Born of the will of God

by Mike Ratliff

9 Ἦν τὸ φῶς τὸ ἀληθινόν, ὃ φωτίζει πάντα ἄνθρωπον, ἐρχόμενον εἰς τὸν κόσμον. 10 ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ ἦν, καὶ ὁ κόσμος διʼ αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο, καὶ ὁ κόσμος αὐτὸν οὐκ ἔγνω. 11 εἰς τὰ ἴδια ἦλθεν, καὶ οἱ ἴδιοι αὐτὸν οὐ παρέλαβον. 12 ὅσοι δὲ ἔλαβον αὐτόν, ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς ἐξουσίαν τέκνα θεοῦ γενέσθαι, τοῖς πιστεύουσιν εἰς τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ, 13 οἳ οὐκ ἐξ αἱμάτων οὐδὲ ἐκ θελήματος σαρκὸς οὐδὲ ἐκ θελήματος ἀνδρὸς ἀλλʼ ἐκ θεοῦ ἐγεννήθησαν. John 1:9-13 (NA28)

9 He was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. 10 He was in the world, and the world came to be through Him and the world did not recognize Him. 11 He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him He gave to them the right to become children of God, even to the ones believing in His name, 13 the ones born not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. John 1:9-13 (translated from the NA28 Greek text)

Heresy is nothing new. When I encounter someone who snipes at me or one of my friends about our theology and condemns us as arrogant, prideful, legalistic, followers of a vain man (John Calvin). It jars me somewhat. However, I have learned to listen to what is going on for God is showing me something. That person trolling us today on Facebook could easily have substituted Martin Luther there instead of John Calvin. The way the conversation went though it ended up that the person doing the sniping was one of those ‘Jesus Followers’ that we used to run into regularly several years ago who hated all forms of organized church. I asked many diagnostic questions of the fellow attempting to pin him down on what he actually believed. He refused to admit that God was sovereign. He refused to admit that he needed a savior because of being dead in sin from birth. I finally got him to share that his approach to being a “christian” was to pray all the time and understand that he was saved by doing good works and having faith. Sound familiar?

It may or may not surprise you to learn that is conversation started when some of us were discussing the latest attack on Reformation Theology by Jesse Morrel who hates Calvinism in all its forms. The fellow who I was attempting to “talk down” revealed himself to be a “Pelagian.” What’s that? Pelagianism is the belief in Christianity that original sin did not taint human nature and that mortal will is still capable of choosing good or evil without special divine aid.

If you compare that short definition of Plagiarism to what the Apostle John shared with us in John 1:9-13 about the source of our salvation what do we learn? People are saved not by any other method or way or power other than the will of God. I have written many posts here about that. God elected us before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4.) This is necessary because all of us are dead in our trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1). He saves us through by grace through faith not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. It is a gift of God! (Ephesians 2:8-9).

I tried to share all this with that fellow, but he refused to listen. In his blindness he said I did not understand Scripture correctly and was interpreting it through the lens of Calvinism. I then told him that it was the exact opposite that it was these very scriptures that drew me out of the darkness he was in right now into the light of knowledge of the Sovereignty of God and freedom of knowing that I do not have to work my way into Heaven, but I already have a place there because of what my Savior and my God has DONE FOR ME. It is finished!

Let us rejoice in the fact that we are in Christ because of the will of God the Father. Since this is true, we are there permanently. Our place in heaven is secure and since we are regenerate (born again), we have eternal life and can joyously progress through this life with our eyes on wonderful prize that awaits because the perfect work of our perfect Savior and His Father which never fails.

Soli Deo Gloria!


4 thoughts on “Born of the will of God

  1. The Scriptures do seem a bit clear….
    Joh 6:29  Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

    Old John Gill wrote….
    and this is of the operation of God, which he himself works in men; it is not of themselves, it is the pure gift of God:

    Joh 6:37  All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

    Joh 6:39  And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. Joh 6:40  And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

    Joh 6:44  No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

    Joh 6:65  And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.


  2. People seem to speak of ‘Calvinism’ as if God’s doctrine of election originated with John Calvin. Where did Calvin get those ideas? From God’s written word. It seems those opposing the doctrine of election, predestination, sovereign grace prefer to use the nickname of ‘Calvinism’ because then they can point to a flawed man and it gives them ammunition to discredit what he believed. It ‘softens the blow’ by referring to a man’s name rather than to the term “doctrine of election” that permeates scripture. Those words really set people on edge and they clinch their teeth and put up their fists. They have not been given ears to hear nor eyes to see. Unless God graciously acts on their behalf, there’s nothing that can be said to convince them they are wrong. At that point, as scripture says, “don’t cast your pearls before swine.” Matthew 7:6


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