When a person is "saved" (Rom. 10:9) or "born again" (1 Pet. 1:23), it is not because he is worthy. In fact, if a person believes he is worthy, he will never accept the fact that salvation is a free gift given by God to only those who humbly accept it. Instead, he will attempt to enter God's presence on his own merit. Unfortunately for him, his works cannot qualify him for salvation (Gal. 2:16).
In the chief passage about being "born again" (Jn. 3:3-8), the "new birth" is the work of the Holy Spirit. The process of being "saved" involves the Spirit giving an "unsaved" person the faith necessary to believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Eph. 2:8-9). The faith the Spirit uses to produce salvation results from the "lost" person hearing the Word of God (Rom. 10:17), the Gospel, which is the power of God unto salvation (Rom. 1:16). When a person hears the Gospel, that God loves him, and Jesus willingly died for him, and he believes it, he will tell others of his new found faith in his risen Lord (Rom. 10:9-10).
A "saved" person is said to be a child of God (Rom. 8:16-17). But a Christian is not a child of God in the same sense Jesus is. In fact, the Word clearly says that Jesus is His only begotten Son (Jn. 3:16). Christians are said to be the "adopted children of God" (Rom. 8:15). Our adoption is the work of the Spirit through faith in the Son, according to the will of the Father (Eph. 1:5). God has become our adopted Father (Rom. 8:15).
Most everyone knows that an adopted child becomes an heir to his new parents. It is no different with our becoming a child of God; we are His heirs (Rom. 8:17; Gal. 3:29; Titus 3:7; Heb. 1:14; Jam. 2:5; 1 Pet. 3:7). And just as the child living in an orphanage or as a foster child has no "right" to be adopted, neither do we have a right to be "saved." The decision to adopt a child is that of the prospective parents alone; the child can only accept the offer. God loves the entire world, and He offers every single soul the opportunity to become His child (Jn. 1:11-13; 3:16; Rom. 10:13). In fact, the word "whosoever" appears ninety-three times in the New Testament. Surprisingly, it also appears seventy times in the Old Testament. God is no respecter of persons; He wants every single soul to be saved (Acts 10:34; 2 Pet. 3:9).
Forty years ago today, my wife accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. She had been quite religious, but had never realized that religion would only send her to hell. What she needed was a relationship with God. When she accepted the fact that Jesus died, was buried, and was raised from the dead on her behalf, she accepted Him by faith. Today, she is saved, is born again, is a child of God, because she accepted God's offer of adoption. Praise the Lord!