“Receiving Jesus” May Not Be What You Think

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.” (John 1:12)

What does it mean to “receive Jesus”? The scripture makes an amazing promise here, that as many as “receive Him”, God would give the right to become His children. But what does it mean to “receive” him? Sadly, many have cheapned the word to mean something that the Lord never intended.

For many this expression “receive Jesus” has come to mean an almost trite acceptance: praying a prayer to “receive Him” into ones life – almost as if He were a piece of jewelry one was adding to their neck, but which has no significance impact on the way they their life is conducted on a daily basis.

But there is no indication that “receive Him” means any such thing in John. If we look at what has been written about Jesus in his book thus far, we see a number of things the scripture asserts about Him:

— that He is God (:1-2)

— that He created everything that was made (:3)

— that He is the “light” we all need (:4)

— that the world and everyone in it is “His own” (:11)

So if we RECEIVE HIM for Who this Book asserts that He is, it means that we “receive” Him as GOD; as Creator of yourself & your world; as light and guide for your life — as Lord & Master.

With that understanding of the word “receive”, have you really “received” Jesus? Have you done more than “pray a prayer for Him to come in”, but taken Him as the Lord & God of your life? Have you really “received” Him?

About Shawn Thomas

My blog, shawnethomas.com, features the text of my sermons, book reviews, family life experiences -- as well as a brief overview of the Lifeway "Explore the Bible" lesson for Southern Baptist Sunday School teachers.
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2 Responses to “Receiving Jesus” May Not Be What You Think

  1. Patricia Martin says:

    Dear Brother Shawn: the Lord saved me 53 years ago. At 78 He is even all the more precious to me today. I did not understand the first two when I dedicated my entire life to God, but did shortly after as I devoured the Word of God. The Holy Spirit gave me understanding that I needed to be born into the family of God. The two Scriptures that opened my understanding were about receiving Him and either having Him and having life or not. They remain my favorites when leading people to the Lord. For years I had hungered for truth. God knew what would open my heart to completely receive Him that wonderful day. I found truth in Jesus. I do not think we necessarily have to make sure someone must understand that Jesus is God or understand the Trinity before they are saved. I believe that understanding sometimes comes once they are born again. Such was my case. Just sharing my thoughts with you. I enjoy your writings God bless you! Patricia Martin.

    • Shawn Thomas says:

      Oh I agree, Ms. Patricia. I’m glad we don’t have to understand the Trinity in order to be saved, or none of us would be!! We absolutely do grow in our knowledge and understanding as we go along. The misunderstanding I was aiming at in this article was the person who is content because they supposedly “received” Jesus some time ago, but they have never grown in their experience and knowledge in any substantial way like you did. If there is no fruit of genuine salvation, they need to look again and see if they really, Biblically did “receive” Jesus into their life.
      Thank you for reading, and for taking the time to comment. God bless you as you walk with Him — and may He use you to lead many others to truly receive Jesus!

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