Life Lessons: John 1:12-13 describes how a person is saved

Written by Paul J. Bucknell on October, 29, 2018

New Life - John 1:12-13 Study Questions & Answers

John 1:12-13 interestingly describes how a person is saved.

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:12,13, NASB).

The phrase ‘received Him’ speaks about treating Jesus Christ as a host might treat His guest. A host prioritizes what the guest wants. I recently came back from a trip where the host and hostess did everything to make me comfortable. They took far too good care of me. This honor for a guest well illustrates how we ought to treat Christ. When we receive Christ, we make Him Lord—what He wants is what we do. It is interesting to illustrate the salvation experience of repentance as a host doting on his guest.

Notice the result of salvation. Receive Christ Jesus, and you will gain all the rights of a child of God. It doesn’t matter how old or young you are. You are adopted into God’s family and become a child of God. He confirms the importance of believing in Jesus’ Name. You recognize who Jesus Christ is and trust Him to deliver you from your sins. People have no inherited or intentional goodness by which they can become Christians. Salvation only comes through their trust or faith in Christ.

John tells us three ways people are not saved, and one way people are.

We are not born into God’s family by blood (family relationship). Even if you are a pastor, your child is by no means automatically a Christian. Nor is it through the will of the flesh (probably means the physical birth process (flesh) and affirms it differs from the spiritual birth process). Nor is it the will of man, or through our attempts to live good lives. Salvation only comes from a supernatural act of God when He brings new life into a dead soul (Eph 2:1).

John 1:12-13

12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. (NASB)

John 1:12-13 Study Questions

1) Can you explain through John 1:12-13 the two aspects of a person coming to know Jesus as their Savior?

2) Why is there so much emphasis on Jesus (see question #1) for salvation? Can a person be saved through another means?

3) What special significance does being called a child of God have?

4) What changes take place in our lives when we are born of God (John 1:13)?

5) What special significance do the words ‘gave the right’ have to the believer? (John 1:12)

6) John 1:13 identifies three ways a person cannot become a child of God. Explain each one as much as possible.

7) Perhaps most importantly, are you a believer? When did this happen? Write down your testimony on what brought you to know God through Jesus and what happened because of this.

8) Are you part of a local assembly of believers? If not, seek one out by prayer. Find a church that loves God’s Word, exalts Jesus as Savior and Lord and stresses missions and evangelism.

9) Have you ever told others about Jesus? God uses His children (you as a believer) to invite others into His family. We cannot make a person believe but bring the Word of God so the Spirit of God brings new life. Seek God for more opportunities to share your faith with others.

John 1:12-13 describes two aspects of coming to know God through Jesus, each of them has to do with our response to Christ.

Questions & Answers for John 1:12-13

Can you explain through John 1:12-13 the two aspects of a person coming to know Jesus as their Savior?

(1) We need to receive Him (Christ) - receive means to host, care for a special guest.

(2) We need to believe in His Name - accept Christ for who He is; recognize His power and majesty.

There are other aspects of salvation such as repentance but not spoken directly of. John is more concerned with understanding Christ’s coming and positively responding to Him.

John 1:10-11 speaks about a lot of people that might come into contact with Christ, even His own (i.e. The Jews), but John 1:12 focuses on the fact that the only ones who find life find it through Life itself, that is, Jesus Christ. Where else is there life or love? Nowhere.

John 1:12 says that those who find Jesus Christ can actually become God’s children. This not only means that we share in all that He has, but also that we would have a similar nature as the Lord. Our deepest identity would go back to our belonging to God’s family.

John 1:13 speaks specifically that believers in Christ are ‘born of God.’ Christianity, properly understood, is not a religion at all. It describes the deep spiritual changes that have come to God’s people. We would share the nature of God because we now love the things of God. We make holy choices because we love God’s holy ways.

‘Gave the right’ clearly depicts how helpless and hopeless we were before becoming Christ’s. Unlike the modern mentality that we can belong to any group or go anywhere we like, God’s kingdom is by invitation only. Just like birth, it is not planned by the baby. The baby only finds him or herself there (after a good period of time has passed). God’s deeper spiritual work brought forth new life in us.

(1) ‘Not born of blood’ - No one is born a believer. This spiritual life does not come about because our close association to a Christian family. Something else has to happen.

(2) ‘Not born of the will of the flesh’ - Man cannot decide upon his own that he wants to be a believer. This goes back to the word ‘gave the right.’ Man cannot and even does not want to. Again, Christianity, on the outward can be viewed as a religion but it really is much more, it is God’s spiritual family.

1) Why is there so much emphasis on Jesus (see question #1) for salvation? Can a person be saved through another means?

2) What special significance does being called a child of God have?

3) What changes take place in our lives when we are born of God (John 1:13)?

4) What special significance do the words ‘gave the right’ have to the believer (John 1:12)?

5) John 1:13 identifies three ways a person cannot become a child of God. Explain each one as much as possible.

(3) ‘Not born of the will of man’ - Others cannot decide for us our spiritual lives. As a parent I pray for our children’s faith but this does not save. They need God to work in their lives. A king might want all to be saved, but he cannot dictate it, but only provide circumstances in which the Spirit of God is mightily welcomed in the land.

These next questions are for you to personally reflect and respond to.

<ul>
<li>Perhaps most importantly, are you a believer? When did this happen? Write down your testimony on what brought you to know God through Jesus and what happened because of this.

</li>
<li>Are you part of a local assembly of believers? If not, seek one out by prayer. Find a church that loves God’s Word, exalts Jesus as Savior and Lord and stresses missions and evangelism. This is the family of God!

</li>
<li>Have you ever told others about Jesus? God uses His children (you as a believer) to invite others into His family. We cannot make a person believe but bring the Word of God so the Spirit of God brings new life. Seek God for more opportunities to share your faith with others.

</li>
</ul>

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