1 John 3:9
Sin can never spring from what a Christian truly is, at the level of his regenerate being, that is, in his spiritual life while in fellowship.
John has already defined two spheres or environments within which we may live – darkness or light. They are each mutually exclusive. And that means that neither can exist within the other. Darkness is exclusively dark and has no light. Light is exclusively light and has no darkness.
God is the ruler of the light, and Satan is the ruler of the darkness. Only sin and death come out of the dark. Only good or Gods righteousness comes out of the light.
A believer who aligns himself with the darkness will only produce sin. And we have already seen that sin is tantamount to lawlessness. So a criminal you are, when you live within the environment of darkness.
A believer who lives in the light, on the other hand, can only produce good (divine good) as God is in control of the believers soul when the believer is in the light (in fellowship), and doctrine is the ruling law within the believers thoughts.
Now, do not be confused. Once a person believes in Christ and becomes saved, he does not become incapable of sinning. Obviously that is not possible in this life. John did not say that the believer cannot sin, he said, that while the seed of God is in Him (potential), then the believer will not practice sinning.
The seed (‘gennao’ or the process of growing up) does not refer to salvation. By being named as a believer then salvation is a given. Salvation is a rebirth. But once saved, then the seeds of God become the doctrine which the believer may or may not learn. If learned, then the believer has another potential, and that is to either live in fellowship (in the light) or live out of fellowship (in the darkness). The condition of fellowship is determined by ones confession practices (see chapter one).
You either examine yourself regularly for filth (sin) or you do not. Just as you examine yourself each day for worldly filth (dust, sweat, human waste) and you go to the toilet or take a bath or shower and cleanse yourself regularly so that you will be acceptable in society, so too in your spiritual life you should examine yourself for sin and cleanse yourself by means of confession which cleans you up and makes you presentable to God.
You cannot approach God while filthy.
Loving your brother is a phrase for describing your attitude in life. You are either pleasant and tolerant because of the doctrine in you, or you are not. This is the overall trend or pattern of your life.
Can unbelievers be tolerant and pleasant? Yes. Can unbelievers approach God? No. Their approach is limited to faith in Christ. Apart from salvation, nothing living in darkness can associate with God. The environment in which you live is the key to your life, not the things you do or do not do.
To God, His children verses the children of Satan are obvious. God can look upon the soul and see every hidden detail. Nothing is hidden from God. To the discerning believer, much is obvious, though a believer can be fooled by a very clever person. But when the believer is advancing in his spiritual life, then he is more and more aware of the deceptions of the world.
Though we as advancing believers can discern between the subtleties of the world, we do not judge them. We merely see and discern and make appropriate adjustments within our life. We do not hit the gossip lines, nor do we pursue crusades in opposition of that which is not true. We can however pursue those things which are legitimate such as voting in elections, and by associating or not associating with some one.
As a believer, you do not have the right to redefine Gods rules. You do not have the right to make up pretenses which you believe should be allowed in your life and then presume that you are advancing in your spiritual life. For example, homosexuality (just to name one example of a sin of which there are many) is a sin. Justifying it in your own mind will never make it right. So by continually pursuing something that is wrong, you will be making it very difficult for yourself for living in fellowship when you constantly pursue things (any sin) that do not exist in Gods light of righteousness.
God does not tolerate sin in any fashion. Remember what John teaches us here. Living in the light means that you cannot commit a sin (while in fellowship). Or better stated, fellowship cannot become the source of your sins. So any compromise (committing of sins) of this principle means that you are obviously not in fellowship (in the light). Do not pretend and consequently do not fool yourself into believing a lie or lies which can thoroughly destroy your spiritual life.