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AS MANY AS RECEIVED HIM!

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Evening, April 15, 2018

“He came unto his own, and his own received him 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 1:11-13).


Jesus was in Jerusalem. It was during the Passover feast. Many people saw Jesus performing miracles. When they saw those miracles they believed. But they did not believe in Him. They believed in miracles but not in Him. Their faith was therefore worthless. They remind me of many charismatics today. Their faith is centered on miracles. Actually that means “signs.” They are always looking for signs and miracles. This does not save such people.

“But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man” (John 2:24, 25).

Jesus could see into their hearts. He knew that they had never trusted Him. They only believed in miracles. He knew that their faith in signs and miracles could not save them. “He knew what was in them.” He knows the hearts of “all men.” He knows your heart. He knows whether you have experienced the new birth or not. Before you experience the new birth your heart is totally corrupted by sin. The Bible says,

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked...” (Jeremiah 17:9).

The Bible doesn’t tell us where Jesus spent that night. But a famous scholar named Nicodemus “came to Jesus by night” (John 3:1, 2). Now look at John 1:11-13,

“He came unto his own, and his own received him 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 1:11-13).

Salvation comes when a sinner receives Christ. These three verses reveal the basic outline of receiving Him. In verse 11, we are told that most people will not receive Christ. Most people will go to Hell. It says,

“He came unto his own, and his own received him not” (John 1:11).

The first use of the words “his own” speaks of the world of mankind in general. The second use of “his own” speaks of the Jewish people. Though they had many Old Testament prophecies of Him, the greatest part of them did not receive Him as their Messiah and Lord. Both the Jews and mankind in general did not receive Christ when He came down to earth – and they don’t receive Him today.

“He is despised and rejected of men... and we hid as it were our faces from him” (Isaiah 53:3).

It takes a sovereign work of God to bring lost sinners to Christ. But that takes us to our main text in John 1:12,

“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” (John 1:12).

We can draw three points from this text.

I. First, I will describe what it means to receive Christ.

The Greek word translated “receive” is “lambanō.” It means “to take,” “to accept,” “to obtain.” We ask you to receive Christ. We ask you to accept Christ. We ask you to obtain Him, to trust Him, to take Him as your Saviour and Lord.

To receive Christ you must receive Him as He is recorded in the Bible. Christ is Immanuel – God with us. God manifested in the flesh. The only begotten Son of God the Father. The Second Person of the Trinity, who was made in the likeness of a man. The God-man, who is now seated at the right hand of God the Father in Heaven. As a man He was born of the Virgin Mary. He is the everlasting Lord – without beginning or end, the eternal Son of God. What is there to receive if you do not receive this? He is the Saviour, the only one who can carry your sin away and save you from your sins throughout eternity!

But you cannot receive Jesus unless you receive Him as your King. He must rule your life. You must give up yourself to Him. You must submit to Him. You must give yourself up body and soul to be ruled by Christ. You must submit yourself to His control. You must submit to Him and let Him dominate your will, your thoughts, your hopes, and your very life, to be controlled by Him. You must no longer say, “We will not have this man to reign over us.” John Cagan heard “Yield to Christ! Yield to Christ!” But it distressed him. He did not want to “give up to Jesus.” He did not want Jesus to control him. But John was miserable. “Jesus was crucified for me... but I would not yield to Him. This thought broke me...” In that moment John submitted to Jesus. He said, “I had to let myself die, and then Christ gave me life.” George Matheson (1842-1906) said it well. His hymn is called “Make Me a Captive, Lord.”

Make me a captive, Lord, And then I shall be free;
Force me to render up my sword, And I shall conqueror be;
I sink in earthly fears, When by myself I stand;
Imprison me within Thine arms, And strong shall be my hand.

To receive Christ, you must have Him as your Saviour and your King. You must give yourself to Him. This must happen to you. Has His precious Blood removed your sin? Have you trusted His Blood? Has it washed you from your sin? Have you submitted yourself to Him as your King? You have not received Christ unless you grip Him and claim Him as your own. To “receive” Him is to “believe” Him – which is to trust Him as your own Saviour, and your own King. As the Psalmist put it, “Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish... Blessed are all they that put their trust in him” (Psalm 2:12). Kiss the Son of God! Submit to the Son of God! Trust the Son of God! That is what it means to “receive” the Son of God!

II. Second, we learn of the power God gives us to receive His Son.

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God...”

The word translated “power” is “exousia.” Jamieson, Fausset and Brown say, “The word signifies…authority and ability. Here certainly both are included” (p. 348). “The sons of God” is better translated “the children of God” (NKJV). To receive Christ is to place your faith in Him and yield yourself to Him. How do you become a child of God? By receiving Jesus Christ.

When I was two years old my father left, and I never lived with him again. As I got older I was teased by older boys. They made fun of me and said, “Robert doesn’t have a father.” That was when I started signing my name, “Robert L. Hymers, Jr.” I was named after my father. I put “junior” after my name to show that I really did have a father. I do that to this very day. I wanted everyone to know I had a father! But it is much more important to have God as your Father! Every man, woman and child who receives Jesus has God for their Father! If I were to stand here tonight and tell you I was the son of a president of the United States, you would envy me. But I am even more proud to say that I am a child of God. I received Jesus, and Jesus gave me authority and power to be a son of God, a child of Him who reigns over the Universe!

I’m a child of the King,
   A child of the King:
With Jesus my Saviour,
   I’m a child of the King.
(“A Child of the King” by Harriet E. Buell, 1834-1910).

If you are a child of God, you are dearly loved by God. If you are a child of God, you are related to Him, “partakers of the divine nature.” If you are a child of God, you can come to Him at any hour of the night, and He is there to help you and guide you. John Cagan has a wonderful father. He often introduces his wonderful father by saying, “My father has two Ph.D.s.” But I can say even more about my Father! My earthly father did not graduate from high school. But my heavenly Father is the King of the Universe!

My Father is rich in houses and lands,
   He holdeth the wealth of the world in His hands!
Of rubies and diamonds, of silver and gold,
   His coffers are full, He has riches untold.
I’m a child of the King, A child of the King:
   With Jesus my Saviour, I’m a child of the King.

I did not have an earthly father to pay my way through college or seminary or buy me a new car. But I have a Heavenly Father who “supplies all [my] needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). I have a Father in Heaven who gave me an incredible promise, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13). All glory, praise and honor to my Father and my King who strengthened me, and who supplied all my needs throughout my life. On the inside of my autobiography, Dr. Cagan said this,

      It is the story of a man who stumbled, bruised and broken, to pick himself up and overcome enormous obstacles to show people that Jesus Christ can help them too!
      He grew up in a broken family of drunken brawlers – but became a motivator who changed the lives of thousands. He failed in college – but went on to earn three doctor’s degrees and write 17 books. He tried to become a foreign missionary and failed – but came back to become a source of strength to people around the world!
      When anyone else would have quit, Dr. Hymers planted an amazing church, made up of twenty distinct ethnic groups, in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, and a worldwide ministry that reaches to the ends of the earth...
      It is the life story of Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr., a man who rose to achieve the impossible – against all fears. I know, because I have worked closely with him for over forty years.
         – Dr. Christopher L. Cagan.

I’m a child of the King!

Young people, put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Receive Christ and He will give you the power to become the sons and daughters of God. He will bless your life as He has blessed mine, with a big house, with a wonderful church to pastor, a marvelous wife, two great sons, and two beautiful granddaughters. I’m a child of the King!

If you receive Christ and live for Him, He can bless your life in ways that will astonish the world – for you too will be a child of the King. And you will be able to sing,

I’m a child of the King,
   A child of the King:
With Jesus my Saviour,
   I’m a child of the King.

“He came unto his own, and his own received him 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 1:11-13).

III. Third, we learn of the new birth God gives us when we receive Christ.

“Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:13).

I must say here that the outline and basic thoughts of this sermon are borrowed from the “Prince of Preachers,” great Spurgeon.

Everyone who trusts the Lord Jesus has been born again. Some theologians wonder which came first – faith or regeneration. I agree with Spurgeon. He said that faith and regeneration “must be simultaneous.” Regeneration is the theological term for the new birth. Spurgeon said, “If I believe in Jesus Christ, I need not ask whether I am regenerated, for no unregenerated person could ever believe in the Lord Jesus Christ; and if regenerated I must believe in Jesus, for he who does not do so is clearly dead in sin... The act of faith shows that a person has been regenerated.”

We are not born as Christians. Neither are we born “of the will of man.” The greatest Christians in the world cannot create us anew. We are not born again “of the will of the flesh.” Not by our own free will. The human will is not capable of producing regeneration. We must be born again from above. The Holy Spirit must be the energy which enters us and makes us new creatures.

Where there is faith in Jesus there is new life. Where there is no faith there is no life. If you trust Jesus Christ you have been born again, “Not of the will of man, but of God.” I must ask you this question – have you received Christ? yes or no. Have you received Jesus Christ? Do you trust Him only? Can you say,

On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand?

Do you trust Jesus Christ? Have you received Him? If you haven’t received Him, why not? Is there anything so hard in receiving Him? It is one thing to believe in me. But it is another thing to believe in Jesus Christ. To believe in Him is to trust Him. To trust Him is to receive Him.

If Dr. Cagan asks you, “Have you trusted Christ?” what will you answer? You don’t have to see Him. You don’t have to feel Him. You only have to trust Him. Dr. Cagan will not try to trick you. He wants to pass you, and I want to baptize you. We love to see people like you trust Jesus. Jesus died on the Cross to pay the penalty for your sin. Will you trust Him? Jesus loves you very deeply tonight. Will you trust Him? Why not trust Jesus, now, tonight? You say, “I want to trust Him.” Then why not do so now? Don’t look for a feeling. Look to Jesus. Don’t look for some great experience. Look to Jesus. Don’t look within yourself. There is nothing within yourself that can save you. Don’t trust your own thoughts. Trust Jesus Himself. Receive Jesus, and He will receive you!

Why not now? Why not now?
   Why not trust the Saviour now?
Why not now? Why not now?
   Why not trust the Saviour now?

In the world you’ve failed to find
   Aught of peace for troubled mind;
Come to Christ, on Him believe,
   Peace and comfort you’ll receive.

Why not now? Why not now?
   Why not trust the Saviour now?
Why not now? Why not now?
   Why not trust the Saviour now?
(“Why Not Now?” by Daniel W. Whittle, 1840-1901;
      altered by the Pastor).

It’s simple to trust Jesus. Listen to what Emi Zabalaga said, “I was looking for a feeling or some kind of experience to substantiate my faith… the endless rejection of Jesus. I let myself go and collapsed into the waiting Saviour.” John Cagan said, “There was no action or will of my mind, but with my heart, a simple resting in Christ, He saved me.” Emi and John trusted Jesus. They received Him. That’s all! I pray you will trust Jesus tonight. Amen.


WHEN YOU WRITE TO DR. HYMERS YOU MUST TELL HIM WHAT COUNTRY YOU ARE WRITING FROM OR HE CANNOT ANSWER YOUR E-MAIL. If these sermons bless you send an e-mail to Dr. Hymers and tell him, but always include what country you are writing from. Dr. Hymers’ e-mail is at rlhymersjr@sbcglobal.net (click here). You can write to Dr. Hymers in any language, but write in English if you can. If you want to write to Dr. Hymers by postal mail, his address is P.O. Box 15308, Los Angeles, CA 90015. You may telephone him at (818)352-0452.

(END OF SERMON)
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Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“A Child of the King” (by Harriet E. Buell, 1834-1910).


THE OUTLINE OF

AS MANY AS RECEIVED HIM!

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

“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” (John 1:12).

(John 2:24, 25; Jeremiah 17:9; John 3:1, 2; 1:11-13; Isaiah 53:3)

I.    First, I will describe what it means to receive Christ,
Psalm 2:12.

II.   Second, we learn of the power God gives us to receive His Son,
Philippians 4:19, 13; John 1:11-13.

III.  Third, we learn of the new birth God gives us when we receive Christ,
John 1:13.