Some children are so like their parents that you couldn’t lose them in a crowd. This is true of God’s children and of the devil’s children. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. Here again the thought is, “He who practices sin is of the devil.” The devil has been sinning (continuous, characteristic behavior) from the beginning, that is, from the first time that he did sin. All his children follow him in this broad way. It should be added here that men become children of God through the new birth, but there is no birth in connection with the children of the devil. A man becomes a child of the devil simply by imitating his behavior, but no one is begotten as a child of the devil.
In contrast, the coming of the Lord Jesus was in order to destroy (or annul) the works of the devil. The Lord could have destroyed the devil with a single word, but instead of that, He came down to this world to suffer, bleed, and die that He might annul the works of the devil. If it cost the Savior so much to put away sin, what should be the attitude of those who have trusted Him as Savior?
The reason is that His seed remains in him. There is considerable disagreement among Bible students as to the meaning of this latter expression also. Some think that this seed refers to the new nature, others to the Holy Spirit, and still others to the word of God. All of these are true, and therefore are possible explanations. We take it that the seed refers to the new life which is imparted to the believer at the time of conversion. Here, then, is a statement that the divine life remains in the believer. He is eternally secure. Rather than being an excuse for the Christian to go out and sin, his eternal security is a guarantee he will not go on sinning. He cannot sin habitually because he has been born of God. This divine relationship precludes the possibility of continuance in sin as a lifestyle.