“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who 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

Every interaction with the lost is notable for the Christian who counts every evangelism opportunity as a sacred, thoughtful and prayerful act, especially with those sinners who begin to respond to Holy Spirit prompted conviction. When evangelism is done purposefully, the awakening sinner is painfully conscious that he is unworthy of salvation and of the sheer weight of his sin dragging him down to an eternal Hell.

The conscientious evangelist recognizes that his message to the repentant one must turn from “giving law to the proud” to “giving grace to the humbled.” While the Bible reveals ample evidence of the unregenerate soul’s perdition, it is also the final authority on the good news enunciated in the Gospel. The lost state of the soul is discovered by verses that illustrate the doctrine of the total depravity of man, and proof texts of the blessed hope found in the Lord Jesus Christ reveal the divine antidote to each soul’s depravity—God’s grace.

Once the Holy Spirit begins to open a sinner’s eyes to his soul’s jeopardy, the sinner’s heart fails to provide expectation of hope until the grace of God is explained. Our passage in John 1:12f is a great place to begin explaining God’s grace. A sinner discovers his need in verses like Romans 3:10, 3:23, 5:8 and 5:12. His soul perceives the just wrath of God hanging over him and he sees the darkness that is within his own heart. As the convicting message of the Gospel is applied to his heart by the Holy Spirit, the sinner’s eyes need to be lifted up to the cross. Jesus Christ died as his substitute, paying the penalty of God’s wrath due for his sin (Romans 6:23).

It is at this juncture that the light of God’s grace must flood into his soul. In recognition of his personal, total inability he needs to see that all ability to rescue is in the power and at the disposal of the Almighty God. John 1:12f provides a glimpse into the mighty saving hand of God. The grace of God is described as a gift. To those who receive Him He gives “the right,” not just the possibility or ability, but the liberty of action and the lawful right. God’s gift is the authority “to become” (literally to be born, to be brought forth) a child of God! This begetting is not of descent, desire, or of human power, but of God. The converted sinner can only be the product of sovereign grace!

There are many verses which proffer the grace of God to a newly awakened sinner. The open handed invitation from God is found in Isaiah 55:1: “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.” John 3:16f reads, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” Acts 16:30f reads, “And he brought them out and said, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ So they said, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved…’.” Romans 10:13 quotes Joel 2:32: “For ‘whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.’”

Our Lord’s own words offer grace to the repentant sinner. Shortly after John 3:16 we read verse 36: “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” John 5:24 reads, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believe in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” John 10:9 reads, “I am the door, if anyone enters by Me, he will be saved….” John 14:6 reads, “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

The grace of God is always on full display in the Gospel. 1 Peter 2:24 reads, “who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.” 1 John 4:9f reads, “In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” Revelation 22:17 reads, “And the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.”

While all of these verses are wide-open invitations to a soul under conviction, they are also “Hallelujah” verses for every born-again Christian. They revive the heart and feed the soul. Visit them often and be ready to share them with someone who is in the throes of trusting in Christ. Trust and obey.