      1. John 6:39-40 "This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. "And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day." (NKJ)
      2. John 10:27-29 "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. "And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. "My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand. (NKJ)
      3. 1 Pet 1:3-5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (NKJ)
    3. The Bible tells us that we continue to grow in Jesus Christ.
      1. Prov 4:18-19 But the path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day. The way of the wicked is like darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble. (NKJ)
  2. God's seed remains in us and prevents us from living again in sin. V-9
    1. This refers to the Holy Spirit.
    2. The Holy Spirit is what empowers us to live the Christian life.
      1. 2 Cor 1:21-22 Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. (NKJ)
      2. I Jn 2:13-14 I write to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the wicked one. I write to you, little children, because you have known the Father. I have written to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the wicked one. (NKJ)
      3. I Jn 4:4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. (NKJ)
  3. This is the grand mark that distinguishes true believers from mere professors. V-10
    1. I Jn 5:4-5 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world-- our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? (NKJ)
    2. I Jn 2:19 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. (NKJ)
    3. Matt 24:13 "But he who endures to the end shall be saved. (NKJ)
    4. Rom 2:6-7 who "will render to each one according to his deeds": eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; (NKJ)
    5. Heb 3:14 For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, (NKJ)
  4. There are great blessings for those who overcome as recorded in the book of Revelation
    1. Rev 2:7 "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God."' (NKJ)
    2. Rev 2:11 "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death."' (NKJ)
    3. Rev 2:17 "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it."' (NKJ)
    4. Rev 2:26 "And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations- (NKJ)
    5. Rev 3:5 "He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. (NKJ)
    6. Rev 3:12 "He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. And I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name. (NKJ)
    7. Rev 3:21 "To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. (NKJ)
    8. Rev 12:11 "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. (NKJ)
    9. Rev 15:2 And I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God. (NKJ)
    10. Rev 21:7 "He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. (NKJ)
  5. Some Biblical Examples
    1. Peter & Judas
    2. Moses and Korah Numbers 16
    3. David & Saul

The key is to never sin, but to never want to sin.

The key is not to never fall but to get up once you have fallen.

There is a big difference between a sheep and a pig.

There is a big difference between a child of God and those controlled by sin and Satan.