Sunday, October 21, 2012

Children of God: By one's own will or His?

Human souls are corrupted because
of corrupting sin. Jesus told disciple
Peter that "flesh and blood" could not
reveal the Savior Christ to him; but,
only the heavenly Father.
Matthew 16:13-17

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"He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 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:  Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." - John 1:10-13

Questions: How does a person become a child of God? Is it by one's own will; or, God's?


Of all the sad ironies; perhaps, the most prevalent, is the reality that the world's human creation for the most part, rejects its Creator. Christ makes reference to this in the recorded Gospel of Matthew:

"Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." - Matthew 7:13;14

For some people, it is a common (false) notion that they can "accept Christ" into their lives. This falsity has been spread since the time of Christ's Resurrection. In more recent times this erroneous understanding was most popularized in the evangelistic efforts of the Rev. Billy Graham. At the end of each crusade of his, the crowd would be invited forward to the speaking platform to be met with Christian counselors. But, before people would be invited "forward," Billy Graham would lead them in a "salvation prayer."  I call this:  "Formula driven Christianity."

Christian pastors and Christian leaders are often guilty of formula driven Christianity, when they “prescribe” certain litmus like steps, to arrive at a certain destination in the Christian life and walk. Preachers are prone to emotionally lead earnest people, seeking spiritual relief, into formula driven prescription prayers. Once having led the soul searching individual into a step by step [“repeat after me”] type of prayer, the person is told that they have fulfilled the spiritual requirements to now label and proudly proclaim for themselves the title of “Christian.”

Often, part and parcel of a “repeat after me” prescription step by step prayer, led by a Christian pastor or evangelist, is, immediately following the sermon. It is proclaimed a quiet time of “every head bowed, and every eye closed,” in which the preacher incorporates a combination [quasi / pseudo] prayer along with an emotional plea to “come forward” to the altar to “accept Jesus Christ.” I have never been comfortable with this well intentioned practice, as I believe it leads both sinner and Christian saint into believing that an individual, can, by personal fiat, determine his own soul’s “salvation.” I respectfully disagree with this practice, as the impression and practice it invokes, flies in the face of the clear teaching of Holy Scripture:

1 Corinthians 2:14 ; 1 Corinthians 12:3 ; John 1:12-13 ; Romans 9:10-16 – especially Romans 9:11 and Romans 9:16 ; Also - James 1:18 ; Ephesians 2:8-10 ; 1 Corinthians 1:29-31 ; 2 Timothy 1:9 ; Titus 3:3-6 ; Philippians 2:13 ; Matthew 16:13-17

The John 1:12-13 Scripture verses make it plain that the human soul cannot affect one's right standing before God; - and automatically declare that one is a Christian for having prayed "the 'sinner's' prayer." Nothing can take the place of God the Holy Spirit's work, who initiates faith and causes the sinner to both repent and believe the Gospel. - Titus 3:5 ; John 3:1-21 ; 1 Corinthians 12:3 ; 2 Thessalonians 2:14 

Note the following Bible passages:

John 15:16 - "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you." [KJV]

1 John 4:19 - "We love him, because he first loved us." [KJV] 

Jeremiah 31:3 - "The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee." [KJV]

Galatians 3:26 - "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus." [KJV] 

Ephesians 2:8-9 - "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. [KJV] 

Finally, it must be noted that the Triune God works through His means to effect His Holy Spirit faith within the human soul. That principle means is found in the Holy Scriptures, the written revelation, gifted to humanity by a loving God.  -  Romans 1:16 ; Romans 10:17 ; 1 Peter 1:23 ; Acts 8:26-39

 Please also note the following topical messages:


Please notice: The above verses quoted out of the King James Version. However, by placing your computer cursor over the Bible reference; you may read each individual verse in the New King James Version [translation].


Note to the reader:  

"Bible Questions and Answers" are intended to help assist the web reader to appreciate the Holy Scriptures and to enhance understanding. It is this web author's prayer that God the Holy Spirit will utilize this humble effort to effect and affect faith in those who read and hear.

Please also note:

As Pastor emeritus Nathan Bickel has additional thoughts to convey of these specific Bible questions and answers individual published web postings, he will continue to edit - revise and add. Please check back, at will on this website; and / or check with Nathan M. Bickel ['s] Facebook page:  The Christian Message for notifications of upgrade.

Note:  Above pic (s) found on the web

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