“But as many as received Him, He gave to them the authority to become children of God; to those having faith in His name” (John 1:12).
Despite our Constitution opening with the words “relying on the blessings of Almighty God”, successive governments of all persuasions have done their utmost to legislate God out of existence, in the process robbing citizens of the liberty to hold opinions, robbing parents of their responsibility to care for their children and robbing Churches of the exercise of their God-given authority.
In these uncertain times of social, political and economic convulsions, we must be sure of the ground upon which we stand; we must meet the confusion of today with the assurance of tomorrow.
We cannot enter the kingdom on the basis of being good men; or better men than we were born; we must restore the great objective foundations of our faith; we must learn to trust Jesus as much in our daily life as much as we will have to trust Him on our death bed. In fact, we should walk as carefully every hour and minute as if it were to be our last. That is Biblical faith, and we must reject the world’s standards and values, which are not only different to, but diametrically opposed to the standards and values of the kingdom.
There is much talk about “making a decision for Christ” in religious circles; this unscriptural expression conveys the notion that the whole matter of receiving Christ or not is in your hands; “deciding for Christ” puts the emphasis on “self”; but we are not called to make a decision; we are called to surrender and it is the Holy Spirit who must do the work of midwife at the new birth. “Accepting Christ” is another term not used in scripture and, once again, the self-emphasis distorts what must actually take place.
“As many as received Him” the scripture says; “receive” is the translation of the Greek lambano and, in the active voice as used here, it means to “take hold of”, “grasp” or “possess”. In the passive voice it means to “receive” or “obtain”.
So when the Holy Spirit of God brings us to the conviction of sin, repentance, faith in God and trust in Jesus Christ, we don’t “receive” Christ, so much as grasp hold of Him.
There is one written of in scripture who is “received”;
“I have come in the name of My Father and you do not take hold of Me: when another will come in his own name, him you will receive” (John 5:43). “Receive” here is in the middle voice, not active, suggesting that the transaction is one of “accepting”, but the one being accepted is the False Prophet.