Check out the other video blogs here: Pastor's Video Blog
For the other video blogs in this series and the outline, click here: Answers to So-called Arminian Verses
For a paperback book in outline form which addresses over 150 difficult verses that Arminians use against Sovereign Grace, check out: Problem Texts for Sovereign Grace: Rooting Arminianism Out of Every Verse.
Answers to So-called Arminian Verses
4. Joh 1:12 - "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:"
A. Does this verse say that belief makes one a son of God?
B. The first part of the verse says that to those who received (past tense) Christ, He gave (past tense) them power to become the sons of God.
i. Since both received and gave are past tense, it cannot be conclusively determined which one happened first by only examining the first part of the verse alone.
ii. The answer to this conundrum is as simple as reading the next verse which completes the sentence.
iii. "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13) Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." (Joh 1:12-13)
iv. Verses 12-13 are one sentence that describes the relationship between belief and regeneration (becoming a son of God) in two different clauses which are equated by the word "even."
a. Even - 8. Prefixed to a subject, object, or predicate, or to the expression of a qualifying circumstance, to emphasize its identity. Obs. exc. arch. Also in 16–17th c. (hence still arch. after Bible use) serving to introduce an epexegesis; = ‘namely’, ‘that is to say’.
b. Example: "Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ." (Mat 23:10)
c. Therefore, "them that believe on his name: which were born...of God" are them who "received him" to whom "gave he power to become the sons of God."
v. Whereas "received" and "gave" are both past tense and don't in themselves state which happened first; "believe" is present tense and "were born" is a passive voice past participle construction, which means that they were born of God before they believed.
vi. Therefore, as many as received Christ were given the power to become the sons of God prior to receiving Him.
vii. This agrees perfectly with other scriptures which declare that regeneration / passing from death unto life / being born of God precedes belief.
a. Joh 5:24 - Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
b. 1Jn 5:1 - Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.
C. Rather than teaching that belief causes one to be a son of God, Joh 1:12-13 instead teaches that belief is caused by God making one a son of God.
D. In other words, those that receive Jesus Christ by faith show the evidence that God through His power made them His sons, which enabled them to believe.