Receiving Jesus Christ

Video Talk

John 1:9-13 ESV

“The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” (see Ephesians 2:8-10)

The true light is Jesus Christ, which becomes clear as you read on down in John, chapter 1. Jesus was with God in the beginning, and he is God, and he is our creator God. He is the second person of our triune God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And light is the opposite of darkness, and darkness is often described as evil, wickedness and sinfulness. So light is truth, honesty, holiness, righteousness, godliness, faithfulness, moral purity, uprightness, and integrity. And that is who Jesus is.

Jesus Christ, who is God, and who is the only begotten Son of God, left his throne in heaven, came to the earth, was born as a baby to a human mother, and grew up to be a man. Since he was conceived of the Holy Spirit and not of the flesh of man, he remained fully God yet fully man throughout his time on the earth. So, he was God in the flesh coming to his people alive and in person, but his people the Jews, overall, did not accept him as their Lord and Messiah, and they did not receive him as their own.

Now to receive Jesus is not just to acknowledge him for who he is and for what he did when he was on the earth, but to receive him is to accept him for who he is and for what he truly did for us on that cross. So, it has to do with us welcoming him and his will and his divine character and purpose for our lives into our lives and daily practice. It means, too, to receive him daily by saying “Yes” to him and to his commands, and by saying “No” to sin and to walking in wickedness. For we take pleasure in him and we delight in him.

And when it says here that the world did not know Jesus, that word “know” has to do with experiencing him intimately. The word is sometimes used in the Scriptures to indicate sexual intimacy, like when it said that Mary did not know a man, for Jesus was not born of the flesh of man but of God, so Mary was impregnated of the Spirit of God and not of man. So to know our Lord is to experience him through an intimate relationship with him which involves us obeying him, and spending time with him, and walking in righteousness.

So, going back to this “receiving” of Jesus, notice with me that it says that we are not born of God of our own will or of the will of the flesh. And this is why I cross referenced Ephesians 2:8-10, because it says the same thing. Our faith and our salvation are not of our own doing. They are not the result of our own fleshly works, even if they are considered “good works.” For we can’t even come to faith in Jesus unless God the Father first draws us to Christ (John 6:44). And our faith is gifted to us by God, for it comes from God (Hebrews 12:1-2).

So, what this means for us is that we can’t just say “I believe in Jesus,” and then go on living in sin while ignoring him and his commands. For our faith to believe in Jesus comes from God and not from ourselves. So we can’t decide what that faith or that salvation should look like. Only God and his word can define for us what that looks like, but we must make certain that we are not building our own doctrine of salvation out of Scriptures taken out of context and made to say what the Scriptures do not teach. But this is what many people are doing today, making up their own gospel.

So, we can’t make it up ourselves. And “receiving” Jesus is not just saying, “I receive him into my heart.” It means we welcome him and his will and his divine character and purpose for our lives into our lives and daily practice. So daily we say “Yes” to God and to his will for our lives, and daily we say “No” to sin, and so daily we are dying with Christ to sin and we are living to him and to his righteousness, which is why Jesus died for us (1 Peter 2:24). And now we are walking in holiness and in righteousness, according to the will of God, and we are no longer walking in sin (Romans 6:1-23).

And then one more thing. Read Ephesians 2:10 where it says that we are God’s workmanship, “created in Christ Jesus FOR GOOD WORKS, which God prepared beforehand, that we should WALK IN THEM.” So, our faith in Jesus Christ and our salvation from sin are not absent of works, but they are the works of God which he prepared for us to do, that we might walk in them in obedience and in conduct and in holiness and in righteousness, and in the power of God, and to the glory and praise of God, according to his will.

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For Our Nation

An Original Work / September 11, 2012

Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.

Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.

Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.

Men deceiving: We’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.

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