Monday, January 13, 2014

Receiving Christ

"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..." (John 1:12)

The above verse which has been used in some popular Gospel presentations, is that verse used to press upon the the unbeliever's conscience the need to receive Christ. It is phrased several different ways; "Receive Christ as your personal savior." or "Receive Christ as your Lord and savior." among others,

This of course begs several questions. Who is the "Him" we are to receive? also, what does it mean to "receive" Him?

In the context of the verse above, the "Him" is the one who is the Word that was with the Father in verses 1-4, and became flesh and dwelt among (vs 14). It is the "Him" who has been eternally with the Father and eternally begotten of the Father in the relationship of Father and Son.

In this context, the one who is the savior is the one who is Lord. Only He who is Lord can save us. How Savior and Lord became separated in the minds of some, I do not know. II Corinthians 2:17 speaks of those who ""corrupt the Gospel"... The imagery is that of a bartender watering down the wine. What the buyer gets is not the undiluted 100% pure wine they thought they were paying for. We need to be wary in our use of John 1:12 not to water down the meaning of the text as it comes to us in the broader context of John 1.

And what did John have in mind when he used the word "receive" in John 1:12 as quoted above? John 20:30-31 gives us the answer.

"Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name."

There is much more that could be said on this point, but I will leave that for another time.

~ The Billy Goat ~

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