The One Abiding in Him

1 John 3:6 Every, the one abiding, in Him does not sin. Every, the one sinning, has not seen Him with discernment nor experientially knows Him.

We do not see the change in any of our English translations with the word “sin” in this passage. ‘Sin” is used twice, once as a verb, which describes an action and once as a participle which describes a characteristic. The KJV and NAS us the same word “sin” for both forms, which actually hides the meaning from the reader. The ESV attempts to distinguish the words from the NAS and KVJ, but ends up making the same mistake. The forms of the word “sin” are very important here. A participle is a verbal noun which uses an action to describe a person or characterize them as someone who does the action stated by the verbal portion. Its focus is not on the action of the verb directly. Whereas, a verb simply looks at the action.

We have two participles that are extremely important to our understanding of this passage. First is “the one abiding”. This is one who is characterized as feeling as ease in Him (Christ). Not just simply abiding for a small period of time, off and on, but not really feeling at ease; rather, one who has settled down and feels at ease with who he or she is in Christ. In the translation above I followed the Original Greek, which makes for a bit of hard English, but also helps to bring out the truth of the passage. “Every, the one abiding” (participle), is not referring directly to the action but to the characteristic of the individual who is abiding. “every” is added in the Greek […]