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1 John 3:6,9

God Too the ‘Want To’

“Whosoever is born of God doth not commit (that is, practice) sin; for his seed remaineth in him and he cannot sin, because he is born of God” (1 John 3:9).

It is the grace of God working in the soul that makes the believer delight in holiness, in righteousness, in obedience to the will of God, for real joy is found in the service of the Lord Jesus Christ. I remember a man who lived a life of gross sin.

After his conversion, one of his old friends said to him, “Bill, I pity you—a man that has been such a high-flier as you. And now you have settled down; you go to church, or stay at home and read the Bible and pray; you never have good times any more.”

“But, Bob,” said the man, “you don’t understand. I get drunk every time I want to. I go to the theater every time I want to. I go to the dance when I want to. I play cards and gamble whenever I want to.”

“I say, Bill,” said his friend, “I didn’t understand it that way. I thought you had to give up these things to be a Christian.”

“No, Bob,” said Bill, “the Lord took the ‘want to’ out when He saved my soul, and he made me a new creature in Christ Jesus.”

When we are born of God we receive a new life and that life has its own new nature, a nature that hates sin and impurity and delights in holiness and goodness.

Illustrations of Bible Truth by H. A. Ironside, Moody Press, 1945, p. 43


  • Difficult Passages in the Epistles, R. Stein, Baker, 1988, p. 52