February 13 – LD 7, Day 2: Faith
both Ingrafting and Receiving
by Rev J. Kortering
John 1:12,13, “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.”
When the catechism states that the saved ones are ingrafted into Christ they emphasize that salvation begins and ends with God. They use the biblical figure of speech as Jesus did in John 15 where He teaches that He is the vine and God the husbandman who joins each branch to him in order to make them alive. “Without me, ye can do nothing,” John 15:5. This helps us understand the importance of our union with Christ, for He adds, “Abide in me and I in you, As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, no more can ye, except ye abide in me.”
There is an important relationship between ingrafting and receiving.
The sinful and spiritually dead sinner cannot join Himself to Jesus, cannot accept Him as his personal Savior, unless he is first made alive. This sinner is made alive through the ingrafting. Just like the farmer who takes a branch which is considered dead apart from the vine, and unites it to the vine, God takes the dead sinner and unites him to Christ through the act of ingrafting. The union between vine and branch is completed. The living sap of the vine passes through the graft and causes the branch to live. Life does not go from the branch to the vine but from the vine to the branch. Jesus is the living vine and God joins each one, for whom He shed His blood, to Him at His appointed time in history.
Once that graft takes place, the dead sinner becomes alive.
Proof of the power of spiritual life is that the sinner comes to behold by faith WHO God is, the sovereign and holy One. Before Him the sinner is convicted of His sin. He weeps on account of his sins and looks to God with sorrow of heart. Jesus is Mediator for ALL who are burdened by their sins. Matt. 11:28-30.
Now such a convicted sinner is ready to receive Jesus as HIS Mediator with thankful heart.
By receiving Jesus, he receives power to become a son of God. He admits he is such not by his own will but the will of God.