12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, 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.
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
15 John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’” (John 1:12-15, NKJV)
1:12-13 Born Of God
But some in the world did receive Him. And all who receive Him become children of God. They become born again.
They are not born of blood. You can’t be a child of God by blood. It doesn’t matter who your ancestors were or whether you had a pastor in the family. It doesn’t matter if your parents are Christians, or your kids are. You cannot become a child of God by blood.
They are not born of the will of the flesh. It’s not about straightening up your life and deciding, “Hey, I’m going to stop being so sinful. I’ll quit drinking, smoking, and cussing, and then I’ll be a child of God.” No one becomes a child of God by the will of their flesh.
They are not born of the will of man. No one can force you to become a child of God. Maybe your wife has been wanting you to become a Christian. Maybe someone at work has been telling you about the gospel. Maybe your neighbor has been debating for the existence of God. But none of those things make you a child of God. They desire you to have life, to see the light, but they cannot force you into becoming a child of God.
They are born of God. They were born once into the world, and then they are born of God. When we get to chapter three, we will discuss this in more detail. At that point, Jesus will say:
“Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’” (John 3:7)
Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)
Have you been born again? Ask yourself: am I still living that same old life of darkness? Or have I seen the light of Jesus Christ? Have I been born of God into a completely new life? The Bible tells us that:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Are you still the same old person, living in darkness? Blinded in your sin? Your bloodline doesn’t matter, straightening up your life doesn’t do it. Other peoples’ desire for you to be saved can’t accomplish it. You must be personally and individually born again. Do it today – become a child of God.
1:14 The Word Became Flesh
The Word became flesh. Remember that another title of Jesus Christ is “The Word of God.” He was God Himself up in heaven, but He became flesh to come and be with us on earth. Every Christmas you hear the story – about how Jesus came to earth, being born as a baby by the virgin Mary. God had said hundreds of years before,
Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14)
Immanuel means, “God with us.” Jesus Christ, God Almighty, came to be with us, by being born of a virgin.
Dwelt Among Us
He dwelt among us. That word “dwelt,” means “to fix one’s tabernacle.” Literally, what this sentence says is that the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us. For those who have studied the book of Exodus, that should bring up a prophetic picture.
Have you wondered why God didn’t have them build a temple? Why did He have them build the tabernacle, a portable tent? Because the Israelites were living in tents. He came to them where they were. He dwelt among them as they dwelt – in tabernacles. Just as God tabernacled with them in the wilderness, so the Son of God became flesh and tabernacled among us.
Full Of Grace And Truth
I’d like to pause and ponder this description of Jesus Christ: “Full of grace and truth,” because as Christians, we are called to be imitators of Christ. When we see attributes in Jesus, it is essential that we grasp them and make them our own.
Now, we all know people that are graceful. They are constantly giving you what you don’t deserve, for that is grace. They’ll bend over backwards not to hurt your feelings. They think of the Scripture that says:
Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. (Ephesians 4:29)
In desiring to give grace to people, though, they often will never be up front with you about an issue because they just can’t imagine ever being harsh. They’re so loving that you never know where you stand with them. They’ll never confront you about your sin. They’re like silent martyrs, taking everything upon themselves.
Then there are the people that are truthful. Oh so truthful. The truth hurts, but they don’t care. It’s their calling in life to tell you that your breath is bad, that your clothes don’t match, that you’re getting awfully fat. They even quote Jesus, saying:
And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:32)
They’ll tell you exactly what they think about you and everyone else too. They’re like steamrollers, rolling right over people and crushing them for the cause of truth.