John 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:  13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

 In John 1:12-13 John begins to tell us how even though the world did not know Christ (cf: John 1:10-11) when He came into this world that He created and that His own special people the Jews did not know Him nor receive Him when He came into the world; that as many as received Him will be saved.  In other words, it is the ones who by faith alone ask God to forgive them on the basis of what Jesus did on the cross will be saved. He tells us how these who ask for forgiveness for their sins will become the children of God and the fact that man cannot be saved by any human effort of good works or mental effort of the will, but only by the grace of God (cf: Eph 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.)  I hope you will listen to this message and explore this passage as it answers many questions about working and willing ourselves into Heaven, it just cannot be done.

  1. The Acceptance of Christ

            Verse 12 and 13 - We see stressed a believing remnant

Verse 12 - As many as received him/ to those who believe in his name the second phrase describes those in the first. 

To receive him who is the Word of God is to acknowledge his claims, place faith in him, and give allegiance to him.

            Gave- emphasizes the grace of god in Salvation.  Ephesians 2:8-10

The right- Those who receive Jesus (The Word), receive full authority to claim the exalted title of God’s Children.

            Verse 13 - Ultimately it is not mans will that produces salvation, but God’s will.

Verse 13, here we look into the very nature of God. “Who were born”--to be a child you have to be born; this is that new birth, regeneration. “Who were born not of blood.” Know what that means? Heritage, descent; it doesn’t come down from your ancestors. That’s not how you become a child of God, not because of your parents or your grandparents, or your family. “Nor of the will of the flesh.” Not because of personal effort, personal moral effort, personal spiritual effort, personal religious activity. “Nor of the will of man.” What does that mean? The acts of others, some sacramental system, some system of religion plied by so-called priests on your behalf. You’re not going to become a child of God by family heritage. You’re not going to become a child of God by personal effort. You’re not going to become a child of God by some man-made system--all impossible.

New life does not come because of physical desire either. No amount of wanting it and striving for it will bring it. The only thing that will is belief in Jesus.

"The term 'flesh' (sarx) is not used by John to convey the idea of sinfulness, as it often does in Paul's writings. . . . Rather, it is indicative of weakness and humiliation as seen in 1:14. It simply affirms that in the Incarnation Jesus became fully human."

Third,  new spiritual  life  does  not  come  because  of  a  human  decision either, specifically, the choice of a husband to produce a child. It comes as the result of a spiritual decision to trust in Jesus Christ. The Greek word for "man" here is andros meaning "male." The NIV interpreted it properly as "husband" here.

New spiritual life does not come from any of these sources but from God Himself. Ultimately it is the result of God's work in our life, not man's. Therefore the object of our faith must be God rather than our heritage or race, our works, or our own initiative.

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