Calvinism · Doctrinal · Interpretation

Calvin’s Concerns – Comment Response 11 – John 1:12-13

As mentioned in the introduction, I have been been discussing the differences between Calvinism and Provisionalism with a fellow blogger. One particular response grabbed my attention and I am trying to understand his position, by referring to his proof texts and logic.

This is the third portion of his response (in red), along with the corresponding verses he referred to. I shall seek to comment on the verses and find his argument within the verses he has provided.

Original Comment

God gave to the man Jesus the spirit without limit. God doesn’t give faith to everyone because He doesn’t want to according to Romans 9:16 John 1:12-13.

My friend is telling me that God doesn’t want to give faith to everyone, according to Romans 9:16 (dealt with last post) and the current set of verses being considered.

So lets take a look to see if this set of verses gives support to the claim that God doesn’t give faith to everyone, because He doesn’t want to.

First, let’s read the passage.

John 1:12-13 – But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

It seems the ability to believe is not addressed in this passage, but simply stated as a condition. The result of the belief is that the one believing receives the right to become a child of God. I suppose I could state that the order of salvation is addressed in this verse, in that belief comes before the right to become children of God, but this isn’t my friends intent with this verse, so I will move on.

I think he is referring to the last three clauses in the verse, to speak of where the belief comes from, but that doesn’t seem all that clear in my opinion.

It seems the “being born” is the action being defined in this passage, in that the “being born” is an act of God. It seems to be a stretch to consider the “believing in His name” as being the object of the action.

So if one believes in His name, the believing one acquires the right to become a child of God. It is the result of the faith exercised in the name of the Messiah, that God provides the life, or in other words, “the birth” of a child of God.

Does the faith of the believing one perform the action of becoming a child of God, of being born? No. The action of being born is sourced, or found, in the will of God, not in any other agency.

One more time for a bit of clarity – The faith allows the believing one to acquire the right to become a child of God. God provides the birth upon the faith that is directed to the Messiah.

This passage doesn’t seem to address the topic my friend is seeking to prove, that God doesn’t give faith to everyone, because He doesn’t want to. As a matter of fact, it seems to be an open invitation to any who would trust in His name.

I do hope you will continue with me as I seek to understand the verses he supplies and if the verses he supplied support his argument of fatalism/determinism which he speaks of.

Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

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