Summary: Jesus came into this world to make the free offer of salvation to humankind, and the "Gospel offer" is the "line in the sand" between eternal life and judgment.
11 30 14 The Free Offer of Salvation John 1:12
We have seen two main themes in the Gospel of John in recent weeks. The first theme is in the first nine verses, namely, The Divine Infinite Glory of the Lord Jesus Christ.
John 1:1 ESV: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
6 “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. 9 The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.”
The second theme is the Total Depravity of Sinful Man in John 1:10-11: “He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own things and his own (people) did not receive him.” The World at large was not expecting Jesus at all, so it’s not a shock that they rejected Him, but His own people, who had hundreds of promises over hundreds of years rejected the Light of the World; that is still the case in most of the World today. The ultimate Rejection! But… Not everyone rejected the Lord of Glory. The Gospel of salvation in our Lord Jesus is offered freely and it is the most Glorious privilege to those who receive it. There IS hope in Verse 12: “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”
"Yet to all who received Him,"
Vs. 12: Literally: Yet to all who received (lambano) Him, He gave them the right (authority) to become children of God, even to those who believe into His Name.
The majority of humanity does not respond to Jesus, and the majority of Israel did not respond, but SOME do! Last week we saw Jesus’ own people REJECTED the Promised Messiah; Verse 11 carried the negative of the word “receive”, which means REJECTION, and here we see that “SOME” received Him: To RECEIVE JESUS is to take him to yourself and to entrust yourself to Jesus.
To RECEIVE Jesus is more than a nod of the head or the raising of the hand or the repetition of a simple prayer. To RECEIVE JESUS is to acknowledge all of His claims: His claims about man and his sinful condition, His claims concerning salvation, and His claims concerning Himself. To receive Him is to confess Him as Savior and Lord. To reject Jesus is an act of defiance against the LORD of Glory and against God’s provision but to receive Him is to have Life in Him and to receive Him is the responsibility of every man but only few will do so.
IMPORTANT: (Between this week and next the striking balance between human responsibility (“to receive, and to believe”) and divine responsibility (“born of God”) is revealed.)
To “RECEIVE” Jesus is only PART of what it means to “BELIEVE”: To BELIEVE in CHRIST means that you DO RECEIVE Him and that you DO ACTIVELY FOLLOW Him. A person actively believes, receives, and follows. Receiving Him is not merely passive. In John 17:8, Jesus said, in speaking of those who are HIS OWN: “For the words which You gave Me I have given to them; and they RECEIVED them and truly understood that I came forth from You, and they believed that You sent Me.”
And in John 10:4: Jesus said: “When he puts forth all his own,(that is, all who believe and receive Him ) HE GOES AHEAD OF THEM, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice.” They recognize, believe and follow because they received Him.
“He gave them the right to become children of God”
Look at the next phrase: He gave them the right. The entitlement attitude of American culture (which is sinful pride) will be its own destruction! It says: “I have my rights! I “deserve” more than I have and if I don’t get what I WANT, I am going to throw a fit!” If you would receive from God what you deserved in His economy, there would be NO MANKIND TODAY on the face of the earth: YET, to all who received Him, HE GAVE THEM THE RIGHT to become children of God.
The tense of the word “gave”(didomi) tells us that the subject, “He”, the Word, the Light of the World, attained an action or event. His is an ACTION of GIVING something to the undeserved. When Jesus GIVES something, the action is completed and attained. What is it that Jesus gives?