“He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” ~ John 1:11–13
The Right To Become
The apostle John affirms in John 1:12 that those who “received” Jesus were given “the right to become children of God.” They were not saved at the point of faith. They were not saved by faith only. But they were given the right to become — future — children of God.
Those Who Believe
John goes on to explain that those who “believe in His name” (1:12) “were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” What does this mean?
Not born of blood. That is, the spiritual birth which now makes one a child of God does not come by the blood lineage of Abraham or any other human being. Formerly, the Jews gloried in their ancestor Abraham and affirmed that this was sufficient to be acceptable to God (John 8:39)! This was never the case. Physical lineage does nothing to secure one’s new birth with God.
Not born of the will of the flesh. The spiritual birth is not accomplished by physical ability, might or strength. Many good things are accomplished by one’s physical prowess but that has nothing to do with one becoming a child of God! You might win a race, a game, a tournament, or even an Olympic competition because of your physical might and ability, but you will not become a child of God by that means. Nor does one gain spiritual favor with God by fathering a dozen children.
Not born of the will of man. The spiritual birth cannot be accomplished by man’s purpose, planning, or devising. Although we are made in God’s image and as such are the highest of God’s earthly creation, man’s great mental capacities cannot devise, create nor accomplish that which God’s eternal purpose has done. It is not in man to save himself. He does not have the means nor the ability to do so. See Romans 4.
Born of God. To be “born of God” is to submit to the will of God in His eternal scheme of redemption. It is to humbly admit that there is no other way to be right before God. It is to confess one’s own weakness, inability, and sinfulness before a perfect, majestic and august God!
Jesus tells Nicodemus (John 3) that one must be “born again” (v. 3), or “born of water and the Spirit” (v. 5) to enter the kingdom of God — to be a citizen in the spiritual kingdom, to be a child of God in the Father’s family. Nicodemus tried to imagine a physical birth, but Jesus carefully explained that it came by “water” (baptism) and the “spirit” (obedience to the Word).
James 1:18 says “Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.” God did for man what man could not do for himself. God blessed us with a relationship (“firstfruits”) that we could never have imagined ourselves.
1 Peter 1:3 says “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” We are born of God unto an eternal, living hope of being resurrected from the grave never to die again!
1 Peter 1:23 concludes that we have “been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever.” The power of the new birth is found in the “incorruptible seed” which is the “Word of God.” God’s Word, the New Testament, is the “power of God unto salvation,” Romans 1:16.
Roanridge Reader Volume 37 Issue 22 Page 03