Born Of God
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:1-13 ESV)
We celebrate Christmas because of the small phrase in the text he came to his own. Jesus came down through the Jewish line as the promised seed of the woman in Genesis 3:15. After man's fall into sin in the Garden of Eden, God made a promise to mankind that he would send an offspring that would crush the head of the deceiving serpent. This promised offspring was the Word who was with God, and the Word who was God. He is the one that all things were made through. Jesus is the promised seed.
Jesus entered into our world as a baby. When he reached the age of 30, he began his earthly ministry. He preached and offered himself to his own; that is, to the Jewish people. The Jewish people, as you remember, did not ultimately receive him, but crucified him.
Three days after the crucifixion, Jesus rose from the dead, putting an end to the enmity between God and man. Jesus himself became the mediator who would forever become the only access man has to God. Jesus ascended up to heaven and sent the Holy Spirit to dwell inside the hearts of his followers; those who did receive him. Those who received him established churches and began preaching the gospel of Jesus. Those individuals who receive him gain the right to become children of God. All of God's children are part of his family, but not all children are God's children. Heaven is the place of an eternal family reunion. All of the members reunited there are able to attend because God gave them the right to become his children. And the way to become a child of God is not by blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but by God.
Jesus came to his own and his own did not receive him. The way to become one of Jesus' own, one of God's children, is by receiving him, and believing in his name. Have you done that? Are you doing that still?
The most important question you could ask and answer for yourself this Christmas is; am I one of God's children? There is no middle ground between the two answers. You either have been adopted into the family of God or you have not.
The promise to us this Christmas is:
"But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God."
Merry Christmas. I pray that for each one of you, it will be a Christmas where you gain the right to become a child of God.