How should 1 JN 3:4-10 be understood? It says that no one who remains in Christ commits sin. It says that no one who sins has seen or known God. It says that whoever sins belongs to the devil.
I believe that we all commit sins. Even the very holiest of people sin at least a little. St. Paul says in Romans that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Even if we do not commit mortal sin, we commit venial sins. Only Jesus and Mary have been sinless.
So, how does that comport with this passage?
Is St. John referring only to mortal sin?
Is it not possible to have known God and then sin again (even mortally)?
1 JN 3:4-10:
4 Everyone who commits sin commits lawlessness, for sin is lawlessness.
5 You know that he was revealed to take away sins, and in him there is no sin.
6 No one who remains in him sins; no one who sins has seen him or known him.
7 Children, let no one deceive you. The person who acts in righteousness is righteous,
just as he is righteous.
8 Whoever sins belongs to the devil, because the devil has sinned from the beginning. Indeed, the Son of God was revealed to destroy the works of the devil.
9 No one who is begotten by God commits sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot sin because he is begotten by God.
10 In this way, the children of God and the children of the devil are made plain; no one who fails to act in righteousness belongs to God, nor anyone who does not love his brother.