The Teachings of

Zane Hodges, Joseph Dillow, Robert Wilkin
(The Grace Evangelical Society)

and the extreme teachings of J. D. Faust

Can A True Believer Continue in Sin and Persist in Sin?


"Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for His seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God" (1 John 3:9-10).

"We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not" (1 John 5:18).

The Teaching of Zane Hodges and Joseph Dillow

The fruitful believer
The partaker or heir
The believing believer
The overcomer

The barren believer
The carnal one (non-heir)
The saved person who stops believing
The non-overcomer

This righteous saved person has a new nature that never sins. Moreover this saved person consistently walks in the Spirit and does not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.

This unrighteous saved person continues in sin and persists in wickedness. This carnal believer does not practice righteousness. He is born of God and has a new nature but he consistently walks in the flesh. He will not inherit the kingdom and will not reign with Christ.


There are three factors which prevent a true believer from continuing in sin, and they all begin with the letter "C."

(1) CONFESSION—The sinning believer need not continue in a state of sin because he may CONFESS his sins (1 John 1:9) and God is faithful and just to forgive his sin and cleanse him from all unrighteousness.

(2) CONVICTION—Spirit wrought conviction ought to lead to humble confession. If it does not, the conviction continues. The Holy Spirit makes His grieved presence felt (Eph. 4:30). The true believer can never be comfortable in his sin, even as righteous Lot’s soul was vexed in Sodom (2 Pet. 2:7-8). We can thank God that He makes us miserable when we are not right with Him. When we are disobedient we are unsettled, unpeaceful, unhappy. Thank God it is so!

(3) CHASTENING—If the sinning believer does not respond in the right way to God’s conviction in the heart, then the Father will chasten His child whom He loves (1 Cor. 11:31-32). Maximum chastisement can even result in the physical death of the believer (1 Cor. 11:30). As a good human father will not permit his child to continue doing wrong, so the Heavenly Father will not permit His child to continue in wickedness.  [Hodges teaches that it is possible for true Christians to be "bastards" (Heb. 12:8--KJV) or illegitimate sons, and even though they are saved, they will not be chastened of the Father and they will lose their inheritance!  See Hodges discussion of Hebrews 12:8 in The Bible Knowledge Commentary.  See also The Teachings of Zane Hodges ]

A Key Question:

"What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?" (Rom. 6:1)

Paul’s answer:

"God forbid (Perish the thought!). How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?" (Rom. 6:2)

Hodges/Dillow answer:

The believer should not continue in sin but many believers do. Many persist in sin and practice unrighteousness (even persisting in the sins mentioned in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10). They will be saved but they will not inherit the kingdom.

Questions: Why are not these believers convicted? Where is the Father’s chastening hand? Where is the heavenly restraint?

R. Gene Reynolds in his helpful book Assurance—You Can Know You’re A Christian said the following on page 73:

A person who is living sinfully, who knows he is living sinfully, who enjoys living in such a manner, who intends to continue that sinful way of living—that person does not have the Holy Spirit living within him. The very fact that he is ‘comfortable’ about his sin is proof of the Spirit’s absence. His spiritual vital sign registers ‘no life.

Hodges teaches that righteous living proves that a person is saved but that unrighteous living does not prove that a person is lost (Bible Knowledge Commentary, p. 893). He says, "the converse does not follow" (p. 893). In other words, Hodges teaches that a person can give evidence that he is saved but he cannot give evidence that he is lost! His righteous living points to LIFE but his unrighteous living does not point to DEATH! He can have assurance of salvation but not assurance of damnation!

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