Couldn't agree more, in regard to what John 1:12 teaches, especially when grammatically, it is only part of a complete statement which includes the following verse, which reads:

John 1:13 (ASV) "who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."

This verse explains HOW those who received Him were able to do so, or the reason why they were able to believe on His name. We have had several discussions on the interpretation of this passage here before and argued effectively, that it is impossible to make the text mean that those who received Him were consequently "born of God". One of the negative reasons given that those who did receive/believe on Him were able to do so is because of their physical birth. To say that one antecedently believed before one was actually born is ludicrous. Another reason rejected is that it was not due to one's "choice", i.e., "will of the flesh". That alone should dispel any notion that one receives Christ prior to regeneration.

Secondly, the language itself forces us to understand that one is first "born of God" before believing. When one compares such classic texts as Jh 3:3-8, 5:21; 6:37, 44, 45, 64, 65;Acts 16:14; Eph 2:1-5; Job 14:4; Matt 7:17, 18; 12:33; 11:25-27; 13:10-23; Lk 10:21; Titus 3:5; cp. Deut 30:6; Ezek 36:26, 27; Acts 11:18; 18:27; 1Cor 2:14; Phil 1:29; 2Tim 2:25, 26; et al., it is incontrovertible, that God is the One Who brings a dead sinner to life so that he is able and most willing to receive Christ, to believe upon His name.

In His Grace,

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simul iustus et peccator

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