John 1:12 distortedFLOUNDER DISTORTS
"RECEIVE" IN JOHN 1:12
There is now a rather peculiar interpretaton of John 1:12 recently posted on the Internet which tries to "explain away" the obvious meaning of the passage. It is very much like the peculiar twist of "exegeet'n" done by James White in his attempt to teach that one is "born again before faith."
The title of the article by Jim Elliff is "Getting John 1:12 Right: Should You Invite Jesus Into Your Heart?"
Jim Elliff says on his website that he is in "close alliance with the Founders Ministries," and it seems that most of Jim's ministry has been in "Founders friendly" churches. He is in print endorsing the "regeneration" theory of Louis Berkhof, the theologian promoted by the Pedobaptist Iain Murray, one of the chief advocates of the "born again before and without faith" phantasmagoria.
Jim is also the author of an article on the Flounders' website, "Southern Baptists, an Unregenerate Denomination." He also has written against public invitations, and promotes an anti-altar call item which lists what the writer calls "dangers." Jim is obviously a veritable "seer" when it comes to discerning the spiritual state of professing Christians.
Jim's article on John 1:12 seems to be designed to set aside the use of John 1:12 in soul-winning, witnessing efforts by those who like to use the verse to urge lost sinners to "receive," "accept," or "believe" on Christ for salvation. His view conflicts with the likes of John Gill (Commentary, page 743) and C. H. Spurgeon (Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Volume 12, Year 1866, sermon #669).
Both Gill and Spurgeon equate "receiving" Christ with "believing" on Christ.
As for "opening one's heart" to receive Christ, Spurgeon prefaces his sermon by saying --
"There is an act on the sinner’s part by which, being constrained by Divine Grace, he opens his heart to the admission of Jesus Christ and Jesus enters in and dwells in the heart, and reigns and rules there. To a gracious readiness of heart to entertain the Friend who knocks at the door, we are brought by God the Holy Spirit, and then He sups with us and we with Him" (page 13). http://www.spurgeongems.org/vols10-12/chs669.pdf
Dr. Gill says --
"Ver. 12. But as many as received him,.... This is explained, in the latter part of the text, by believing in his name; for faith is a receiving him as the word, and Son of God, as the Messiah, Saviour, and Redeemer; . . . even to them that believe in his name; that is, in himself, in Christ, the word: the phrase is explanative of the former part of the verse . . ."
So, according to Gill and Spurgeon, "receiving" Christ is the same as "believing" on Christ.
Why Hybrid Calvinists oppose efforts to get sinners to receive (believe on) Christ is possibly due to their thinking that this might lead to the "non-elect's" making a false profession. Yet the Gospel is to be preached to "every creature," and all are commanded to believe on Christ. There is no commission to try to "sort out" the "elect" from the "non-elect."