Jesus spoke incredibly powerful words in John chapter 6 that many people are afraid to dig into because of their concern that John 6 might contradict their theology. In fact, Calvinists are quick to challenge non-Calvinists to explain what these verses mean outside of the Calvinist interpretation. This post will engage that challenge because we believe God’s Word is truth, and we refuse to ignore the text. What is the challenge that we face? John 6:43-45 is a very important passage that Calvinists use to attempt to prove that God only wants some saved and that only some are drawn by God. Because Calvinists believe that all God draws are raised to eternal life, they conclude that God only draws a select few who He has predetermined to save. However, these compelling verses in John chapter 6 are, in reality, a refutation of the standard Calvinist view when we look carefully at the inspired words and grammar. I invite you to take a journey with me into the intense words of Jesus in John 6:43-45 and I challenge you to believe what He said. This post is a detailed account of the specific language that Jesus spoke because Jesus’ words are profound. After we carefully consider each verse, I will provide a summary of the important points, and questions for Calvinists to answer; both are at the bottom of this post. I trust that you will find this material thought provoking and that you will consider interacting with the material through our comment section. Please be respectful in your comments. Now let us deal head on with this significant passage.
Why all the Grumbling?
John 6:41-42 (NASB) 41 Therefore the Jews were grumbling about Him, because He said, “I am the bread that came down out of heaven.” 42 They were saying, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does He now say, ‘I have come down out of heaven’?”
What were the Jews grumbling about?
41 Therefore the Jews were grumbling about Him…
The Jews were grumbling about Jesus Himself! The Greek word that is translated grumbling, means to speak against someone in a complaining way. The BDAG lexicon shows it this way: Continue Reading…
What is the Will of the Father?
In our verse by verse discussion of John 6, we come to verse 38, a verse that highlights the will of the Father.
John 6:38 (NASB) “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.”
The will that Jesus reveals about salvation, is founded not on human will in time, but on the transcendent will of God. It is the will of the Father who sent the eternal Word from Heaven. What is the Father’s revealed will? Jesus reveals the Father’s will in two different ways, by what He says in verses 39 and 40.
John 6:39 (NASB)“This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day.
Who are the all that He (the Father) has given Me (the Son) in verse 39? Continue Reading…
I decided to create a personal blog so that the updates on my personal health won’t clog up my ministry blog. I have posted an update on my fight against cancer here.
This is an update to my transitions post. On August 6th I was scheduled for surgery to remove cancer. The surgery did not happen. At the time that the surgeon came to see me before I was wheeled into the operating room, he rechecked the site and he was concerned that cancer may have spread to the skin which made surgery a risk. He consulted with a cancer specialist at a nearby Cancer hospital and he was advised that the treatment plan should be reversed and after taking a biopsy of the skin lumps, I should have chemotherapy as a first line of attack against the cancer. We prayed for wisdom for the surgeon and so we must believe that God is involved in the process. The disappointment was that I had waited three weeks to get into surgery and there would be another wait to find an available doctor who could administer chemo. I like in a small community with only one cancer doctor and the oncologists at the nearby cancer clinic are all booked up with new patients waiting three weeks to get into the system.
Yesterday my family doctor came to the rescue and he got the ball rolling by pulling some strings on my behalf. I will enter the “path” of cancer treatment today with a specially arranged appointment at the hospital with the cancer doctor’s assistant. He will begin the work to stage the cancer to see how far it has gone and get all of my tests and blood work up to date so that the day the cancer doctor comes back from vacation I can be bumped directly into the chemotherapy program without a wait to be processed.
Bumps along the path
I am experiencing leg pain and I have a concern that the cancer has already spread to the bone. Or it could just be my sciatic nerve acting up. I am also experiencing tiredness, but this is likely from the new cancer fighting tea that I was recommended by a friend. The tiredness may just be the way my body is fighting the intruder who has invaded my body. For those who have subscribed to my blog and are following my progress, could you please pray that this aggressive cancer be held back from spread until I can get treatment to shrink and destroy the cancer? Please also pray for strength as I have much ministry work to do and I would like to carry on unhindered.
Update from August 24, 2013
On Friday I was rushed to emergency with abdominal pain and my body had gone into shock with very low blood pressure, a low heart rate, and I was as white as a sheet as I struggled to keep from passing out. The tests showed very high lipase in my blood, 10 times the normal high rate. The doctor is not exactly sure what went wrong. It could be my pancreas but the thought is that it was a withdrawal from the steroids that I was given during the time of my chemo treatment and the days afterward. My prayer request is that God will help the doctor to find out how to manage my drugs so that I do not have a reaction like that again. It was a very scary experience.
In life there are transitions. As Christians we go through many transitions as we grow in Christ and become all that we can be with His amazing grace. Today I would like to post about a new challenge in life that involves an area of transition for me. It is about a struggle with cancer that I am facing as I fight for my life.
I am still dedicated to serving the Lord Jesus in the ministry that He has called me to. As I continue to work on this DVD project The Giving, I will need every ounce of strength that He provides, as my work will be interrupted by surgery and further treatment as the doctors consider necessary. I will continue to post on The Giving blog but I may not be as fast as I would like. Check the subscribe area on the right hand side to follow my posts and to check out my personal journey.
As I fight this battle for life against an enemy that wants to stop my work, and end my life, if you are inclined to pray for me, I would be very grateful. I have been eighteen years cancer free, but it has come back with a vengeance. It is an aggressive enemy, but our God is able. I choose to serve God with every breath that He gives me. There are 10,000 reasons to bless the Lord, even when we are sick. Here is a link to a song that was sent to me to bless me, and I hope that it will bless you as well.
Jesus gives an amazing promise in John 6:37~
John 6:37 (NASB) “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me…
Jesus promises all that the Father gives… Let’s start our search into this passage by looking at the terms “all” and “gives”. Continue Reading…
In my last post I showed how the crowd went from asking Jesus about what they were obligated to do to gain the bread that endures to eternal life, to the next step of asking to see the work that Jesus would do. The purpose of the work is to bring the crowd to faith in Jesus. We stopped in verse 33 where Jesus said that the bread is to give life to the world. Did the crowd understand that they too were a part of the world to whom the bread was given? This post will take apart John 6:34-36. Continue Reading…
In my last post, I talked about how Jesus showed the unbelieving crowd, that followed Him in John 6, that the “work” which result is meant to bring the crowd to belief, is God’s work. When Jesus shared that it is God’s work, not the work of the crowd, the crowd demanded a work from Jesus.
John 6:30 (NASB) So they said to Him, “What then do You do for a sign, so that we may see, and believe You? What work do You perform?
Notice that the crowd is no longer conversing with Jesus about their own work. Instead they want a work from Him. They demand “What then do YOU DO…” They understand that there will be a work whose purpose it is to bring them to faith. They now want a work that they can see, a work that is designed to cause them to believe. Jesus rightfully brought the crowd from their mindset about their own righteous works as being the cause of salvation, to the true cause of salvation which is the work of God. Continue Reading…
In my last post, I discussed the phrase in John 6, that Calvinists ignore from their own proof text passage. In this post, we will deal with John 6:28, 29.
John 6:28–29 (NASB)
28 Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?”
29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”
When the crowd that had followed Jesus asked Him what they were to do in order to work the works of God, their question was about their moral or legal obligations before God in order to gain eternal life. Their question was about works (plural). Their question was also personal. “What work shall we do…?”, they asked.
In reply to the unbelieving crowd, Jesus responded, “this is the work of God” (a singular thing as opposed to plural works). This one (singular) thing is God’s work, in order that you believe in Him (Jesus) whom He (God) has sent.