John uses that word again here – abide. “No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God.”
To “make a practice of sinning” means a person habitually sins without any hint of repentance or a desire to change one’s ways. Christians do sin. But John would say Christians are gradually moving away from sin – to the point it is unthinkable sin would continue unabated in a believer’s life.
A Christian can’t keep sinning because he or she is born of God. This fits well alongside the notion Jesus and Peter gave us of being “born again.” Something new happens in a person’s life at conversion. A whole new birth occurs.
And God’s “seed” abides in us.
In human terms, the idea of a person’s “seed” has biological connotations. That is, we have a biological connection to our children. They are our “seed.” Or our seed remains in them. There’s something very important of us that will always be in them.
You may have noticed how we can tend to look, or speak, or do things like our parents. Mary says I’m becoming more and more like my dad every day when it comes to some of my habits. His seed is in me, after all. I’m going to trend in a certain direction in my habits because of that. My dad and I are genetically connected.
The same is the case with God’s seed that abides in us. We will trend in a certain direction if God’s seed remains in us. We will trend away from habitual sin and toward habitual righteousness – toward love, joy, peace, and patience.
In some ways, this will be our natural “lean.” Without much effort, we will find ourselves with certain convictions. We will feel pangs in our consciences when we sin. We don’t have to dig around for those pangs. They will just happen naturally.
This is God’s seed in us. God’s seed relentlessly drives us away from sin. We cannot keep on sinning habitually, or make a lifestyle of sin, if God’s seed remains in us. It’s impossible.
Please on this today. When have you felt yourself pushing back from sin, or at least having some sort of reaction to sinful tendencies in your life? Willfully move in the direction God’s seed is pointing you.