On 1 Jn 3.9-18
LISTEN ATTENTIVELY, I beg you, for there is lodged in our midst no small matter. And I have no doubt that you were present and attentive yesterday1. because you have assembled today [even] more attentively.
(2) For it is not a small problem, how [John] says in this epistle, "He who has been born of God sins not," and yet how in the same epistle he earlier said, "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us."2. What will he do whom the two quotations from the same epistle have stuck right in the middle? If he confesses himself a sinner, he fears that it may be said to him, "Therefore, you have not been born of God, for it has been written, 'He who has been born of God sins not.'" But if he says that he is just and has no sin, he receives from the other side a blow from the very same epistle: "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us." Therefore, the fellow has been put right in the middle and does not find what he might say, what he might confess, or what he might profess. For him to profess himself to be without sin is dangerous, and not only dangerous but also lying: "We deceive ourselves," [ John] says, "and the truth is not in us if we say that we have no sin." But would that you had none and would so say! For you would say the truth and you would not fear any even slight trace of iniquity in giving out the truth. But you do wrongly if you say it, precisely because you say a lie: "The truth," he says, "is not in us if we say that we have no sin." He does not say, "we did not have"--so that the statement would not seem to be about our past life. For this man had sins, but from the time when he was born of God, he began not to have them. If it were so, no problem would torment us. For we would say, "We were sinners but____________________