…who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. – John 1:13
The apostle John opens his gospel account with an introduction to the Word of God, who is none other than Jesus. John describes Him as Light, the Word, only begotten of the Father, and nothing short of God, Himself. In this passage, John relays to us that Jesus came to His own, but they didn’t receive Him. However, to those that did receive Him (and still do), Jesus gave the power to become the sons (and daughters) of God. These are they who are born not of flesh and blood (by human power) but by the power and will of God, alone!
In the night that Nicodemus came to Jesus, he learned from Jesus that men must be “born again.” The Messiah told him that no man can enter heaven unless he is born again. The flesh of man cannot enter heaven unless that man must is also born of the Spirit. The only way to be born again is through salvation from God by His grace through faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus.
The Bible tells us some seemingly contradictory statements. On the one hand the Bible says that God desires that none should perish and turn from wickedness and live. However, the Bible also tells us that many are called and few are chosen. How can this be? How can the Creator love the world so much that He died for us to save us from sin, death, and hell but only choose a few? Who are these few? There are numerous questions that one could conjure up surrounding this topic, but the answer becomes clear and simple WHEN we listen to the voice of God the Holy Spirit.
The Spirit teaches us all things and guides us into all truth. The Truth is Jesus! The omniscient God of the universe knew before He created man who would love Him and who would reject and hate him. How? He knows the end from the beginning. The Bible even calls Jesus the Lamb of God who was slain from the foundation of the world. Since God knew that man would sin and fall, He had to prepare a way of redemption for mankind. If God wanted to maintain a personal relationship with His greatest creation, then a payment for man’s sins was in order. A holy God has no part in sin. His purity and righteousness will immediately judge sin when in His presence and without an atonement.
That atonement would come through blood shed for man’s sins. At first, animal blood served as a substitute for the payment to pardon man’s sins. However, there had to be a permanent payment for sin, which later came through the crucifixion of Jesus on the cross. This is where the sins of all men past and present and future were paid. Thus, many are called. The Spirit of God calls out to convict men of sin. Those who hear the call can find salvation in Jesus. The problem is that not everyone who hears the call also heeds the call. Those that both hear and heed the call will find salvation in Jesus. Thus, few are chosen.
Many would say that if God already knows who will love and serve Him, then why bother being a witness to the lost of this world? Because we don’t know who those individuals are. God does, but we don’t. So why doesn’t God just stop all the insanity of this world, take who are His, and call it a day? He could, but He chooses to work through mankind to do His will in the earth. Jesus commissioned all of us to be His witnesses to our hometown, our nation, and to the world. We are to take the Good News of salvation everywhere we go.
We are to scatter the Seed, the word of God, and water it and allow God to give the increase. We don’t know which soil (soul) will receive the Seed and germinate. Jesus taught us about the various types of soil and that some soil is nothing but pure rock and will never germinate because Satan steals the Seed from them. Others will be planted but shrivel up soon because their root system is short and not strong enough to endure and persevere. Still others will take root and grow, but they will be choked out by the cares and pleasures of this world. They never really were children of God. They had the appearance of Godliness but denied the power thereof. They were Christians in name only. Finally, there are those plots of soil that when the Seed is planted, take root and produce much fruit – some 30, 60, or 100 times what the sower had done prior.
Therefore, we can see that those who are and will become the children of God really had nothing to do with it themselves. They cannot save themselves, but God can. With Him, all things are possible. All that we can do is receive the gift of God, eternal life, through Jesus the Messiah and our Lord. He did all the work. For you see, man is born in sin and corrupted from the start. We are barred entry from heaven because of our sin nature. Jesus, however, was born of a woman and not man. His father was and is and always will be God the Father. Therefore, Jesus was born pure, perfect, without sin, and able to be holy sacrifice required to set men free from sin, death, and hell. It was by providential design to give preeminence and glory to Jesus the King of kings and Lord of lords.
If you could have earned or merited your way into heaven, then Jesus would have been denied being glorified, as He has been. Jesus would have lived and died here on earth in vain. The Law, as Paul wrote, serves only to point us toward God and show us the need for God because of the sin it reveals within us. There is a righteousness that comes from observing the Law, but if a person breaks one part of the Law, he’s broken all of it. When that happens, the person is guilty before God and deserving of hell. Our being born of Adam and hence contaminated in sin precludes us from ever being able to fulfill all of the Law. We are guilty of breaking God’s holy standards from birth. Thus, Jesus, being born of virgin and sired by God the Holy Spirit, could fulfill the Law; He knew no sin. He became sin for us that we might live.
Paul summed it up quite well in his letter to the Galatian church, Although I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live. Yet, not I but Christ lives in me. This life I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. Do you hear in that verse that it was God’s doing all along? We live this life in the flesh, even in the converted life, by the faith of Jesus. It’s not our doing. We can do nothing for ourselves, for God said, It’s not by might, not by power, but by My Spirit. The words of Zechariah are echoed in the words of John above.
I urge you to listen for the voice of God’s Spirit beckoning you to come to Him and be transformed from death unto life. The Bible tells us that the wage or payment for our sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus the Messiah and our Lord. Many are called, but few are chosen. You’ll know if you’re among the chosen because you won’t be able to resist the conviction of God’s Spirit when He talks to you and tells you of your need for salvation. You will feel the urge to call on the name of the Lord Jesus and will believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead. For all who call on the name of the LORD will be saved. If you are one of the family, reach out to those that aren’t. If you aren’t part of the family, take this opportunity to seek God and become one. You’ll know. Trust Him.
Father, I’ve finally learned in my many years and through my thick head that I had nothing to do with being saved other than saying, “Yes,” to Your call of conviction. I love You, and I obey You because of that love. I’m no coerced to do anything I don’t want to do. You never impose Yourself upon anyone. We impose ourselves upon us. I can do nothing at this moment but humbly praise You and give You a sacrifice of myself in worship to You. As the old songs states, where would I be without the Lord? I’d be in torment and headed for hell. I’d be lost and living enslaved to sin. Thank You for loving me, calling me, choosing me, and making me one of Your own. I’ve been adopted by the heavenly Father! What a privilege! To be all glory, honor, power, and praise. In Jesus’ name, Amen.