John 1:12,13 – But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
This passage touches the very heart of the solution to man’s greatest problem, we are sinners without the capacity to fix ourselves. It’s not good enough just to know I am supposed to be kind and merciful, I don’t have the capacity to be kind or merciful on my own. It’s not enough to know that adultery is wrong, I don’t have the purity of nature in myself to live a holy life. To have instruction about being a good parent or a better spouse can’t solve my family problems, only regeneration can. We are all flawed individuals and to be born again is the only way out of our circumstances. That is one of the basic themes of John’s gospel, it is the heart of our Christian faith. Here are some thoughts from Matthew Henry on today’s verses.
“All the children of God are born again; all that are adopted are regenerated. This real change evermore attends that relative one. Wherever God confers the dignity of children, he creates the nature and disposition of children. Men cannot do so when they adopt….It is not propagated by natural generation from our parents. It is not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of corruptible seed. Man is called flesh and blood, because thence he has his original: but we do not become the children of God as we become the children of our natural parents. …It is not produced by the natural power of our own will. As it is not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, so neither is it of the will of man, which labors under a moral impotency of determining itself to that which is good; so that the principles of the divine life are not of our own planting, it is the grace of God that makes us willing to be his…. Positively: it is of God.”
So maybe you are stuck with trying to improve yourself and keep getting frustrated by your failures. There is only one solution, you must be born again and begin to cultivate and trust in the life of Christ inside of you. This is the point of Christ becoming a man, not just to forgive us but to change us. He came to make us daughters and sons.