Drawn by the Father – John 6 (Part 7 – Application)

(For the first post in this series click here.)

John 6:37, 44 and 65

All that the Father gives me will come to me…

No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him….

And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”

 

snail finish

Congratulations to both of us! We have made it to the end of this extremely long series of posts on John chapter 6. I believe that those who are seeking to understand the context of John chapter 6 will not be able to ignore the abundance of evidence that the context provides for my interpretation. I am certain there are many subtle mistakes in my understanding of theses verses. I know this because I keep finding such mistakes as I meditate more on the context and wording of these verses. But I am confident that my basic perspective on these verses is fully supported by the Scriptural and historical context of John’s Gospel. This present series of posts is merely a seed (though obviously not as small as a mustard seed;) for those who are seeking to understand Jesus’ teaching in John chapter 6. I expect that those with honest hearts will not rest until they have searched the book of John to see whether or not these things are so. And I am confident that even if I have failed to make Jesus’ words completely clear, God’s word will not.
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Drawn by the Father – John 6 (Part 6 – Father’s Testimony)

(This post is part of a series on John chapter 6. To read the first post in the series click here.)

John 6:37, 44 and 65

All that the Father gives me will come to me…

No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him….

And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”

How Did God Give People to Christ?

We have discussed the context of Jesus’ conflict with the Jewish authorities and the transition from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant in the Gospel of John. Now all that is left is to finish un-wrapping the other two so-called “Calvinist verses” in John chapter 6.

We have seen that the Father was placing his faithful followers under the Lordship of Messiah. And since they are obedient to the Father, Christ is able to confidently say, “They will come to me.” When we consult the context of John 6:37 we discover that there is not the slightest hint of Calvinism found in it. Reformed theology has read its doctrines into the verse and then tried to validate its error by appealing to it.

Now we need to turn our attention to John 6:44 and 65. We started off by asking who God gave to Christ, now we must ask how he gave them. These two verses are closely related to John 6:37. John 6:37 tells us that the Father is giving his followers to the Son. John 6:44 tells us how he gives them, namely by “drawing” them to Jesus. And John 6:65 reiterates John 6:44 using different words.
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Drawn by the Father – John 6 (Part 5 – Getting Prepared)

(This post is part of a series of posts on John chapter 6. To read the first post in the series please click here.)

John 6:37, 44 and 65

All that the Father gives to me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.

No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.

And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”

Preparing the Way

In the last post we concluded by giving the proper interpretation of John 6:37. We will soon turn to consider John 6:44 and its parallel verse 6:65. But before we do we should tie up a few loose ends. Whenever we have a paradigm shift in how we view different aspects of God’s word, many new questions begin to present themselves to our thinking. The questions I would like to address here are, “What about those Israelites who were not faithful to God? Did Jesus come to save them? Is there any hope for them? Does John 6:37 only apply to men like Nathanael, or also to men like Zacchaeus, the corrupt tax collector?”
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Drawn by the Father – John 6 (Part 4 – Shepherd’s Voice)

(This post is part of a series; to read the first post click here.)

John 6:37, 44 and 65

All that the Father gives to me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.

No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.

And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”

We concluded the last post by noting:

“Jesus came to Israel as a representative of the Father; he did not come in his own name. He came speaking the words of the God of Israel. Those that were following the God of Israel would recognize the voice of their God, but those who only pretended devotion to God would reject the Son just as they had always rejected the Father. Those who were faithful members of the Old Covenant would naturally transition to the New Covenant. Those who were submitted to the Father would gladly submit to the Son. The coming of Jesus Christ to Israel distinguished ‘the remnant’ of true Israelites from the false (Jn. 1:47, Rom. 11:2-6, Rev. 2:9, 3:9).Understanding this basic paradigm in John’s Gospel helps us to understand other passages that are often misinterpreted by Calvinism.”

In this post we will look at some of those passages as well as their Old Testament counterparts. We will also give a clear interpretation of John 6:37.
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Drawn by the Father – John 6 (Part 3 – Who?)

(This is the 3rd post in this series. To read the first post click here.)

John 6:37, 44 and 65

All that the Father gives to me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.

No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.

And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”

Who?

Who Were Those Given to Christ?

In the last couple of posts we gained a better understanding of the overall context of the Gospel of John and those chapters surrounding chapter 6 in particular. Now we need to ask a more specific question about John 6:37, namely, “Who are those whom the Father gives to Christ?”

In John 6:37 Jesus said, “All those the Father gives me will come to me.” Calvinists interpret this to mean that during the time between Christ’s first and second coming God gives eternally predestined individuals faith to believe in Jesus. They reason that since God from eternity chose certain individuals who would belong to him, these must be the ones that he gives to Christ. God did not grant them an inheritance among his people because they believed, but he chose them as unbelievers and in due time made them into believers. They imagine that God is taking rebellious sinners who have no faith and bringing them to faith in Christ. For them this verse teaches that God, by the means of irresistible grace, gives rebellious sinners to Jesus Christ. In order to understand the error of this interpretation we have to focus on exactly who it was that God “gives” to Christ.
Continue reading “Drawn by the Father – John 6 (Part 3 – Who?)”

Drawn by the Father – John 6 (Part 2 – A Closer Look)

(To read part 1 of this series click here.)

John 6:37, 44 and 65

All that the Father gives to me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.

No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.

And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”

What was happening in John chapters 5 through 8? What is the context in which Jesus makes the statements we are considering? If we don’t keep this in mind we will never correctly interpret these verses. Before we look at what was happening and why Jesus made these statements let’s first look at it from a Calvinist perspective.
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Drawn by the Father – John 6 (Part 1 – The Big Picture)

John 6:37, 44 and 65

All that the Father gives to me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.

No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.

And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”

Calvinism’s challenge:

These verses are some of the clearest verses teaching the doctrine of Irresistible Grace. In John 6:44 Jesus makes it clear that no man in all of history can come to Jesus unless the Father personally draws him. And in verse 37 Jesus says plainly that those who have belonged to God from all eternity will most certainly come. The conclusion is inescapable; only those chosen by God will come and those chosen will most certainly come. This is irresistible grace plain and simple!
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Re-thinking the “Golden Chain” – Romans 8:28-30 (Part 4 – Glorified)

To read the first post in this series click here.

Romans 8:28-30

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

In the last three posts we have looked at the first 5 links in the so-called Golden Chain of Salvation:

1. “Those who love God” – The passage in question is about the saints, those who are in Christ (Rom. 8:1 & 27). To ignore that the “Golden Chain” starts here is to willfully ignore the Scripture.

2. “Those whom God foreknew” – God chose to make a covenant with those whom he foreknew would respond to his offer of grace (Rom. 8:28, John 16:27).

3. “He also predestined” – God predetermined what he would do for those who accepted his Son. He planned to adopt them as his children and give them the inheritance of being transformed into the glorified image of his only begotten Son (Eph. 1:5).

4. “He also called” – Though the gospel God invites all men to repent and believe in his Son. Those who respond to that invitation are given the encouraging title “the called” to show that they have been “qualified” to share in the inheritance of Jesus Christ through what he has done for them (Col. 1:12).

5. “He also justified” – Since sinners have no place being called the “children of God,” God sent Jesus to cleanse men of their sins. Through faith in his blood, God justifies all those whom he foreknew. When the book of Romans was written, those who had already believed in the gospel had already been justified by God (Rom. 5:1).
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Rethinking the “Golden Chain” – Romans 8:28-30 (Part 3)

 (This is the third post in the series on Romans 8:28-30, for the 1st post about the context of Romans chapter 8 click here. For the 2nd post about God’s election according to foreknowledge click here.)

(This is a reworking of a previous post on the “Golden Chain of Salvation.” Several things have been added and two major things have been completely reinterpreted. Many have found the original version of this post helpful so I have left it up at its original location.  Click here to view the original version of this post)

Romans 8:28-30

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.”
Continue reading “Rethinking the “Golden Chain” – Romans 8:28-30 (Part 3)”

Rethinking the “Golden Chain” – Romans 8:28-30 (Part 2)

(This is the second post in the series on Romans 8:28-30, for the first post click here.)

(This is a reworking of a previous post on the so-called Golden Chain of Salvation. Several things have been added and two major things have been completely reinterpreted. Many have found the original version of this post helpful so I have left it up at its original location (click here to view the original version of this post). But I have changed my position on the meaning of “foreknew” in Romans 8:29 and “glorified” in verse 30. Due to these radical changes in perspective I feel compelled to rework this post. I would just start from scratch, but many of the points I made in the original version are still applicable, particularly the points aimed at the Calvinistic errors in interpreting this passage of Scripture. For the sake of those who have read the original version I have put all new paragraphs or sections in italics.)

Romans 8:28-30

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.”


Continue reading “Rethinking the “Golden Chain” – Romans 8:28-30 (Part 2)”