Can I “Receive” Christ out of my “Freewill” and be Saved? – The Scriptures are filled with counsel that God alone is the author of salvation and that man and his efforts plays no part in his salvation because he is spiritually dead. Many people misquote and distort the Scriptures about “receiving” salvation. They often quote John 1:12: “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”. Then they stop quoting the Bible and don’t look at the very next verse which says: “Which were born [born-again] not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God”. True believers are those who are “born of God” and “not of blood” (or man’s special bloodline or genealogy), “nor of the will of the flesh” (man’s natural procreation or heredity), “nor of the will of man” (man’s individual or governmental endeavors, or works). Salvation is a divine gift that is neither deserved nor earned by its recipients. When we look at all of the Bible concerning this subject, we realize that this “receiving” has nothing to do with anything man can “do” or “perform” in order to be saved, rather he receives as a recipient. The Gospel has nothing at all to do with “the will of man” as we just read in John 1:13. God saves His people through the truth of His Word, as we read in Jam 1:18: “of his own will [God’s will] begat [brought forth or born from above] he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures”. Salvation takes place spiritually in man’s heart, or soul, by the Word of God as well as by the will of God. It’s God’s Will that makes us born again.
John 1:12–13 “But as many as received him [as recipient], to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13Which [these recipients] were born [born again] , not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man [not by man’s freewill], but of God [God’s will].”
Rom 9:15–16 “For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 16So then it is not of him that willeth [not by man’s freewill] , nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.”
Eph 1:4–6 “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will [God’s will], 6To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.”
- Can I open the door of my Heart out of my “Freewill” and be Saved? – One of the most misunderstood verses having to do with “knocking” and “opening” is Rev 3:20, where we read: “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me”. Luke 12:36 helps us to understand that the person who is opening the door is already saved: “And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately”. A further evidence of this is the phrase, “… if any man hear my voice …”. Only those who can hear the voice of the Shepherd are indeed His sheep, as John 10:26–28 declares: “But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand”. Due to our sins we do not have ears to hear and eyes to see. God emphasizes this fact by repeating the verse in Isa 6:9–10 in seven New Testament books – Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, and 1 Corinthians. Who hears God’s voice? His sheep hear His voice and these Sheep are given to Him by the Father and drawn by Father: “And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father” (John 6:65), “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:44).
Isa 6:9–10 “And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.”
Matt 13:15–16 “For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. 16But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.”
- Can I Call Upon Jesus out of my “Freewill” and be Saved? – We read in Mat 22:14, “For many are called, but few are chosen”, and it is worth noting that the root word for “called” is repeatedly used as “call”, “bid”, and “bidden” in the parable in Matt 22. In this profound parable those who were “called”, or invited, refused to come for a variety of different reasons. That attitude stems from unsaved man’s innate sinfulness and rebellion and his captivation by the worldly lusts – the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. This illustrates the all-important fact that man is utterly powerless and unworthy to cause or contribute to his own salvation. Why are we unworthy, you ask? We are unworthy because by nature and birth we are spiritually dead in trespasses and sins, and because we think that we are good enough to merit God’s acceptance. How fatally flawed this thinking is! His dreadful spiritual condition is emphasized when God zeroes in on an individual at this wedding feast that does not have on a “wedding garment”. This sad fact underscores man’s pitiful attempt to enter the Kingdom of God (as typified by this wedding feast) by his own futile human efforts. What happened to that man indicates what will occur to all who lack the robe of Christ’s righteousness – they will experience God’s just punishment as the sentence is read: “Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth”. Since man is spiritually dead, the remedy depends totally upon God’s work. As the Gospel of Christ is proclaimed throughout the world, “many” hear God’s “call” with their physical ears to “call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” according to Rom 10:13. However, the Gospel call is only effective for the elect, for whom God gives “ears to hear ”. That is, only those “few” whom God has “chosen” to save will hear God’s “call” to believe with spiritual ears and will be irresistibly drawn into the kingdom of God. This is the “holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace” (2 Tim 1:9).
Rom 10:13 “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Isa 64:7 “And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities.”
Mat 22:1–14 “And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden. Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen.”
2 Tim 1:9 “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.