I enjoyed doing Romans 8 so much I thought I'd tackle another Arminian premise: That the so-called "act" of receiving necessitates free will. This time let's look at John, chapter 1 verses 12-13. First, let's eliminate the possibility that "received" by itself tells you anything about will. There are several ways to receive things. If I offer you $100, you can choose to receive it of your own free will. If I deposit $100 into your bank account, you receive it without your will being involved. Indeed, you may even receive it without your knowledge. If I shove a $100 bill down your throat, you receive it against your will. So "to receive" something does not explicitly mean that the process involves free will. It does not necessarily mean it does not involve free will, either. So we have to turn back to John to see if we can find out if he clarifies what it means to receive in this case. Before I get to that, however, some of you may point out that the verse also says "those who believe in His name", and assert free will from that. But that's not the proof, that's the assumption. Arminians say we believe of our own free will, Calvinists say this faith is a gift from God. The latter is scriptural, which should be enough. But since it never seems to be enough for Arminians, let's keep going. Back to John and receive. If John left the matter at "as many as received Him", the question of free will would remain unanswered. But John does not leave it there. He goes on to say these things about those who received Him and believed in His name. Who are these people? They are those... So "those who received Him and believed in His name" were not born of blood. In one fell swoop John eliminates the notion that the Jews have a monopoly on salvation by blood. So "those who received Him and believed in His name" were not born of the will of the flesh. Boom. John eliminates the notion that we can earn salvation by works. Nothing we do in the flesh can make a difference. So "those who received Him and believed in His name" were not born of the will of man. This last one is the most compelling because the Arminian must either consider it redundant or ignore it. John already eliminated what the flesh can do in terms of good works, so the will of man cannot refer to what we can earn by our efforts. The only thing left is the plain meaning of the words -- the will of man. MAN'S WILL HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH HOW WE ARE BORN INTO THE FAMILY OF GOD. In case anyone might think this notion is an anomaly, notice how it echoes Romans 9:16 perfectly: Paul is saying exactly the same thing as John, save the part about blood (which makes sense, because Paul spent much of the earlier part of Romans eliminating that possibility). Salvation is not of man's will, nor is it of running (works), but of God who shows mercy. If this parallel is correct, then the rest of John's verse should be... And it is. Arminians claim free will based purely on inference. But any inference of free will that concludes "one must actively receive something" is not only contradicted by common sense, it is contradicted by clear, plain unambiguous language that requires no inferred meaning.