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.
If someone asked you, “How did you become a Christian?” How would you answer?
Some of you might answer, “Well, I grew-up in the church and when I was in first grade my Sunday school teacher asked if anyone wanted to receive Jesus into their heart. I raised my hand as a young child because I knew He was the way, the truth and the life.” Or, “During my college years I began to wonder about the purpose of life. As I searched for answers, I read about all the major monotheistic religions. After studying them, the truth of Christianity made the most sense to me and I became convinced that Jesus was truly who He claimed to be.” Or, “I was completely irreligious until my loved one died. In my sorrow and despair, I started to search for God and the next Sunday I decided to attend my friend’s church. During the service, all the songs and the sermon by the priest spoke directly to me. By the end of the service, I knew that God had brought me to this church and I could not deny His reality nor His love for me.”
However you might answer that question God reveals to us in John 1:12-13 that our conversion to Christianity was not simply an act of our own self-will but it was actually an act of God.
If you read your homeowner’s insurance policy, an “act of God” is an event that is completely out of your control. It is something that you cannot be held responsible for because it is not an “act of you”. Hiring an unlicensed contractor to do your electrical work and then having your house burn down because of an electrical fire is an “act of you”. But, things like storms, tornadoes, lightening, crazy windstorms and earthquakes are all “acts of God” and totally out of your control. You cannot cause them nor stop them. These “acts of God” are usually covered by your private homeowner’s insurance policy unless you live in California, the home of the San Andreas Fault. I digress…
When John writes, “who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God”, he is saying that our conversion was not an “act of us” but it was an “act of God”. Yes, we did hear the message of Jesus Christ and yes we did receive it and believe in it. BUT, who caused us to see the futility and pain of our self-serving ways and move us to repentance? Or, who took away the sin and guilt from our souls and cleansed our conscious and freed us from fulfilling our longings in destructive ways? Who convinced us of God’s reality and turned His Scriptures into living messages from a loving Father to His child?
Well, according to John 1:12-13, it was not an “act of you” but it was an “act of God”. It was God who gave us the right to become His children and it was God who empowered it and made it happen through Jesus. And since it was all Him, we can rest assured that we will be His children forever. Amen and amen!