When does life begin—at conception or birth? Before 1973, the obvious answer would be at conception but the Roe v Wade Supreme Court decision changed that in America. That decision may have changed people's opinions but it didn't change basic biology.
In Asia, age is generally determined by conception and the lunar calendar. For centuries and centuries in the rest of the world and biologically, conception is seen as the beginning of life.
Life on earth has a beginning and end date—our physical birth and death. Yet, billions of people in the world believe in some form of life beyond physical birth and death.
In the Christian faith, we believe eternal life is a gift of God that begins when a person is born again, or as this text says—"born from God." This begins when a person believes—trusts—in Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
God sent a man named John to be his messenger. John came to declare the truth about the light so that everyone would become believers through his message. John was not the light, but he came to declare the truth about the light. [vss 6-8]
The real light, which shines on everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world came into existence through him. Yet, the world didn’t recognize him. He went to his own people, and his own people didn’t accept him. [vss 9-11]
However, he gave the right to become God’s children to everyone who believed in him. These people didn’t become God’s children in a physical way—from a human impulse or from a husband’s desire ⌊to have a child⌋. They were born from God. [vss 12-13]
(John 1:6-13 GW) [Context– John 1]
He gave the right to become God’s children to everyone who believed in him
Review the Scriptures above as you answer the following questions
Who are we told about first? What was the purpose of his coming?
Who is the “real light”? How is this connected to the first 5 verses of John's gospel?
Who was not accepted and how is this known? Who did not accept the "real light" and why not?
Who has the right to become a child of God and how does this take place?
When God came to the earth in human form—the Word, that is Jesus the Son of God—it wasn't a surprise visit. It was announced through the Old Testament prophets and finally through a man named John called the Baptizer.
John's role was to announce and prepare God's people for the arrival and ministry of the long-awaited Messiah of Israel. But the Messiah wasn't a savior for Israel only but for all humanity—a savior and Lord for those who trust in Him as such.
God knows what rejection is like and yet He accepts those who trust in Him. He forgives, He restores, He gives new life—new birth—to those who trust in His Son Jesus.
New birth isn't based on what we believe but who we believe, that is, who we trust in. A person becomes born from God when God gives them acceptance and assurance by His Spirit—the Holy Spirit—through a personal and implicit trust in Jesus.
Taking it to heart...
Read through the Scripture text again as you consider and answer these questions
Why do you think God's people didn't receive Jesus as the "real light"?
Why do you think many people have a hard time to accept Jesus as their Lord?
What kinds of birth are spoken of and described? How can a person be "born from God"?
Have you experienced new birth from God? If so, how and when did this take place?
Meditate On This— The Lord promises that when we believe in Him—an implicit personal trust—we become part of His family forever.
Prayer Focus— Give thanks and praise and worship God for His kindness and goodness for including you as His child in His family!