How Does It Happen?
11He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.
12But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,13who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
Sometimes a person comes into a church or sits in a coffee shop or lounges in your living room, hears the Gospel and says, If God is offering me salvation, I want it!
But most of us have had somebody tell us at some point, I don’t want that!
So how does it happen when a person responds, I’m ready. I want what God has for me! How does that happen?
It’s right here in John 1:12-13. Verse twelve talks about the receiving and believing, and verse 13 spells out how it happens: “. . . who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” You can’t be alive physically, of course, without physical parents—and you can’t be alive spiritually without a spiritual parent. God is the spiritual parent. Believers are born of God.
How do you get to be called a child of God?
You see, “the right to become children of God” implies a family. Every family has a father. You may ask, How do you get God as your Father?
You have to be born again. You have to be born spiritually. To make the point really clear, John says, spiritual birth is “not of blood.” Your human parents can’t cause you to be born spiritually. And you can’t pull yourself up and save yourself. You can’t make it happen from “the will of man,” meaning yours or anyone else’s effort.And then the last thing: “but (born) of God.”
So my mom can’t do it for me. I can’t do it for myself. And you can’t do it for me, either.
It’s just you responding and receiving what God the Father offers. He does the birthing. “Salvation belongs to the Lord” (Jonah 2:9), because He does all the work to make it happen. It’s just good to be reminded of that great truth. God wanted us to remember His essential role in bringing us into His family, so here it is in John 1:13:“but (born) of God.” Salvation belongs to the Lord. And He richly offers it to us through His Son, in whom we believe and who we receive. —James MacDonald
Father, thank You that I can call You Father, for that is who You are! Thank You for bringing about my spiritual birth though I was as helpless in that process as I was when my human parents had me. Thank You for graciously allowing me to see the truth of the Gospel in a way I could believe and receive what You had already done for me. Thank You for the joy of spending my life and eternity expressing my undying gratitude to You for all You have done. In Jesus’ name, Amen.