Gave he power - Εξουσιαν, Privilege, honor, dignity, or right. He who is made a child of God enjoys the greatest privilege which the Divine Being can confer on this side eternity. Those who accept Jesus Christ, as he is offered to them in the Gospel, have, through his blood, a right to this sonship; for by that sacrifice this blessing was purchased; and the fullest promises of God confirm it to all who believe. And those who are engrafted in the heavenly family have the highest honor and dignity to which it is possible for a human soul to arrive. What an astonishing thought is this! The sinner, who was an heir to all God's curses, has, through the sacrifice of Jesus, a claim on the mercy of the Most High, and a right to be saved! Even justice itself, on the ground of its holy and eternal nature, gives salvation to the vilest who take refuge in this atonement; for justice has nothing to grant, or Heaven to give, which the blood of the Son of God has not merited.
To as many as received him - The great mass; the people; the scribes and Pharisees rejected him. A few in his lifetime received him, and many more after his death. “To receive him,” here, means to “believe” on him. This is expressed at the end of the verse.
Gave he power - This is more appropriately rendered in the margin by the word “right” or “privilege.” Compare Acts 1:7; Acts 5:4; Romans 9:21; 1 Corinthians 7:37; 1 Corinthians 8:9; 1 Corinthians 9:4-5.
Sons of God - Children of God by adoption. See the notes at Matthew 1:1. Christians are called sons of God:
1.Because they are “adopted” by Him, 1 John 3:1.
2.Because they are “like Him;” they resemble Him and have His spirit.
3.They are united to the Lord Jesus, the Son of God, are regarded by Him as his brethren Matthew 25:40, and are therefore regarded as the children of the Most High.
1.That to be a child of God is a privilege - far more so than to be the child of any human being, though in the highest degree rich, or learned, or honored. Christians are therefore more honored than any other persons.
3.This favor is given only to those who believe on him. All others are the children of the wicked one, and no one who has not “confidence in God” can be regarded as his child. No parent would acknowledge one for his child, or approve of him, who had no confidence in him, who doubted or denied all he said, and who despised his character. Yet the sinner constantly does this toward God, and he cannot, therefore, be called his Son.
The truth is to be planted in the heart. It is to control the mind and regulate the affections. The whole character must be stamped with the divine utterances. Every jot and tittle of the word of God is to be brought into the daily practice. COL 314.1
He who becomes a partaker of the divine nature will be in harmony with God's great standard of righteousness, His holy law. This is the rule by which God measures the actions of men. This will be the test of character in the judgment. COL 314.2
There are many who claim that by the death of Christ the law was abrogated; but in this they contradict Christ's own words, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets.... Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law.” Matthew 5:17, 18. It was to atone for man's transgression of the law that Christ laid down His life. Could the law have been changed or set aside, then Christ need not have died. By His life on earth He honored the law of God. By His death He established it. He gave His life as a sacrifice, not to destroy God's law, not to create a lower standard, but that justice might be maintained, that the law might be shown to be immutable, that it might stand fast forever. COL 314.3Read in context »
Christ took with Him to the heavenly courts His glorified humanity. To those who receive Him He gives power to become the sons of God, that at last God may receive them as His, to dwell with Him throughout eternity. If during this life they are loyal to God, they will at last “see His face; and His name shall be in their foreheads.” Revelation 22:4. And what is the happiness of heaven but to see God? What greater joy could come to the sinner saved by the grace of Christ than to look upon the face of God and know Him as Father? MH 421.1
The Scriptures clearly indicate the relation between God and Christ, and they bring to view as clearly the personality and individuality of each. MH 421.2
“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son; ... who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; being made so much better than the angels, as He hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said He at any time. MH 421.3Read in context »
God calls for separation from the world. Will you obey? Will you come out from among them, and remain separate and distinct from them? “For what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” You cannot mingle with worldlings, and partake of their spirit, and follow their example, and be at the same time a child of God. The Creator of the universe addresses you as an affectionate Father. If you separate from the world in your affections, and remain free from its contamination, escaping the corruption that is in the world through lust, God will be your Father, He will adopt you into His family, and you will be His heir. In place of the world, He will give you, for a life of obedience, the kingdom under the whole heavens. He will give you an eternal weight of glory and a life that is as enduring as eternity. 2T 44.1
Your heavenly Father proposes to make you a member of the royal family, that through His exceeding great and precious promises you may be a partaker of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. The more you partake of the character of the pure, sinless angels, and of Christ your Redeemer, the more vividly will you bear the impress of the divine, and the more faint will be the resemblance to the world. The world and Christ are at variance, because the world will not be in union with Christ. The world will also be at variance with Christ's followers. In the prayer of our Saviour to His Father, He says: “I have given them Thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” 2T 44.2
Your calling is a high, an elevated one, to glorify God in your body and spirit, which are His. You are not to measure yourself by others. The word of God has presented you an unerring pattern, a faultless example. You have dreaded the cross. It is an inconvenient instrument to lift, and because it is covered with reproach and shame, you have shunned it. You need to carry out the health reform in your life; to deny yourself, and eat and drink to the glory of God. Abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul. You need to practice temperance in all things. Here is a cross which you have shunned. To confine yourself to a simple diet, which will preserve you in the best condition of health, is a task to you. Had you lived up to the light which Heaven has permitted to shine upon your pathway, much suffering might have been saved your family. Your own course of action has brought the sure result. While you continue in this course, God will not come into your family and especially bless you and work a miracle to save your family from suffering. A plain diet, free from spices and flesh meats and grease of all kinds, would prove a blessing to you and would save your wife a great amount of suffering, grief, and despondency. 2T 45.1Read in context »
God will bless all who thus prepare themselves for His service. They will understand what it means to have the assurance of the Spirit because they have received Christ by faith. 6T 363.1
The place of worship may be very humble, but it is no less acknowledged by God. To those who worship God in spirit and in truth and in the beauty of holiness it will be as the gate of heaven. The company of believers may be few in number, but in God's sight they are very precious. By the cleaver of truth they have been taken as rough stones from the quarry of the world and have been brought into the workshop of God to be hewed and shaped. But even in the rough they are precious in the sight of God. The ax, the hammer, and the chisel of trial are in the hands of One who is skillful; they are used, not to destroy, but to work out the perfection of every soul. As precious stones, polished after the similitude of a palace, God designs us to find a place in the heavenly temple. 6T 363.2
God's appointments and grants in our behalf are without limit. The throne of grace is itself the highest attraction because occupied by One who permits us to call Him Father. But God did not deem the principle of salvation complete while invested only with His own love. By His appointment He has placed at His altar an Advocate clothed with our nature. As our Intercessor, His office work is to introduce us to God as His sons and daughters. Christ intercedes in behalf of those who have received Him. To them He gives power, by virtue of His own merits, to become members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King. And the Father demonstrates His infinite love for Christ, who paid our ransom with His blood, by receiving and welcoming Christ's friends as His friends. He is satisfied with the atonement made. He is glorified by the incarnation, the life, death, and mediation of His Son. 6T 363.3Read in context »
When persons are spoken to on the subject of health, they often say: “We know a great deal better than we do.” They do not realize that they are accountable for every ray of light in regard to their physical well-being, and that their every habit is open to the inspection of God. Physical life is not to be treated in a haphazard manner. Every organ, every fiber of the being, is to be sacredly guarded from harmful practices. 6T 372.1Read in context »