God’s Seed Remains
1 John–Lesson 7
“Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God — children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.”
In the beginning God created vegetation, plants, and trees that reproduced from a seed they contained. When planted, a seed yields the same kind of vegetation from which it originated. When Adam and Eve sinned, their seed–a perishable seed–reproduced the very same kind of offspring: sinful, spiritually dead human beings.
When John wrote the words “born of God” and expressed the wonder and vastness of God’s love, he understood the immense effect of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Our rebirth included an implant of God’s seed. His seed is an imperishable seed, a rebirth of spiritual life that remains forever in every believer. We are now children of God and His seed, His divine nature, remains within us producing His life.
“No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God.”
1 John 3:9
1. Read 1 John 3:7-10. What is John’s warning in verse 7? Who is he warning? (Note: The words “lead astray” mean “to deceive.” Remember, the antichrists were teaching a distorted view of righteousness and sin.)
2. Read Isa. 64:6. What is revealed about our own attempts at righteousness?
3. Read Tit. 3:5 and 2 Pet. 1:3-4. How are God’s children able to produce righteous conduct?
4. In 2 Pet. 1:4, what does the word “may” in the phrase “you may participate” indicate? Describe what the “divine nature” enables a believer to do.
5. Through Christ’s atonement, believers possess “positional righteousness.” Read 2 Cor. 5:2. When Christ died as a payment for sins, what was made possible for believers? Phil. 1:9-11 conveys the meaning of “experiential righteousness.” How may we live out our positional righteousness as part of our life experience?
6. Three foundational doctrinal areas are involved in “positional righteousness.”
(1) Regeneration–the believer’s rebirth, also called renewal, a new nature, God’s divine nature;
(2) Justification–the judicial act of God that declares a believer righteous; and
(3) Sanctification–the setting apart of a believer as holy unto God.
Do you agree with Peter’s statement in 2 Pet. 1:3? Explain.
“Experiential righteousness [is] our positional righteousness translated into experience.”1
7. According to 1 John 3:8, what is true when a believer chooses to habitually practice sin? (Note: Remember that John is warning believers to avoid straying from the truth of God’s Word [verse 7]. Believers are always the children of God, but when they are sinning in a habitual manner, they join in the devil’s work to oppose God. Unbelievers are, and always have been, subject to the evil one. They are children of the devil.)
8. Why did Jesus Christ come? When a believer sins, how is this a contradiction to what Christ came to achieve? See 2 Cor. 5:21 to help with your answer.
9. Consider what you have read in 1 John. How would you describe the work of the devil in a believer’s life?
10. According to 1 John 2:13-14, what should believers do to refrain from taking part in the activity of the devil?
11. Review 1 John 3:9. It is important to understand that one sin is rebellion against God. The practice of habitual sin by a believer is also rebellion against God. Sin is a very serious matter and sin(s) must be confessed in order to restore fellowship with the Lord (1 John 1:9). (Note: The NIV Bible Commentary states, “cannot go on sinning” does not mean “a complete cessation of sin, but a life that is not characterized by sin.”) What did John write about the possibility of sin in a believer’s life in 1 John 1:8, 10?
12. What did John cite as the reason a believer will not continue in a habitual practice of sin?
13. From the following scriptures give two possible reasons why a believer will not live in a continual pattern of deliberate sin. Heb. 12:5, Heb. 12:7-8, Heb. 12:11, 1 John 5:16-17 and Rev. 3:19.
14. Read 1 John 3:10. Since God’s seed remains, it isn’t possible for a believer to be anyone other than a child of God. But a sinning believer can give allegiance to the devil and participate in his plan, and work to oppose God. When children of God live in sin, who do they resemble? (Note: This is a difficult verse. The Bible Knowledge Commentary states that the word “child” in verse 10 is not in the Greek. Thus the statement would better read, “Anyone who does not do what is right is not…of God.” The NASB also preferred this translation. Also, since the person being referred to by John cannot show agape love his to “brother,” this author believes that John is writing about believers who are living in sin. When they are acting unrighteously, they are not of God, but in fact they are aligned with the devil.)
15. What is John’s final way of evaluating whether someone is of God?
16. Read each verse of 2 Pet. 1:3-8 thoughtfully. According to verses 3-4, what have you been given? Why?
17. How must you react to what God has given? What is the result of living a life through His divine power?
18. Is progressive effectiveness and fruitfulness in your spiritual growth a characteristic of your life? Write any changes you need to make.
19. Journal by writing a prayer thanking and praising God for what He has given you so that you may resemble Him.
“Fellowship with God is possible only as we conform to the holiness of God. Jesus Christ came to provide us with a righteousness that would make fellowship with God possible.”
— J. Dwight Penecost2
Journal your thoughts and insights.
1 The Joy of Intimacy With God by J. Dwight Pentecost
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