Receiving Christ is a subject that is much misunderstood, and vitally
important to our salvation. In John 1:11 it says, "He came unto his own, and is own received him not." That word received in the original, means, there was no intimate relationship between Him and them. There was no love union or bond, as in a marriage vow. There was a heart problem, an attitude problem, and a need of repentance, and they repented not.
"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: Which were born, not of
blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of
God." John 1:12-13.
At the conclusion of His Sermon on the Mount, our Saviour said, in Matthew
7:24, "Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth
them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a
Look at the conclusion of the matter. The Lord Jesus Christ, for three
chapters in the Gospel of Matthew, Chapters 5, 6, and 7, set forth the
way of salvation. He set forth true heart religion. He pointed out
that a mere form of religion is not sufficient and a legal religion is
not pleasing in the eyes of the Lord. We can have a legalistic bond (or
a bondage), whereby we serve Him by the crack of the whip, and have no
pleasure in the eyes of God at all, but the Lord wants us to serve Him
from a motive of love, and from the heart. The Lord Jesus concludes His
Sermon on the Mount saying that "whosoever heareth these sayings of
mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his
house upon a rock." Matthew 7:24.
The saying, "as many as received him," received His sayings, believed
upon Him, and came under His authority. They are the ones who came to
understand a true heart religion. "As many as received him, to them
gave he power to become the sons of God, [but watch] even to them that
believe on his name." John 1:12.
There is a holy reverence under the authority of that name, Jesus. The Lord Jesus
concluded His Sermon on the Mount saying that doing what He said is
building upon the rock.
When Jesus came to His own, they did not receive Him, because the True
Light convicted their conscience. It caused them to turn from His
In John 8:7-9 we see how the Pharisees, in their legal religion, brought
a woman to Christ, whom they had taken in adultery. They were ready to
stone her to death, executing the law, but they brought her to Christ to
see what He would say. When the Lord Jesus saw that they came to Him,
and asked Him what they must do, "So when they continued asking him, he
lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you,
let him first cast a stone at her." John 8:7.
See the distinction between the legalistic, Pharisaical, letter of the
Law, and the spirit of the Law. You are allowed to cast a stone at her,
and kill her, but you first have to examine your own heart and sins!
Make sure you're not guilty of the same sin. "With what judgment ye
judge, ye shall be judged…with what measure ye mete, it shall be
measured to you again." Matthew 7:2.
This spirit of the law is what the Pharisees did not understand. That
is why they could not receive the Lord Jesus Christ; they did not
believe on His name, and were not brought in submission and subjection
to the authority of that blessed name, "Jesus Christ." What was it given
to Him for? It was given to Him for a reward because He humbled Himself
and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. That name
of authority they did not understand; they did not understand heart
"Let him first cast a stone at her…." Who? "He that is without sin."
In other words, are you going to sit in the judgment seat? When the
Lord Jesus comes to judge the quick and the dead, you are going to be
placed in the judgment seat, and it is you that are going to pass
judgment upon you.
And the Lord is going to bring it, as we read in Matthew 7:1-2. "Judge not,
that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be
judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you
again." The Sermon on the Mount is so rich when it comes to a heart
On the Day of Judgment when all of your sins rise up before your face,
how are you going to be judged? You are going to be placed in the
judgment seat. How did you judge your brother? How did you judge your
friend? How did you find him worthy of mercy? Did you show mercy?
You'll receive mercy as you have shown mercy by the spirit of the law.
JAM 2:13 says, "For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath
shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment."
The Lord Jesus says that you that are without sin, cast the first stone
at her. "And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they
which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by
one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left
alone, and the woman standing in the midst." .John 8:8-9.
He said to her, "Woman where are your accusers?" He only shone a little
light into the heart of those wretched Pharisees, and they didn't have
one stone to throw. These are the Pharisees, the ones who, concerning
the law, were blameless. They didn't have one stone to throw at a woman
that was guilty of capital crime. Under the law she was guilty to be
stoned to death. When the Lord threw just one glimpse of light into
their souls, they didn't have one stone left to throw. Do you see why
they didn't receive Him?
"And as many as received him…" as many as were brought into an intimate
relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, and could humble themselves and
become obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. They could
write "death" on self, they could write "death" on the world, they could
write "death" on sin. "As many as received him, to them gave he power to
become the sons of God." John 1:12.