6th July 2012
Our Right In Jesus
“But as many as received Him, to them he gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name ”
John 1:12 (NKJV)
What rights do we have?
We live an age of people claiming their rights. We talk of the right to be free. All segments of society advance their rights: male and female, children, workers, pensioners. We have the gay rights’ movement and the fight for the right to die. Those in line to the throne have the right of succession.
The above passage is one of the few places in the Bible where it discusses the idea of “rights”. The idea is that we have the right through Christ to be what God intended us to be. In Jesus we are adopted as God’s own children, born “not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (v.13).
This privilege to become a child of God is not something we demand or deserve. We don’t go on a protest march or lobby a powerful politician in order to get it. When he was on the cross, Jesus secured for us the right to become God’s children. In the opening verses of his account of the Gospel, John wants his readers to understand what has been God’s purpose for humanity from the beginning of time. His purpose is that we receive his Son through Whom His grace is given freely, and that we believe in Jesus’s name as the only name under heaven whereby we may be saved. Thus, through Jesus, we gain the God-given right to become God’s children. And, just like our children become our heirs and may dwell with us and may be called by our name, so we become God’s heirs and dwell with Him and receive His name.
Paul explained that those who receive Jesus, receive the Spirit and enter into communion with Him. The Spirit, says Paul, is the Spirit of adoption. “The Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs – heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:16-17).
In Jesus, God gave us the right to become His children. I know of no greater right!
Heavenly Father, thank you for helping me accept the grace of Jesus that I may become one of your beloved children.
Study by James Henderson