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Born of the Will of God  [John 1:6-13]

I want to direct our thoughts on the last part of verse 12 and verse 13 where it says, “to them that believe [present tense, faithfulness, steadfastness] on his name: which were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”  The expression “were born” really comes last in that verse in the Greek text.  “Which not of blood nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God were born.”  One thing that I think that we need to help us understand some things is that God does not treat all of his children the same.  And the primary example of that is when he hired laborers to go into the vineyard to work (Matthew 20:1-16).  Some started early in the morning and worked all day long.  Some started an hour before quitting time and when it was time to be paid, they were all paid the same.  Those who worked all day long got pretty upset.  I guess that’s a good way to say it.  They were a bit upset because he paid those who worked one hour a whole days pay.  They had worked eight hours or all day.  Did they get eight days pay.  No.  They got a days pay.  The Lord said, “don’t I have the right to do with my own what I want to?  Am I evil because I am good to some because I paid some a whole days wages for one hour’s work.”  So God doesn’t treat all of his kids the same.  We need to understand this.  Otherwise it will be hard for us to grasp the doctrine of election.  The doctrine of election has to do with God choosing some of his kids for special privilege in his coming kingdom.  We are trying to make sense of those passages of scripture to help us understand not only what He is doing in our own lives but in the live of others as well.

The beginning of this passage is talking about common salvation:  [John 1:12-13]  "But as many as received [aorist] him, to them gave he power to become the sons [teknon, mature children] of God, . . .” Here in John 1:12 it says, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the children of God.”  This is talking about mature children.  The KJV has the word sons, and that is a different Greek word entirely.  This has to do with mature children.  What he is saying here is this, If you receive or believe on the Lord Jesus as your personal savior, God has given you the authority and tools and the ability to mature.  You do not have to stay a baby.  There’s nothing more disgusting than seeing an adult acting like a baby.  How would you feel if you came into this service and saw me with my thumb in my mouth?  Disgusting!  Now, the word “received” is in the aorist tense.  That’s the same tense as the word “believe” is in the aorist tense in Acts 16:31, in which it answers the question, “What must I do to be saved?”

It is important to know if God has made it possible for man to seek him.  I’ve heard it taught that man can’t seek the Lord, but is that true?  No, it’s absurd and contrary to the revealed word of God!  Man can seek the Lord!

[Acts 17:27]  God has given man a heart to seek him and when I am moved in heart to seek the Lord I can be saved.  God has made it easy for man to be saved.  The way he did that, by the way, is not a very popular thing to point out today, and that is he created cultures.  He created differences of people.  When everybody is one, when everybody speaks the same language, it will become just like it was in the days of Noah.  Did you know that there was only one language in the days of Noah?  I assume it was Hebrew.  At the tower of Babel God spread man all over the world, changed their language, and changed their culture.  For what reason; why did God that?  He sure did mess up the missions programs didn’t He?  If we all knew how to speak the same language, then it would not be hard to go from here to Timbuktu Africa to present the gospel, right?  He did that because cultural differences created an environment that encourages man to seek the Lord.  Did you know that today we are living in a time when everyone is speaking more of the same language and cultural differences are being broken down?  And what has happened to our culture and to our land has not only happened to our land but other lands.  We are becoming just like it was in the days of Noah.  Corruption, violence, evil, wickedness; they’re not just common, they’re all becoming prevalent.

A person can decide to be saved; it’s man’s free will and man’s choice.  [Acts 16:30-31]  "And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?  And they said, Believe [aorist active, the will of the individual] on the Lord Jesus Christ (not his name, but his finished work on Calvary), and thou shalt be saved, and thy house."  That is not what I wanted to dwell on right now, but the point to make here is this:  When the Philippian jailor in Acts 16:30 and 31 asked Paul what he should do to be saved, Paul said, “believe [aorist] on the Lord Jesus and thou shalt be saved”.  You make the decision to receive Jesus Christ.  God does not make that decision for you.  God wishes for all to be saved, but it’s man’s decision.  If God makes the decision for you, all you have to do is roll out of bed on a certain day, of a certain month, of a certain year, and you know you are saved.  That is not the case.  The Philippian jailor said, “what must I do to be saved”, and Paul said “believe”.  Did that in itself make the Philippian jailor saved?  No!  The Philippian jailor had to believe for himself.  In fact the word “believe” in Acts 16:31 is a command.  It is in the imperative mood.  There is no indication of the completion of the action of that verb.  It was dependent upon the Philippian jailor.  He had to believe, he had to decide to be saved.  Each one of us has to do that for ourselves.  I can’t will it for you, you parents can’t will it for you, and God doesn’t will it for you; it’s a free choice.

We have previously alluded to the fact that if you are saved, just like a baby, you can grow.  In [1 Corinthians 3:1-3] Paul says:  "And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.  I have fed you with milk, and not with meat:  for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.  For ye are yet carnal:  for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?"  [Walk according to human nature?]  This is a description of a child.  A child envies another kid’s toys.  It is not long before they are fighting over who gets to play with whose toys.  And there is division.  Paul says, “you are babes, and I could only feed you milk”; and you know what milk is:  milk is predigested food.  Meat is food that you have to digest.  Milk has been predigested by a cow or a mother.  That’s what milk is.

Once we’re saved, we have to grow.  How do we do that?  1 Peter 2:2 tells us:  "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:"  If you do not feed on the Word of God you will not grow; you will not mature. In fact [Hebrews 5:13-14] tells us:  [Hebrews 5:13-14]  "For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.  But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age (the mature, men), even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil."

So, what we need to emphasize and understand is the fact that salvation is available to all of mankind - everyone.  We just got through reading in John 1:7, “The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.”  Aorist tense.  God has not chosen some to be saved and some to be damned.  There are those who do teach that.  God made a way for everyone to be saved.  In fact, he gives light to everyone who comes into the world.  Whether he is blind or he can see.  He doesn’t give light to infants who have no concept of words or reasoning.  The point is this, when you come to the place where you know that you need a savior, He has provided the light for you to respond, wherever you are, and if you respond to it positively and in the proper manner, if a missionary never reaches you, the Lord will take care of His responsibility.  I believe that.  He is not giving light to people who cannot respond so that he can punish them more, because to whom much is given much will be required, and God is not the God of torment on purpose or for his delight.

So, what does the bible mean when it refers to the ones who are believing after being saved?  [John 1:12]  "…to them [the ones] that believe [present active participle, a subset of the saved] on his name:"  We do not believe on the name to get saved.  We believe on the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ on Calvary.  Believing on the name is something different and the word believe in the later part of verse 12 is in the present tense.  And it says the ones believing are begotten of God and this birth from God is not on the basis of the will of the flesh, the will of man, or bloods which is plural meaning family or nations or heritage.  This birth is different from the birth from above in John 3:3.

Let’s look a little closer at this thought of one believing after salvation.  [1 John 3:23]  "And this is his [the] commandment [singular], That we should believe [present active subjunctive] on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.”  This is his commandment; it’s singular in number.  This is a specific commandment and it has the definite article “the” before it and you would read it “this is the commandment of him.  That we should believe, [present active] on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment”.  What is the name that we are to be believing in in the present tense?  We are to believing in the name of His son Jesus the Christ.  What does a name mean?  If I walked up to the White and knocked on the door and said I want to see the President, they would bring a straight jacket and tell me the place to go, but if I had a name or someone’s authority to have access to the President… that is the same idea here.  Believing on the name of the Son of God, he is the one who has the authority.  Where is his authority?  Just here on the earth?  No!  His authority is in heaven and on earth.  Did you know that his name is above every name that is named not only here on the earth but in heaven. If I am believing in his name, I have the right authority for my life.

What is the purpose of the book of John?  [John 20:31]  John 20:31 "But these are written, that ye might believe [present active] that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing [present active] ye might have life (millennial life) through his name."  Believing in His name will provide us with life for the coming age.  Believing in his name will provide us with millennial life of ruling and reigning with Christ.  That is what believing in the present tense provides.  That was the purpose of the writing of the book of John that we might believe in the present tense.

There is an interesting passage about those who believe not in the present tense.  [John 6:64-68]  "But there are some of you that believe [present active] not.  For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed [present active] not [ouj, emphatic not], and who should betray him.  And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.  From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.  Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?  Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal [millennial, agelasting] life."

Believing on the name is to acknowledge who has the key of the knowledge of life for the coming age.  Believing on his name means we won’t quit following him.  He knew from the beginning who would believe in the present tense.  He also knew from the beginning who would believe in the aorist tense.  If he did not know who was going to believe in the aorist tense, how could he gather together a special group that would believe in the present tense.  And there were some disciples that were following him that when the doctrine got too tough they left.  What he was teaching did not fit tradition, therefore they left.  Do you see that happening today?  Believing in the present tense has to do with a select group of children of God who have believed or received Jesus Christ as their personal savior.  They are the ones who appreciate the word of life for the age to come.

[John 17:6]  "I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou (the Father) gavest me out of the world:  thine they were (begotten, in the family), and thou gavest them me (new beginning, begotten again); and they have kept thy word."  God the Father has all the family.  When you are born into the family of God you are an heir of God the Father.  Then out of that group of believers of those who are saved, the Father has given a select group to the Son.  That is what is says here.  “I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world:  thine they were, and thou gavest them me.  That was only the twelve that he is talking about here.  I assure you there were more saved than twelve when Jesus’ ministry was done.  He is not talking about all those who are saved. 

Personally I think that Jesus Christ came to minister to saved Israel; those who were hearing impaired and sight impaired; he came for the lost sheep of the house of Israel.  The Lord just did not give them ability to see and to hear.  Do you know why?  He was kind in not doing that.  Because when you know something significant from the Word of God and you don’t obey it, your consequences are going to be more severe.  [It’s like the aborigine that eagerly heard God’s Word until he found out that you’re responsible for what you know.  “You mean if you hadn’t told me this, I wouldn’t be responsible for it?  Thanks a lot.”  It’s better to have the opportunity for rewards, though, than to never hear.]  It is better for you not to hear and to know certain things, than to know and to hear certain things and see certain things and not do anything about it.  And what we are doing here in this church is ministering things that are very serious but very profitable to those who will respond to it.  Because eye hath not see nor ear heard neither has entered into the heart of man what God has prepared for them that love Him.  That obey him.  The Father has them and he gives them unto the Son.

Jesus prays for others also.  [John 17:20]  "Neither [ouj, emphatic not] pray [present active] I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe [present active] on me through their word;"  “Neither pray I for these alone”.  This is the Lord’s prayer.  Most people call the model prayer the Lord’s prayer.  But, this is truly the Lord’s prayer.  Jesus is praying in John 17 not for the world; he is not praying for the lost world.  He is praying for the eleven apostles; and he is not only praying for the eleven apostles but for them also which believe in the present tense.  Isn’t that encouraging?  I tell you that encourages me to believe in the present tense.  You know why?  Because I know that Jesus is praying for me.  He is praying for me!  And it says “also which shall believe in the present tense on me through their word”.  Did the Apostles write the Word?  They sure did.  Not all that was written in the New Testament was written by apostles, but most of it was written by apostles.  James was not an apostle, but he was the brother of the Lord.  The point is this:  that He is praying for the apostles and those who would write the Word of God and those who believe in the present tense.

We’re to continue believing.  [1 John 5:13]  "These things have I written unto you that believe [present active participle] on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal [agelasting, millennial age] life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God."  Did you get the word?  “The name of the Son of God”.  That’s what the believing is on here.  That ye may know that ye have millennial life.  He says, “ya’ll, if you are believing in the present tense you can count on life for the coming age.  And if you are not believing in the present tense, He says that ye may start believing on the name of the Son of God.  If you are not doing this, I want you to start doing it.  That is what 1 John is written about.  I have written unto you that believe [present active] on the name of the Son of God that ye may know that ye have eternal life and that ye may start believing in the name of the Son of God, so you too can have life for the coming age.

The believing are born of God.  [John 1:13]  "Which were born, not of blood [bloods, parents, a special people], nor of the will of the flesh [the individual], nor of the will of man [another person], but of God [were begotten, aorist passive, comes here in the Greek text]." The ones believing are the one who are begotten of God.  I drew a line though the words “were born” because they actually come at the end of the verse in the Greek text.  In here we have “which”, the ones believing or the “which” or the “whom” not of bloods [plural parents or special people], in other words your heritage, who your parents are, or who your linage is that doesn’t have anything to do with God giving you a new beginning.  It is not the will of the flesh.  I used the will of the flesh to be saved, to receive Jesus Christ.  I believed on the Lord Jesus.  But when it comes to this birth, I can’t make that choice.  This choice comes only from God.  It goes on to say not the will of man.  I cannot will this for you.  I would - I would will this for everyone.  Another man cannot will this for you.  The birth that he is talking about here is a new beginning.  When you receive Jesus Christ as your savior, that is the first beginning.  This birth has to do with a new beginning, a fresh beginning.  Now it says, not of the will of man, but of God, and the ones believing are begotten of God.  That is who is begotten of God, the ones who are believing in the present tense.  This is confirmed in James 1:18.

[James 1:18]  "Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures."  Of his own will…  Whose will?  This is God the Father’s will.  The context in verse 17 confirms that the word “his” in this verse is God the Father.  Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth.  How do we come into this?  By his will and the word of truth.  We need to have a love for the truth.  For us to be begotten by the word of truth he had to have given us eyes to see and ears to hear.  We have to respond to this word.  Because if we don’t have eyes to see and ears to hear we can’t respond.  But it says “of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.”  Firstborn, firstfruits.

What is the will of the Father?  [John 6:39]  The last day in this verse is the millennium.  It is the Father’s will that all that are given to him he will lose none of them.  The only one that was lost was the son of perdition, Judas.  And Jesus acknowledges that.  This was according to the will of God that happened.  We are not getting into that right now.

They were already God’s.  [John 17:6]  "I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word."  Notice, they have kept thy word.  They have been faithful to the word.  Thine they were, then, it says in John 6:64, 65.  Only the believing can come.  [John 6:64-65]  "But there are some of you that believe [present active] not.  For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed [present active] not, and who should betray him.  And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father."  “But there are some of you which believe not (in the present tense)”, and they left.  Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who would betray him.  Then Jesus said, “Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.”  I included this verse the second time to emphasize the later part of verse 65.  “No man can come to me except it were given unto him of my Father.”  These that believe in the present tense belong to the Father and he was the one who gave them to the Son.  Special beginning.

[John 17:24]  "Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world."   Do you know who is going to be with the Lord and beholding the glory?  The ones believing.  You can’t be haughty about this.  God can give you the heart to believe in the present tense, but did you know you can stop believing in the present tense?  There were some disciples who were believing in the present tense and stopped.  God knew who they were and all the ramifications, but the point is this:  if you are living by faith you can stop.  If you are believing in the present tense you can stop.  You can believe for a while.  When persecution arises you can be offended and quit.  Just don’t do that.  Because if you continue in believing, you will get to behold the glory of the Lord.  You will get to be where he is.  Close in.  Everybody will see the Lord.  Did you know that during the tribulation period something tremendous is going to happen?  We could walk outside right now and look up and all we see is blue skies or clouds, but there is going to come a day when God is going to roll back the heavens like a scroll, and every human being is going to be able to see into heaven and they will see the lamb sitting upon the throne.  He is real and those on the earth will see him. One day we will see him and we will be close to him and beholding his glory.

[1 Peter 1:3-5]  "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (who begot us from above), which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time."  Notice in verse 3, it is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who begot us again unto a living hope.  For him to have begotten us again, the Father had to have begotten us before and that was when we were born from above in John 3:3.  Again, there are two beginnings in this verse.  One from above and the other is unto a living hope.  And what is that new beginning?  Why is the believing in the present tense to be active?  It is for an inheritance.  It is believing on the Son of God who is at the right hand of God the Father.  And that inheritance is incorruptible and is undefiled and cannot fade away as long as you are believing in the present tense and you are living by faith.  People today want to tell you that you are saved by faith and because you are saved by faith you have all that believing in the present tense will have.  That is not true.  We are not saved by faith.  We live by faith, we’re saved by “believe” in the aorist tense.  It’s punctiliar action.  Your inheritance can become corrupt and defiled and fade away, if you do not continue to please God.  It is by faith that we please God.

[1 John 5:4-5]  "For whatsoever is born of God overcometh [present active] the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.  Who is he that overcometh [present active] the world, but he that believeth [present active] that Jesus is the Son of God?”  With this we will close.  What is the evidence of being begotten of God, or born of God.  [1 John 5:4, 5]  “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh.”  The word “overcometh” is the word “nike” like Nike shoes.  Only those who are winners wear the check marks.  Only the winners wear Nike’s, but the word “overcometh” comes from the word “nike” in the Greek.  “Whatsoever is born of God overcometh” once?  No, keeps on overcoming, present tense.  “This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith”.  As long as we are in the faith, we will be overcomers.  If we make shipwreck of the faith, we are not going to be victorious in anything.  We become losers.  Who is he that overcometh [present active] the world, but he that believeth [present active] that Jesus is the Son of God.  He has the authority.  And we need to be believing on that authority.  He will give the victory to those who remain steadfast and faithful to Him.  I hope you will now begin to appreciate a little bit more what it means to be born of God.  I cannot will that.  I can be born from above on my will when I receive Jesus Christ as my savior.  When it comes to being born of God, that is only referred to in 1 John and in John 1:13.  That birth has to do with the will of God and it is for those whom he has chosen to continue believing in the present tense.