21 Days of Once Saved Always Saved Salvation Assurance – Day #18 John 1:12-13 – Once Saved.org

21 Days of Once Saved Always Saved Salvation Assurance – Day #18 John 1:12-13

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This is day 18 of a video series called 21 Days of Once Saved Always Saved Salvation Assurance. It’s January 2022 and, in honor of the new year, my church in Marietta GA has asked us to dedicate 21 days to the Lord to draw closer to Him.  Over these 21 days, I’m going through 1 passage of Scripture a day that proclaims our salvation assurance in Christ and shows how salvation can never be lost or forfeited but is held securely in place for us by our heavenly Father so we can have confidence that we are eternally saved.

Today’s passage is John 1:12-13:

“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 1:12-13 KJV)

This passage reveals the very promise of God to save forever every single person who receives the Gospel message and believes, or puts their trust, in Jesus. We become the very sons and daughters of God. We are adopted into His family. And once we are adopted, we can never become unadopted, for our faithful and loving Father never abandons His children.

We’re going to break down these verses, but first I want to highlight two words that are critical to understanding the process of salvation. The two words are these: received and believe.

“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 1:12-13 KJV)

In these words, we see that there are two steps to being saved. 

  1. To Receive – this means to hear, take in, and understand the Gospel, God’s plan of salvation. Before you can believe the Gospel, you have to hear it, take it in and understand it.
  2. To Believe – this means to place confidence in, to trust in Jesus.

We receive so as to understand about Jesus. Then we choose to believe by placing our confidence, our trust, in Jesus. These are two steps that every person goes through to become saved.

Now let’s break these verses down. Verse 12 begins with this phrase:

“But as many as received Him,” (John 1:12 KJV)

The first thing we notice is that salvation is available to everyone, for it says, “as many as received Him.” God is not willing that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9). So, He has extended the offer of salvation to everyone who will receive it (hear it, take it in, understand it) and believe it (put their confidence in it, trust in it).

Notice in this verse that salvation is not restricted to those believers who obey. There’s a false teaching in the church, particularly in the Lordship Salvation movement, that in addition to believing in Christ, you must also obey all commandments, or you can lose your salvation. What does this verse say? It says, as many as received and believed, are saved and become children of God. Not a word about obedience.

The ONLY requirement for being saved is to believe in Jesus. And to believe in Him, you first have to hear about Him, receive the message of salvation. Believe does not mean obey. Obedience is important, but it is a part of discipleship that follows salvation. It’s not part of salvation. We looked at this in the very last lesson #17.

Receive and believe – that’s what it takes to be saved.

John goes on to say:

“to them gave He power to become the sons of God,” (John 1:12-13 KJV)

This word, “power,” in the Greek is the word, “exousia.” This does not mean divine power like God has. It’s talking about the power of choice, the right or ability to become children of God. The King James translates this as “power,” but other versions translate this as “right,” the “right” to become sons of God. It’s talking about how, once we receive or hear the Gospel, God gives us the power of choice, the right or ability to choose to become children of God. God doesn’t force us to be saved. He warns us of the punishment that awaits us if we are not saved. But being saved is about receiving or hearing the Gospel and then making a choice to believe it, trust in it, or not. God has given us free will to choose whether we will be saved.

You would think it’s a no brainer to choose salvation, but Scripture tells us plainly that most people will reject this offer. Matthew 7:13-14 says:

“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 KJV)

Most people throughout history will not be saved but will choose to reject God’s offer of salvation. Most love this world and love sin more than God. How about you? Have you chosen to believe in Christ?

Choosing to believe in Jesus does not just mean forgiveness of sins. It means being adopted into God’s family. We become children of God. From that point forward, God treats us as His children. He teaches us and disciplines us. He cares for us, blesses us and will never let us go. He is a good Father.

“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:” (John 1:12 KJV)

This word “[even]” is shown in brackets and italics because it was added by translators when they wrote the King James version. This word doesn’t exist in the original Greek manuscripts. Literally, the verse is saying, “But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, to them that believe on His name.” In other words, EVERYONE who believes becomes a son of God (or a daughter of God). 

Salvation = receiving and believing

John goes on to say,

“Which were born, not of blood,” (John 1:13 KJV)

Being saved is not about physical birth but spiritual birth, being born of God. We looked at this in lesson 17 of this series.

John goes on,

“nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man” (John 1:13 KJV)

We are not born again by the will of flesh or man. This should speak to any of you who think that you have to obey commandments and rid yourselves of sin to keep your salvation. Salvation is not up to us. We don’t save ourselves or keep ourselves saved by controlling the flesh or, through our will power, obeying commandments. It’s not of the will of flesh or the will of man.

So how are we saved? And, once we’re saved, how do we stay saved? John ends with these three words:

“but of God.” (John 1:13 KJV)

It is God Who saves us and it is God Who keeps us saved. Salvation is a gift from God that comes through faith in Jesus. We don’t earn it or keep it by obeying commandments or by controlling the flesh. Salvation is a gift of God that can never be lost of forfeited.

So, what do we have to do then?

“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 1:12-13 KJV)

Our responsibility is to receive and believe, which means to hear and trust in the Gospel. What we must believe is the Gospel. But what is the Gospel? 

Paul tells us what this Gospel is in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4. 

“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the Gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures:” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV)

This passage begins with the declaration:

“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the Gospel,” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV)

The word, “Gospel.” means “good news.” So, this passage tells us what the Gospel is.

Paul continues:

“…which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV)

Here, we see those same two steps to being saved that we saw in John chapter 1. Paul says that they first received it, they heard and understood it. And now they stand in it, in other words, they stand by faith, they believe it, they trust in it. We see the same two steps to being saved: Receive and believe.

Then Paul says,

“By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV)

How can someone believe in vain? By not believing the entire Gospel. There was a problem in the Corinthian church: Some church members believed that Jesus is the Christ who died for their sins, but they didn’t believe in the resurrection, that He rose from the dead. How do we know this was their problem? Because for the rest of chapter 15, Paul talks about only one thing: proof of the resurrection. 

Why is it important to believe in the resurrection? Paul tells us in Romans 4:26, speaking of Christ. He says,

“Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.” (Romans 4:25 KJV)

Christ’s death on the cross was for the payment of our sins. It satisfied God’s holy wrath against sin and wiped all of our sins (past, present and future) from our record. Our debt has been forever paid because of Christ’s death. But it was His resurrection that gives us eternal life. With His resurrection, we are declared just and given eternal life. Because He lives, you too can live forever. You have to believe not only in His death but also in His resurrection to inherit eternal life.

That’s why Paul says, “unless you have believed in vain.” You have to believe the entire Gospel to be saved.

Then Paul says, 

“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received,” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV)

Now Paul is getting to what the Gospel is. This is it right here. This is the Gospel:

“how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures:” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV)

There are three parts to the Gospel: Christ died for our sins, was buried and then rose again the third day. That’s the Gospel, all three parts. We are saved by believing in this, trusting in it, standing by faith in it. Christ died to pay for our sins, so our debt to God is paid. Then He was buried, but death could not hold Him. So, on the third day, He rose from the dead and is alive forevermore. It is because He lives, that we too, by placing our faith in Him, can also live for eternity.

Some Corinthians were not believing the part about the resurrection. They were not believing the full Gospel, so they were believing in vain. How else can you believe in vain? By adding to the Gospel. There are many who say, “Yes, I believe in Christ, but you also have to be baptized to be saved. You also have to tithe. You also have to rid yourself of sin. You also have to obey the Ten Commandments. You also have to obey all of Christ’s commandments. If you don’t, you won’t be saved.” 

If you think this way, adding anything to these three parts of the Gospel, you are believing in vain. You are saying, “Christ did His part. Now, I’ve got to do my part.” Salvation then becomes a joint effort where, instead of trusting in Christ to save you, it becomes up to you to save yourself by your own efforts. If you think this way, you have rejected the true Gospel that says we are saved by God’s grace, unmerited favor, which means nothing we did earned it. Instead, you are adding your own efforts to it and not trusting solely in Christ. You are believing in vain.

Salvation is a gift of God, by His Grace, through faith in Christ alone. Not of our own works lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).  You have to receive it and then stand in it (in other words, believe it, trust in it). That’s it. There’s nothing more.

But don’t we have to obey Christ? Yes, as part of discipleship. But that has nothing to do with salvation.

Salvation is by faith alone.

  • A gift of God through faith in Christ.
  • It cannot be earned.
  • Not of works.
  • Requires only believing in Jesus.
  • Based on faith alone.
  • Can never be lost or forfeited.

Discipleship is by works.

  • Follows salvation.
  • Is about becoming like Jesus.
  • Taking up your cross daily
  • Obeying Him
  • Doing good works
  • Walking in holiness.
  • Based on works (can earn rewards)
  • Rewards can be lost.

Don’t confuse the two. We are saved by faith in Christ alone and that can never be lost.

But can’t we forfeit our salvation by turning back to unbelief? No. Once saved, you cannot become an unbeliever, an apostate. We looked at this in the past few lessons. God has many means to keep His children in the faith. The strongest is that, the moment we believe in Christ, God’s Holy Spirit indwells us and seals us forever. Jesus said this in John chapter 14:

“And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever;” (John 14:16 KJV)

If the Holy Spirit is abiding in us forever, then the moment we start to slip into sin or unbelief, the Holy Spirit is still right there inside us, with the express mission to lead us and teach us in the truth. He will not stand idly by while you slip into unbelief. He will show you the error of your thinking, making it impossible for you to once again become an unbeliever. In all of the New Testament, there is no such thing as a saved believer who reverted back to unbelief. It’s impossible. 

But what if we sin? Can’t we lose our salvation? No. Sin has forever been paid for on the cross. The only sin that can keep you from eternal life is never believing. This is addressed in Hebrews chapter 10:

“For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,” (Hebrews 10:26 KJV)

For ten chapters of the book of Hebrews, there’s only one sin that’s ever mentioned and that is the sin of unbelief. Every other book of the New Testament speaks of numerous sins. But in Hebrews, there’s only one: unbelief. The central problem in this Jewish church was that the congregation was a mixed audience of Jews. Some were saved by believing in Jesus, while others were still on the fence and some were even leaving and going back to Temple worship. They heard the Gospel and understood it (they had received it), but they never believed it. This verse is speaking to those unbelievers, not saved believers, telling them that after receiving the truth of the Gospel, if they willfully sin by not believing it, then they will not find salvation anywhere else. They can only expect fiery indignation from God. If you want more detail on Hebrews 10 and how this verse is only speaking to unbelievers, you’ll find a video I did on this chapter on my channel or website.

For saved believers, all sin has been paid for on the cross, including past, present and future sins. That’s why Jesus said, “It is finished,” which in the original language, literally means, “Paid in full.”

If you hear the Gospel, understand it, but choose not to believe it, to place your trust in it, that is the only willful sin that will keep you from being saved. 

But John 1:13-14 tell us that for all who both receive the Gospel and believe the Gospel, making the decision to trust in it, you will become a child of God and be saved. If all who believe are saved and that salvation cannot be lost or forfeited, then that means Once Saved, Always Saved. You are born again and, once that happens, it is impossible for you to become unborn.

The question is: Have you believed? Have you placed your confidence, your trust, in Christ to save you?

Being saved comes down to this:

Salvation = God’s Grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

Nothing more. Nothing less. There are no other requirements to be saved than to believe in Jesus. The question is: do you believe this? Or are you like those who are not trusting in the finished work of Christ but are trying to prove yourself worthy through your own obedience. Well, let me give you some help: You’re not worthy! You never will be. None of us are. It is Christ who is worthy. We stand in His obedience by faith, not our own. We stand in His righteousness by faith, not our own. He makes us worthy. He makes us righteous.

Once you believe in Him, you are born again, and you are forever a child of God. Our Father is a good Father Who will never abandon you but will preserve you in the faith and never let you go. 

If you are not certain about your salvation, time is getting very late. Don’t take the chance of missing out on God. Prophetically, the current “Age of Grace” where God is giving people time to turn to Him for forgiveness is almost over. When it ends, it will be too late. God’s judgment is coming. Those who are not saved will be separated from God for all eternity. Don’t take chances with God. Don’t play with Him. Take Him seriously.

If you are not 100% sure you are saved, don’t put it off any longer. 

Making Sure You Are Saved Is As Easy As ABC

Admit to God that you have sinned.

Believe that Jesus, God’s Son, died to pay for
your sins 100%, was buried and rose from the dead.

Call upon Jesus and ask Him to forgive you and save you.

If you make that decision to call upon Him, God gives you this assurance:

“For whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13 KJV)

If you are still not sure, I’ll include a link to a video I did called, “What is the Gospel (in 6 Words)?”

Thank you for watching.

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