A place for discussion of living out our faith in the context of public service, having a Christlike influence in our offices and on those we serve, and responding to religious persecution at work.
Your Thoughts on John 1: 12?
August 3, 2010 at 4:48 pm #107181
In a small group of men locally, we began a study in the gospel of John. While reading the first chapter, I noted something in verse 12 that struck me as never before. It says, ‘But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God …’. What struck me was that it did not say ‘He made them children of God’, but that He gave them the right to become children of God.
I have always taken that passage, and others, to convey that receiving (believing in) Christ makes salvation complete in the individual, but this key verse seems to me to imply that there is ‘more to do’.
Some might say that water baptism is the additional step, but in my view, the Bible is pretty clear that baptism is not a requirement for salvation. Some, to include James, would point to works, but what works and is this not ‘salvation by works’?
Anyhow, thought this might generate some healthy discussion. What are your thoughts?
August 4, 2010 at 1:23 am #107189
Sam, what version of the Bible are you reading? My Geneva Bible was handy and it uses the word prerogative.
I opened up my Bible commentary (FF Bruce) and Bruce explains “Only Christ gives men the power (Greek-exousia-“right”) to become Children of God.
August 4, 2010 at 2:19 am #107187
We could play around with the word become but “more to do ” stands out clearly the mission before us.
It’s an infinite process and besides we’re saved by “grace”. Faith is a very important word!
August 4, 2010 at 11:12 am #107185
Jason, I believe what I quoted was the New International Version. I know some versions use the word ‘power’ instead of ‘right’, but all I have seen still say ‘to become children of God’ which to me indicates its not a done deal. What do you mean by ‘uses the word prerogative’.
I agree with FF Bruce that it only comes from Christ, but Bruce also indicates that it Christ gives the power ‘to become’.
August 4, 2010 at 3:40 pm #107183
Isn’t sanctification a process? I don’t have my Bible in front of me, and I’m thinking of the verse that says to “work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” Not very encouraging at first glance, (we are saved by grace, through no work of our own). So salvation then results in works of faith, where we grow and become what God intended in the first place. God has “prepared good works for us to walk in” that we do out of obedience to His will and and His word.
In my life and in others, I’ve seen the process of sanctification where as I grow in faith and the Word I see areas in my life that need to be more fully surrendered to the Lord’s control and will. Paul talks about that process of being built up and refined, so yes, we are saved and then, as gold is refined to become pure, we begin the refinement process to become true children. Paul always used allegories of athletic training to compare to the Christian life. I like that simplified imagry. A rookie is a member of the baseball team, even if he sits on the bench, until he trains and is challenged and reaches his full potential to be a successful on-field player.
How cool that the Lord brought out those few words for you to ponder and meditate on! We serve an awesome God, who not only challenges us to grow, but provides all that we need to meet the challenge.
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