The Right & power to become a child of God
John1:12-13, "Yet to all who did receive 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."
I shared the gospel with a guy a while ago, and he seemed to be offended because I said we are born sinners and that is why we sin. We sin from birth. We selfishly want our own thing, even if it kills us. He thought my view or the Bible's view on it was pessimistic. But I believe it's realistic, we are rebels from the moment we start seeing with our eyes. We say 'no' and the child says 'yes!'. We say 'yes' and the child says 'no!' And so we need the teaching, training and loving discipline of our parents, from early childhood.
How does it happen for us to come to believe in Christ? Jesus said in v.12 that those who received him and believed in him, it is because they have received the right (this word implies authority but also ability) to become children of God. These are not children of God because they were born Christian to Christian parents, or because of "human decision" - no one willed it into being, or because any earthly father decided to make a child and it would be a child of God, a Christian from birth. No.
If I am a Christian and a child of God, it is because I was "born of God", that is, my birth came from God, I derive life as a child of God out of God, he is the source of it. I did not will it into being nor anyone else in that sense, but God did, and so I am one. It is an absolute miracle. This is the reality. God is on the throne, he gives the authority and ability for us to turn from our selfish pursuits, and trust and seek his Son Jesus.
The Apostle Paul is a perfect example of it. A hater of Christ and his people, doing his own thing, Jesus stopped him dead in his tracks, he went against Paul's will, he gave him new life and faith in Jesus, and he enabled him to see his own sin, and so Paul became a child of God. This is my story and a story of all that are true children of God.
Romans 3:9d-18, says "Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin. As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.” “Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit.” “The poison of vipers is on their lips.” “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.” “Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know.” “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”"
This may sound pessimistic, but it is the truth of God about us all, for by birth there is are seeds of all sin in us all. And God gave us his holy law as Romans 3:19 says, "so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God" so that we would know how much we need Jesus to save us.
Simply put, God must give us life first or we will not believe in him, receive him or come to him to become children of God. We have no power or ability to do so. All life even the spiritual life comes from God. Praise be to God alone for Jesus Christ, who loved us and gave himself for us, so may receive the right and the power to become children of God.
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