– John 1:12
If you are a child of God, you should remember that the children of God “were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:13), so just as we can’t take credit for our natural birth, neither can we take credit for our spiritual birth by the Holy Spirit. We couldn’t have saved ourselves any more than Lazarus could have raised himself from the dead. That’s because we were dead in our sins and had no hope in this life…that is, until God brought us into His kingdom.
Dead in Sins
The Apostle Paul tells us that “you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience” (Eph 2:1-2), and it was only “because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved” (Eph 2:4-5). We didn’t save ourselves nor did we have the capacity to save ourselves, therefore salvation is fully a work (100%) of God so that He receives all the glory.
We cannot receive Christ without knowing Christ and this is a work of the Holy Spirit, because He reveals Who Christ is and why we need Him as our Savior. We’re not able to discern this need without God’s Spirit, so as John writes, it was “to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12). We did not earn that right…God gave us the right to be His children.
Jesus rebuked the self-righteous by telling them, point blank, that “You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires” (John 8:44a). Before we were saved, we too were children of the Devil, but it was only because God “predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will” (Eph 2:5), so it was God Who “lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ” (Eph 2:8-9), which means we have “been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will” (Eph 2:11), and not according to our own will.
If you have received Christ as Lord and Savior, then you too are a child of God, not born of the flesh, but born from above (John 3:3-7), so we cannot take credit for this. This is all due to God’s goodness which means He deserves all the glory because He initiated or began it since we were dead in our sins, and now we can receive Him as Lord and become His own children by faith.