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 RECEPTION. A true reception of Christ for every man alike is of three parts.
1. Belief that He is what He says He is. For any messenger the first condition of acceptance is that He be found to be what He claims to be — much more the Saviour of mankind.
2. Sympathy. A plenipotentiary, an agent, a purely mental operator does not need this. But the moment you include a moral purpose, spiritual influence, there must be common feeling and assimilation. Interests must be felt to be identical. Loyalty must bind the subject to his king. Enthusiasm must mount at the leader's name. If Christ's purpose was to fill human hearts with love, we cannot be His without loving Him.
3. Service: not compulsory, but that which love disdains to call service. In the hungry, sick, ignorant, etc., the Lord makes new advent to your heart every week; and Christ will not be received till everybody within our reach is made, somehow, better by our faith in Him.
II. THE BLESSING. Servants and creatures we were before, and, in a sense — but not the full and glorious sense — children of God. Now sons of God, a royal line, conquerors, sufferers rejoicing in the midst of temptation. Born now, their immortal seed remained in them.
III. THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN CHRIST'S NAME WILL SEEK TO RECEIVE HIM.
1. By giving up the dearest preference that hurts the simplicity and humility of their faith.
2. In the New Testament, Christian instruction, prayer, doing God's will; and counting faith, not doubt, the glory, and power, and joy of man.
3. In the communion of His body and blood.
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: