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:…
The sonship is not effected in virtue of a mere act of adoption on the part of God. A child may be taken out of the family to which he originally belonged, and be planted in another; he may get a new name; he may be trained to forget that he had other birth; he may be made heir to great estates; he may be as dearly loved and as tenderly cared for as if he were own child to those who have adopted him: but the fact remains that he is really the child of another, and nature may prove too strong for the new bonds, and he may pine for his native home, and at length go back to it. The "sons of God," however, are sons by birth, for such is the significance of the word here used, having not only a new name and position, but also a new life. It is not simply that they are called sons; they are sons, partakers of the Divine nature, with a filial relationship, and a filial resemblance to the eternal God. The sonship is already established in fact and in principle, though it awaits its full manifestation hereafter (1 John 3:1, 2).
(J. Calross, 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: