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:…
I. THE HONOUR. To become sons of God not merely by adoption, but by generation (Romans 8:16; 1 John 3:1). On our side is sonship, on God's Fatherhood. Sonship is —
3. More blessed;
4. More glorious than — creaturehood. There is sonship in the angels, in unfallen man; but this is beyond these. As —
(1) Introducing us into a more intimate intercourse;
(2) Making us partakers of the Divine nature.
II. THE GIVER OF IT. Christ Himself; elsewhere it is the Father. All gifts are in Christ's hands — living water and bread of life, Himself, sonship. This right or power of sonship He purchased for us; for those who had no right, or power, or title.
III. THE WAY OF ATTAINMENT.
1. Receiving Him — doing the reverse of what Israel had done; accepting and owning Him for all that God announced Him to be.
2. Believing on His name, i.e, Himself.
IV. THE PERSONAL CHANGE THROUGH WHICH THIS IS REACHED. "Born:"
1. Not of natural descent.
2. Not by natural generation.
3. Not by human adoption.
4. But of God (James 1:18).
(H. Bonar, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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: