There is a difference between hearing about, believing in Christ and receiving Him. Only those who receive Him become God’s children. Jesus is the only way to God. Many people believe in God. Those present at the Crucifixion believed in God. In fact, the Jewish leaders crucified Christ in the name of God. Saul, who later became Paul, believed in God and thought he was serving Him when he was seeking out Christ followers to kill them. There are atrocities committed all over the world, in the ‘name of God’. But believing and receiving… that’s different.
What does it mean to receive Jesus… to believe in His name? Christ comes to us. He reveals Himself to us. He confronts us. We simply respond to Him by completely trusting and accepting Him. To fully reply upon Him and give him our allegiance is to receive.
‘He gave’. Two little words that carry great significance. The word gave tells us of the grace of God within salvation. We are not naturally born as children of God. We aren’t born with the authourity to be a child of God. There is no part to us, no desire, no identity, no resource that can bring us to salvation. It is a sovereign act of God! We supernaturally become the children of God by the work of God, the Father.
God gave, we receive. Not much happening there on our behalf. Grace: received, not achieved.
This act of God is a mystery; we cannot understand it with our human understanding. But by faith, we know it is true. When we accept Christ, God changes our heart. His Spirit will flows into our heart and we have new life. It’s all about Him!