8 Question 1

First of all, I really appreciate your question.  It shows you are reading and trying to understand your Bible.  That is so encouraging.  Let’s read John 1:10-13 – “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.”

These verses are speaking of the Lord Jesus Christ.  He was in the world, having been born of the virgin Mary, but the world at large did not know Him.  He came to a particular people, the nation of Israel, but they would not receive Him.  In a parable concerning Himself, the Lord said in Luke 19:14, “But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.”  Here we can see how much He was hated and rejected by those that He came to save.  The nation of Israel said that they did not want the Lord Jesus to rule over them.

However, salvation is offered to every man, no matter where they are or what nation they come from.  Verse 12 tells us that to any who receive the Lord Jesus, and that by believing in Him as savior and Lord, they become the sons and daughters of God.  Listen to the words of John in 1 John 3:1-2, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”  What a remarkable thing.  As King David said in Psalms 51:5, “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.”  This is true of us all, we were born in sin and shapen in iniquity, yet through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, we can say, “Now we are the sons (and daughters) of God.”  The Apostle Paul speaks of this in Romans 8:15, where he states, “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.”  That we can call God our Father is such a remarkable act of grace.

But you asked specifically about John 1:13, so let’s look at that verse now.  Again, John 1:13 says, “Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”  What is this verse talking about?  Of course, this verse refers us back to verse 12, which speaks of us becoming the sons of God.  That verse tells us what saves us; verse 13 tells us what doesn’t save us.  So what is it that cannot save us?  First of all, blood doesn’t save us.  This is not speaking of the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.  1 Peter 1:18-19 tells us without a doubt, “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”  The shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ is, indeed, what saves us.  Concerning His blood, the Apostle Paul says in Romans 5:8-9 – “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.”  We learn more of the importance of the shed blood of the Lord Jesus in Hebrews 9:22, where it says, “without shedding of blood is no remission.”  That tells us emphatically that if the Lord Jesus had not died and shed His blood for us, we would have no way of salvation…we could not be saved.

So if John 1:13 is not speaking of the blood of the Lord, whose blood is it speaking of?  It literally means our genealogy or our bloodline.  In other words, we are not saved just because our parents are saved.  We don’t inherit salvation.  Here’s how the NIV translates John 1:12-13, “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God — children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.”  So as we continue on in verse 13, we also see that we are not saved by the will of the flesh, which means that we cannot save ourselves.  And we are not saved by the will of man.  That means that no one else can save us.  It finishes with the truth that we can only be saved by being born of God.  How does this happen?  How can we be born of God?  For the answer to that question, let’s look at 1 John 5:1, which says, “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God.”  To put your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as the one who was sent from God to be your savior is to be truly born of God.