What Unregenerate Man is Unable to Receive

Screenshot 2015-10-13 at 9.03.51 PMThe Persons of the Trinity

1. The Father, for one only has the Father if he has the Son. As Jesus states in Matthew 10:40:

“Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me.”

And as John the apostle states in 1st John 2:23:

No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also.

And as Peter declares in his first epistle, faith in God (the Father) comes only through faith in Christ his Son. He states that “through him [Christians] are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.”[1]

2. The Son, for one can only receive the Son by the work of the Father and the Holy Spirit. As it is written:

A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven.[2]


Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.[3]


Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit.[4]

3. The Holy Spirit, for the world cannot receive him. As Jesus declares in John’s Gospel:

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.[5]


…[Jesus] breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”[6]

The distinction between the elect and non-elect is not human effort to receive God the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, for fallen man cannot receive any person of the Godhead. Moreover, upon rejecting any person of the Trinity the whole Godhead is rejected. To receive Christ is to receive the Father and the Spirit. To receive the Spirit is to have already received the Son and the Father who raised him from the dead.


How, then, can one receive Christ? The Scriptures tell us that it is by the Holy Spirit’s working alone that a man can turn and be converted. The Holy Spirit applies what the Father has already predestined, viz. the salvation of that sinner through the propitiatory sacrifice of the Son of God. To put the matter simply: God must first receive sinners before they receive Christ. Arminianism is, therefore, false. The supposed libertarian free-will acceptance of Christ as one’s Savior is an impossibility, according to Scripture, for the lost cannot receive the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit apart from the Trinity unconditionally electing them to do so.

Soli Deo Gloria.


[1] 1st Peter 1:21.

[2] John 3:27.

[3] 1st Cor 2:12.

[4] 1st Cor 12:3.

[5] John 14:16-17.

[6] John 20:21.


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