Sermon: Born of God John 1:9-13

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Born of God

John 1:9-13

Primary Truth Taught- The new birth brings sinners into the family of God

as sons and daughters

 

Introduction

Scholars have called the Doctrine of Adoption the apex of all of grace. If there is anything in the Bible that should bring the believer joy and happiness it is the fact that in Christ, God has adopted believers and placed us into His family.

Ephesians 1:3–6 (ESV)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.

I also agree with the Puritans who taught that adoption is a greater privilege than even our justification.

Justification has placed us in the courtroom of judgment and because of the saving work of Christ on the cross of Calvary we are justified, declared righteous before God the Judge of all the universe. However, because of God’s great love for us, He doesn’t tell us we’re free to go and release us as spiritual homeless orphans but takes us and declares us to be His very own children. Adoption takes us from the courtroom and the street and places us into God’s house. We become His children. We are given the rights and privileges of children. We are given son ship status, no longer aliens and outsiders but made part of God’s family. God, then becomes our Father and Jesus our Brother.

The doctrine of adoption presupposes that we are not naturally a part of God’s family, but must be adopted into that family through an action of God. This biblical teaching strongly opposes the mindset of our culture that assumes everybody is a child of God.[1]

The secular world, if it believes in God at all, believes that everyone is a child of God. That’s simply not the case.

Every time I preach a funeral for a lost person, the family believes that their loved one is somehow in heaven. The Bible is clear, there are two main groups of people, the children of God and the children of the devil.

John 8:37–44 (ESV)

37 I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you. 38 I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.”

39 They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing the works Abraham did, 40 but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. 41 You are doing the works your father did.” They said to him, “We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father—even God.” 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. 43 Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

Human Need Met

We must understand to what lengths God went in order to adopt you and place you into His family. If you are a believer, you have been brought into God’s family and given son and daughter status. He has given you a place, privileges; power to overcome the world, and eternity with Him. Because God is our Father, He has places His eternal love upon us as His children. He goes out of His way to strengthen and support you. He will forever keep you and guard you. You are His.

John 1:9–13 (ESV)

The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 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, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

  1. The World Rejects Jesus

The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 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, and his own people did not receive him.

The point John makes here is that everyone sees the light but the world rejects the light. Here, what John has in mind is the light of the knowledge of God. In our theology class we’ve established that all people have the general knowledge of God. They receive this through General Revelation.

Psalm 19:1–3 (ESV)

   The heavens declare the glory of God,

and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.

   Day to day pours out speech,

and night to night reveals knowledge.

   There is no speech, nor are there words,

whose voice is not heard.

John has already told us that light would overcome darkness and that God had sent John the Baptist as a witness in order that people would believe. When light came to them the world rejected the light. Even Jesus’ own people, the Jews, rejected Him[2]

Why is it that people naturally reject or flee from the light? Why do they resist general revelation? Why do people fight so hard against the clear truths of God’s creation?

John 3:19–20 (ESV)

19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.

Verse 10 and 11 show that the world as a whole and Israel as a nation rejected Jesus. He came and they did not receive Him.

At this point a definition of what John means by the world is needed.

To John, the world speaks not merely of the people on this planet; he often insinuates as well the attitude of wickedness and rebellion that marks the human race. The world is the wicked world, or the unbelieving world. This is why in the English language the words worldly and ungodly are practically synonymous. [3]

A very good example of the world being the sinful unbelieving world is found in John 15…

John 15:18–19 (ESV)

18 “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

God sent Jesus to give light to the world and yet as we’re told in verse 10…

10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him.

The world, because of sin, would rather walk in darkness than have their sin exposes by the light. This is why the world does not know Jesus Christ. This natural resistance is the result of sin and their fallen nature.

Not only does the world sinners resist Jesus, it actually hates Jesus. The world is dead spiritually and cannot respond until God first works.

Here’s the dynamic: Jesus created the world, He came to redeem the world, Because of sin the world hates Jesus and His followers.

  1. Those Who Receive Jesus

12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

Here, John contrast the world (those who reject Jesus) to God’s children (those who receive Jesus). We must see that there are only two categories of people. There not black and white or anything ethnic or having anything to do with nationality, gender, age, mental capabilities or anything else. The two categories are #1- Those who reject Jesus and #2- Those who accept Jesus. We’ve already looked at the category of those rejecting Jesus, John calls them the world.

John 3:36 (ESV)

36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.

Now, lets look to the other category, those who receive Jesus.

This second category is much smaller than the first category…

Jesus, Himself has told us…

Matthew 7:13–14 (ESV)

13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

John tells us that all who receive…

First, this offer of Jesus Christ is to every ethnic group every type of nationality. No group of people is exempt from the salvation of God through Jesus.

Now, the word receive is somewhat confusing. What does it mean to receive Jesus? There are synonyms in the Bible and I think they will help us understand. Other words that could be and at other times used are words like: Believe, Trust, Know, Come to, Yield, Submit to. John will actually use the word believe in the next verse. To receive Jesus is to receive and believe His message.

People in John’s day had to ask themselves, do I believe all Jesus has said? We must ask ourselves that same question. Do I believe all the Jesus has said? Am I believing and trusting in the message of Jesus? That’s what it means to receive Him.

We can thus say that the great distinction within humanity then, is faith in Christ.

That’s why John could say,

12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.

All who were once part of the first group, the world or those who rejected Jesus are placed from the first group into the second group by God Himself.

Colossians 1:12–14 (ESV)

12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Verse 12 is somewhat unclear, especially where it says gave the right to become…

This doesn’t read exactly right. It sounds like God has made it possible to be children of God or something like that. Literally, it probably should be translated given authority to be children of God. That’s exactly what it says in the original language. It goes like this…King Solomon had the authority to be King when his father, King David died. When he sat upon the throne he was no usurper as Absolom tried to be. He had the right to sit on the throne. He had the authority to sit on the throne because he was the rightful heir of His father King David.

So it is for all who believe and receive Jesus Christ, saving faith gives us the right or authority to be the Children of God.

Because of our faith toward and in Jesus Christ, God adopts us into His family as His children, God is our Father and we are His sons and daughters because of our trusting in Jesus Christ.

We receive Jesus personally. Every individual must receive Jesus, we cannot be a child of God because our parents are children of God.

Please hear me… receiving Jesus is more than the Fundamentalists teach. They teach to affirm certain things as true result in salvation. I want to make this as clear as I can. Affirming the Gospel for example will not save you. Acknowleging that the Words of Jesus are true is not receiving Him. One must believe and trust in Jesus. He must become their personal Savior and Lord. He must be “My Jesus, My God, My Savior and we must be His.

There is a subtle but vital distinction between affirming the Gospel and truly believing for eternal life. Jesus becomes our life our treasure. He is who we seek after and trust to guide us. When we’re saved we enter into a relationship with Jesus we become His and He becomes ours.

John 10:24–30 (ESV)

24 So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” 25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”

Notice how John says these same truths again only with greater emphasis and assurance…

13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

According to verse 13, something has happened to the people in the second category. This event is the event that has set everything in motion. This is the first cause that brings a person of the kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of Light…

13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

Here is the overwhelming change…God has caused some to be born again.   The New Birth makes the difference.

Every person walking around has experienced birth. When they were born, where they were born, what family they were born into etc etc was all decided by God. We had no say in the matter. We were just formed and made and born.

It’s much the same in the New Birth. God has caused us to be born again. Once we’re born again we are also born into His family. Now we have the right and the authority to be a child of God. Before we’re born into His family we were dead to the Gospel and to Christ but now because of the New Birth we are born to life and to God’s family.

James 1:18 (ESV)

18 Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

This amazing truth of the New Birth is something John wants to make sure we get…
It’s not the birth we have experienced when we were babies…
13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man,

We’re not children of God because of our first birth. We may have been born into a household of believers who took us to worship every Sunday. Your parents may be devoted to Jesus and teach you what a Christian is. You have to experience the New Birth yourself.
1 Peter 1:23 (ESV)

23 since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;

When we experience the first birth as infants, we resemble on many levels our parents. We may have our mother’s eyes and our father’s nose. We may have our parent’s mannerisms. That’s because we have our parents DNA. Many of the chromosomes match; therefore, we resemble them in many ways.

The same is true when we experience the New Birth…
To be born of God is to experience the most profound change. Second Peter 1:4 explains that believers have become “partakers of the divine nature.” A new spiritual DNA is given to us: a new principle and a new power within. We have new and godly desires and a new perspective on life and eternity. To be born of God is not to have all our problems solved or have all our sinful tendencies removed. But it is to have the spiritual ability and desire to know God, worship him, and do his will. And with this profound change comes a new obligation to live as the true counterculture that trusts and glorifies God. [4]

Application

There’s a lot of things that could be said by way of application.

-If you have experienced the New Birth rejoice and praise God for your new life in Christ. He has adopted you and placed you into His family. He has made God our Father and all other believers our brothers and sisters along with Jesus. Do you love your heavenly Father? Do you love your brothers and sisters in Christ? How do you love and care for them?

-We must now live differently than we did before and differently than the world lives…
1 Peter 2:9–12 (ESV)

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

11 Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. 12 Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.

Conclusion

Romans 8:12–17 (ESV)

12 So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

 

Children’s Homework

Next week we’re planning to look at John 1:14. In this verse John tells us the Word did two things, what are they? Also, he says that we beheld His glory. When did John and the other disciples see the glory of God in Jesus?

 

Declaration of Grace

In the mercy and grace of Almighty God, Jesus Christ was given to die for us, and for His sake God forgives us all our sins. To those who believe in Jesus Christ He gives the power to become the children of God and gives to them the Holy Spirit. May the Lord, who has begun this good work in us, bring it to completion in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen

 

[1] http://covenantofgracechurch.org/the-apex-of-gods-grace-the-doctrine-of-adoption

[2] Keener 393

[3] Phillips 37

[4] John by Phillips 52

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