John 6:37 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me

John 6:37 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me

All will Come on The Giving Blog by Cheryl Schatz

John 6:37 All that the Father Gives Me

The Promise

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.”

All

What does “all” mean in this context?  Does all mean some?  In other words, is Jesus saying that some of what the Father gives Him will come to Him? Not at all.  I think we can safely say from the context because the Father’s will is expressed in the passage, that all simply means all without exception within the group of those who are given.

Gives

Since “all” is that which is given, what is the meaning of the term gives? The grammar will help us to understand. The term “gives” in the Greek is in the present, active, indicative. The present means that the action is in process without an assessment of the action’s completion. Gives as the present tense means that God is presently giving and is continuing to give. Notice that the grammar is not eternity past, but rather the “now.”

The Greek term for “gives” means to entrust someone to another’s care. Here is a copy of the BDAG lexicon on this entry:

John 6:37 All that the Father gives to the SonThose who are given to Jesus are entrusted to His care.

From Whom and to Whom?

John 6:37 (NASB) “All that theFather gives Me will come to Me…

Jesus said that it is the Father who is the Giver and Jesus is the Receiver. The Father will most certainly give, and the Son will most certainly receive.

Paying attention to the grammar, we can see that John 6:37 shows that the Father is presently entrusting and continues to entrust people to the care of Jesus.

Will come

John 6:37 (NASB) “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me…

The term “will come” is future, active, indicative. So while we know that the context is the Father giving in the present time and continuing to give, “the coming” that Jesus is talking about is presented as future, as an action that people will do themselves in a future time. Jesus now changes the tense to present.

Who comes

 John 6:37 (NASB) “… and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.

Jesus now speaks about those who are presently coming. “Who comes” is present, active, indicative, substantival participle.  The present tense means that it is happening when it was written, and it continues to happen with no assessment of the action’s completion. The substantival participle is a participle that is being used as a noun. Thus the one who comes, is the “coming one” who continues to come. It is the one who continues to come who will certainly not be cast out.

Does God give God haters to Jesus?

The question that John 6:37 brings up, is who are those who are given to Jesus? Are those given, people who hate God? Or are the ones given, people who already belong to the Father, who already fear God, and so they are ready to be given to Jesus? The Old Testament gives us the answer to this question.

Malachi 3:16–18 (NASB)

16 Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who esteem His name.

17 “They will be Mine,” says the LORD of hosts, “on the day that I prepare My own possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.”

18 So you will again distinguish between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.

Who are those who will be God’s possession? They are the one’s who feared the LORD. God said that there will be a distinguishing made between the wicked, those who do not fear God, and the righteous, those who fear the LORD. Only those who fear the LORD will belong to God. “They will be mine,” He said, and “I will spare them.”

Another direct reference is Psalm 25:12-14.

Psalm 25:12–14 (NASB)

12 Who is the man who fears the LORD? He will instruct him in the way he should choose.

13 His soul will abide in prosperity, And his descendants will inherit the land.

14 The secret of the LORD is for those who fear Him, And He will make them know His covenant.

The secret of the LORD

The secret of the LORD is the act or state of intimacy and trust. God reserves this for those who fear Him. Here is the term “secret” in the BDAG lexicon.

 Psalm 25:14 The Secret of the Lord

The secret of the LORD (His state of intimacy and trust with them) is not for those who hate Him but is reserved for those who fear Him.

He will make them know

The Hebrew term to “know” can be a very strong word that expresses intimacy, and a deep understanding. It can also mean to choose something for a special favor. Below is from Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains: Hebrew (Old Testament)

Psalm 25:14 He will make them know His covenant
God Himself will make those who fear Him to “know” His covenant. What is God’s covenant that will be made intimately known to those who fear God?

I will give You for a covenant

An amazing prophecy of the Lord Jesus Christ is found in Isaiah 49:8.

Isaiah 49:8 (NASB) Thus says the LORD, “In a favorable time I have answered You, And in a day of salvation I have helped You; And I will keep You and give You for a covenant of the people, To restore the land, to make them inherit the desolate heritages;

The LORD said that He will give You (the Messiah) as a covenant for the people. Thus those who fear God will be given the covenant.

John 6:37 as a fulfilled prophecy from the Old Testament

God promised in the Old Testament, that those who fear Him will be given an intimate relationship with Him and will be given the covenant (Jesus).  In the New Testament, in a fulfilment of the Old Testament, those who feared God were brought to Jesus.

Cornelius, a God-fearer, was given to Jesus.

Acts 10:1–2 (NASB)

1 Now there was a man at Caesarea named Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian cohort,

2 a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, and gave many alms to the Jewish people and prayed to God continually.

And Lydia was given to Jesus when God opened her heart to respond to the message of the gospel.

Acts 16:14–15 (NASB)

14 A woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple fabrics, a worshiper of God, was listening; and the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul.

15 And when she and her household had been baptized, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house and stay.” And she prevailed upon us.

The grace of God was given to God-fearing Jews and proselytes.

Acts 13:42–43 (NASB)

42 As Paul and Barnabas were going out, the people kept begging that these things might be spoken to them the next Sabbath.

43 Now when the meeting of the synagogue had broken up, many of the Jews and of the God-fearing proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, were urging them to continue in the grace of God.

The New Testament also tells us that God divides between those who fear Him and those who do not, by hearing the prayers of the God-fearers.

John 9:31 (NASB) “We know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing and does His will, He hears him.

The message of salvation is effective in those who fear God.

Acts 13:26 (NASB) “Brethren, sons of Abraham’s family, and those among you who fear God, to us the message of this salvation has been sent.

There is not a single reference to a person who hated God, who was given to Jesus.

The consistent message of the Scripture

The consistent message of the Scripture is that those who fear God will come to Jesus and they will continue to come to Jesus as the “coming ones.”

Questions for Calvinists to answer

1. Can you show a single Scripture that shows a God-hater is given to Jesus?

2. How can God’s giving of people to Jesus be unconditional when God has said he distinguishes between those who serve God and those who don’t? Does God contradict Himself?

In the next few posts, we will continue verse by verse through John 6.

*NOTE: Dr. James White has been reviewing this post, and he was looking for a summary of my position on why people don’t come to Jesus. I have posted the summary here.

22 thoughts on “John 6:37 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me

  1. Again, detailed research that is appreciated. Jn. 3:16 vs Jn. 3:36. Those who believe become part of the corporate elect. Those who continue to reject His grace (which is not irresistible) will remain condemned. God convicts and convinces by the Spirit/Word/believer, but He does not cause or coerce reciprocal love relationship.

  2. (1) “Can you show a single Scripture that shows a God-hater is given to Jesus?”

    Every single person who was given to Jesus hated God, until they were given a new heart.

    And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 lin which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But3 God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Eph. 2:1-10)

    For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and hrenewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs laccording to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:3-7)

    I ask you, Cheryl, can you show where being a God-lover is the basis upon which the person is given to Jesus? If there is something in the person which entices the Father to give that person to Jesus, then you have just introduced works salvation into the picture.

    (2) “How can God’s giving of people to Jesus be unconditional when God has said he distinguishes between those who serve God and those who don’t? Does God contradict Himself?”

    Seeing that you cite the Old Testament to set up this supposed tension and contradiction, why did anyone in the old covenant serve God?

    For though your people Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will return. Destruction is decreed, overflowing with righteousness. (Isaiah 10:22, which is quoted by Paul in Romans 9:27)

    Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all the remnant of the house of Israel, who have been borne by me from before your birth, carried from the womb; (Isaiah 46:3)

    For thus says the Lord: “Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob, and raise shouts for the chief of the nations; proclaim, give praise, and say, ‘O Lord, save your people, the remnant of Israel.’ (Jeremiah 31:7)

    I will surely assemble all of you, O Jacob; I will gather the remnant of Israel; I will set them together like sheep in a fold, like a flock in its pasture, a noisy multitude of men. (Micah 2:12)

    Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel–all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him. (1 Kings 19:18)

    This last text is cited by Paul in Romans 11:1-6

    I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham,a member of the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. Do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he appeals to God against Israel? 3 “Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life.” 4 But what is God’s reply to him? “I have kept for myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” 5 So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. 6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.

    All of the elect, whether in the remnant of Israel or the elect peoples under the new covenant, lived by faith, a faith which is kept by the power of God (1 Peter 1:3-5).

    What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” 4 Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. 5 And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, 6 just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works:
    7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered;
    8 blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.”

    Again, the burden of proof is on you, Cheryl, to provide a biblical basis that election is conditional on the character of the person, or more simply that the Father gives to the Son based on the one who is given…

  3. Hi Benjamin,
    Welcome to The Giving blog. Thank you for your comments and your challenge. I will answer your comments soon. I am going in for surgery in the morning and so will get back to my blog comments as soon as I can.

    One question I have before I get back here: Do you believe that all people belong to the Father?

  4. “Do you believe that all people belong to the Father?”

    Yes, in the sense that He is the Creator of every human being, and hence is sovereign over all of His creation. In other words, he is Lord and King over the universe, and hence “owns” everything in that universe.

    If you are using “belong” in the sense of the family of God, well the Bible is abundantly clear that only those who have been given to the Son, those who have been chosen by the Father, are adopted into the kingdom of God, and hence are partakers of the divine nature and can claim the promises of the new covenant as their own.

    Will be praying for your surgery and recovery! God is our greatest treasure…

  5. You seem to be assuming synergism and using John 6.37 to show this passage is synergistic. First you have to prove the bible teaches synergism. You read synergism into this passage.

    The disciples did not hear a synergistic message. The end of John 6 (John 6.60-69) shows how even the disciples struggled with what Jesus had just said. If this was a synergistic message, what would they have taken offense to? In John 6.65 he restates John 6.37 in a different way and in the very next passage it states many of the disciples turned back and walked with him no longer. Again, if this was the synergistic teaching of you have the ability to believe if you try hard enough, why did many of his disciples turn back and no longer walk with Jesus?

    How do you prove synergism from the bible? If you use Matthew 23.37 please include “your children” in your quotation. You can go back to Erasmus’s Diatribe with Luther and he misquotes it the exact same way synergists misquote it today.

    I too will be praying your surgery goes perfectly.

  6. Welcome to The Giving blog, Benjamin. Also thank you for your prayers! I really appreciate that gift. I am just experiencing tiredness right now so have to pace myself as I heal. The body seems to have a way to signal you to slow down so the healing process can begin once again.

    I appreciate that you took the time to comment and give me a challenge as well. I believe that challenges as well as responses deserve to be answered. I firmly believe that if one believes they have the truth, they should be willing to be challenged by Scripture and by reason. I guess I just never understood why so many back away from a challenge. It is my view that if one is right a challenge will just confirm that in a stronger way. If one is wrong, then the challenge has sharpened and corrected. Either way it is a win-win situation where iron sharpens iron if one loves the truth more than their own rightfulness.

    Having said that I would like to digest your comments and answer back when I have more clarity of mind and body. My tiredness right now after surgery yesterday tells me I still need a little more time away to let things go and not to push myself too soon.

    I liked what you said about God. I do believe that God is our treasure. It reminds me of a man who bought a field just to get the treasure that resided within the field. The Lord Jesus is much more of a treasurer than any treasurer this world has. We need to hold onto Him as a pure treasure who is worth far more than we could ever imagine.

    Thank you again for your comments. I will get back to you as soon as I am capable.

  7. Joshua,
    Welcome also to The Giving blog. I also appreciate that you took the time to stop by and comment. I will reread your comments and questions and expect to answer you back this coming week. Thank you for your patience during this time of my recovery.

  8. Maverick,
    I would also like to welcome you to The Giving blog and ask you a favour. Your comment “This is the worst attempt at refuting Reformed theology.” was very unhelpful. What exactly are you referring to? If you could be so kind as to back up your statement with a problem you saw or a question you had, I would try to answer in a respectful manner. If this is all you have to say, please know that it doesn’t come across as someone who took the time to read and interact. It really has little meaning to me without context.

    In my ministry with those in the cults, I often have Mormons emailing me about how terrible things are written about their faith on our ministry web sites. I tell them that I am unaware of error, but if they could point out the error and show where it is wrong from Mormon sources, I will research it for myself and if there is error, we will correct it. About 99.99% of Mormons that contact me in this manner, never respond back because they are not interested in a discussion of truth. They just want to unload and move on.

    If you are looking to unload and move on, then you are not likely looking for my answer anyway. I hope that others reading this will see what kind of comments promotes dialog and what comments have little value in pursuing.

    It is a strong desire of mine to keep this blog open to respectful dialog of brothers and sisters in Christ who are on opposite ends of the issue of the Sovereignty of God. I think we can benefit by hearing and understanding one another and I know of no other way to accomplish that other than treating all in the honor due them in Christ.

  9. Benjamin,
    I will go back to your first post. My question was “Can you show a single Scripture that shows a God-hater is given to Jesus?”

    You gave Ephesians 2:1-10, and this is a wonderful passage showing that we are saved by grace alone, that our salvation is a gift to us. However what I am looking for is where we are given to Jesus, not where salvation (and Jesus) is given to us. If you have a Scripture showing the giving in that direction, I would consider it.

    Titus 3:3-7 is also a wonderful salvation passage where God pours out the Holy Spirit TO us, however, I don’t see in the passage where it says people are being given to Jesus nor do I see that God haters are given to Him.

    Benjamin you said:

    I ask you, Cheryl, can you show where being a God-lover is the basis upon which the person is given to Jesus? If there is something in the person which entices the Father to give that person to Jesus, then you have just introduced works salvation into the picture.

    Your question deserves to be answered. I do have to admit that I have never seen loving God or fearing God called a “work”. Can you explain why someone responding to the Father in a godly fear would be calling “working” for his salvation? Would you be able to give me a verse that deals with the conclusion because honestly, I have never seen it.

    As far as a passage where people are being given to Jesus because God pays attention to their fear of Him, look carefully at Malachi 3:16-18.

    Malachi 3:16–18 (NASB)
    16Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who esteem His name.
    17“They will be Mine,” says the LORD of hosts, “on the day that I prepare My own possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.”
    18So you will again distinguish between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.

    According to this passage, what is the LORD of hosts paying attention to? (verse 16) Why is a “book of remembrance” written before God? (vs 16) What promise does the LORD of hosts make following the attention he paid to them and because He heard what was said by these people? (vs 17) What is the “possession” that is prepared by the LORD of hosts and who are spared by the LORD of hosts? (vs 17) Why does He say that there must be a distinguishing of people rather than calling all people as God-haters? (vs 17)

    I will answer your next question in another comment box.

  10. Benjamin,
    You asked:

    Seeing that you cite the Old Testament to set up this supposed tension and contradiction, why did anyone in the old covenant serve God?

    I believe that we can safely answer this question by going back to Abraham. Abraham was seen as righteous because he believed God. When someone believes God and puts their trust in Him in response to His actions toward them, like Abraham they will serve God naturally as an outworking of their faith.

    I do not believe that you answered my question about God paying attention to those who fear Him. I do think it is important. Notice in Malachi 4:2 –

    Malachi 4:2 (NASB)
    “But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall.

    Malachi says that for you who fear His name, the sun of righteousness will rise… Who is the sun of righteousness? He will rise (or come forth) for who?

    Benjamin, you said:

    Again, the burden of proof is on you, Cheryl, to provide a biblical basis that election is conditional on the character of the person, or more simply that the Father gives to the Son based on the one who is given…

    I didn’t say that coming to Jesus is conditional on the character of the person. I would say that coming to Jesus is conditional on believing the Father. The second part of your statement “the Father gives to the Son based on the one who is given”. I don’t understand this. Would you be able to flesh this out so I understand what you are hearing me say? Thanks!

    I am going to create a new post that ties John 6:37-45 together with what Jesus had already said in the book of John. I hope that this will make things clear enough that you can understand me. I believe that understanding and hearing is important. I try hard to be this kind of person, but I am not perfect either in the listening department. I want to learn to do better at hearing, understanding, and reflecting back. If I misunderstand, please correct me.

  11. Joshua,
    You said:

    You seem to be assuming synergism and using John 6.37 to show this passage is synergistic. First you have to prove the bible teaches synergism. You read synergism into this passage.

    I never used the word “synergism” and I don’t think that we would have a meeting of the minds of what this word means. Would you be so kind as to describe what you understand as synergism? Also let me know what you think that I am reading something into the passage?

    Joshua, you wrote:

    If this was a synergistic message, what would they have taken offense to?

    Again, I never used the term “synergistic” message so perhaps you could use another word or explain what you mean? As far as the disciples taking offence at Jesus, are you meaning the 11 disciples (excluding Judas) or do you mean the crowd, or the pharisees? Do you see the 11 disciples as grumbling against Jesus?

    I will be putting a post up on why the Jews took offence at Jesus and I will work hard to get more posts up as quick as I can. I have a full time ministry job and this is part of my work, but it is not the part that has deadlines like the accounting, tax filing, magazine work, video editing, etc. But since my treatments are over and I am getting back to “normal”, I would like to make this blog more of my focus as we prepare for our DVD project. I am also working on a new shopping cart that will allow us to sell video downloads of our DVDs. There is a lot on my plate, but my heart is in the issue of the Sovereignty of God.

    Joshua, you wrote:

    I too will be praying your surgery goes perfectly.

    Thank you so much for your prayers! You brothers have been compassionate and caring and that is wonderful for me to see!

    My surgery went well and I am “working” on healing now. I am not allowed to lift my right arm very much for a couple of weeks so that the stitches won’t tear. Other than that, my tiredness is getting better and I am very well. Thank you!

  12. Benjamin,
    You wrote:

    “Do you believe that all people belong to the Father?”
    Yes, in the sense that He is the Creator of every human being, and hence is sovereign over all of His creation. In other words, he is Lord and King over the universe, and hence “owns” everything in that universe.
    If you are using “belong” in the sense of the family of God, well the Bible is abundantly clear that only those who have been given to the Son, those who have been chosen by the Father, are adopted into the kingdom of God, and hence are partakers of the divine nature and can claim the promises of the new covenant as their own.

    Would you say that if all people belong to the Father because He is the Creator, then would not all people belong to the Word of God as He is also the Creator?

    As Father as my question about all people belonging to the Father, I would like to frame my question around the time of John 6. This was before Jesus died and before the New Covenant had been set up by the blood of Christ. As far as the Father, were there people who belonged to Him who were in relationship with Him by faith that needed to come to Jesus for salvation? Or would you say that all people (including the 11 disciples) were God-haters before they became Jesus’ disciples?

    Benjamin, you wrote:

    Will be praying for your surgery and recovery! God is our greatest treasure…

    Thank you SO much! God indeed is our greatest treasure! And Jesus is our Pearl of great price. I wish I could help more people to see the greatest treasurer that there is came to earth to give His blood for us so that we would be saved. That transaction is far more than I can comprehend sometimes. My value is nothing at all in comparison to Him!

  13. Greetings Cheryl… I think we need to back up here a bit, because my listing of verses has sent us on a bit of a tangent (a valuable one), and we need to stick with the context of John 6…

    You stated in your article:

    “The consistent message of the Scripture is that those who fear God will come to Jesus and they will continue to come to Jesus as the “coming ones”.”

    The problem with this statement, is that is does not discuss just how people come to fear God. Hence my efforts to point to the panoply of Scripture in the discussion of the state of humanity, while in an unregenerate state, justly under the wrath of God, following Satan and the desires of the flesh, unable to submit to the law of God, etc.

    There are two key verses that explain why Jesus began this whole discussion with the crowd who were listening to Him.

    John 6:36; “But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe.”
    John 6:64-65; “But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.) 65 And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”

    Jesus is clearly explaining, first to the crowd, and then to His disciples (the only ones who remained after this “hard” teaching), why some people can see Jesus, see His works, and yet not truly believe in Him – the Father must first grant it to a person before he or she can come to Jesus, or as the verse 44 says

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

    The same person is being discussed throughout this passage – the one who comes to Jesus will be raised up on the last day, and the only way that same person can come to Jesus is if it is granted by the Father, which is synonymous with being drawn by the Father. Jesus’ main point is that the crowd doesn’t believe in Jesus, they simply wanted more signs and more food, and this is ultimately because they have not been given the ability to come to Jesus by the Father. Jesus later discusses Judas (second half of verse 64, see above), and again points to the reason why “some of you do not believe”. This passage is discussing man’s lack of ability to come to Jesus, and then God’s ability to save completely. You really cannot discuss anything else in this passage until you step back and discuss why Jesus is talking this way, especially in light of the fact that the crowd left!

  14. Hey Ben,
    I am preparing a new blog post called “Why are people not coming to Jesus?” It will be set up as a summary of John 6 to verse 45 on the question of why people do not and cannot come to Jesus. I will also provide a link to Jesus’ statements in the book of John that tie in with His statements in John 6. Fair enough? In essence it will include what Jesus is talking about in verse 64, 65 even though I have not reached those verses ion the verse by verse posts. Would it be okay if I finished the new blog post, and put a link to the new post here at this comment section and then could I please have your permission to enter your challenge to my challenge post page here http://www.mmoutreach.org/tg/challenges/ ? I would also provide the link to my answer after your challenges posted there.

    The main reason I want to do it this way is because many people don’t read the comments, just the posts. I also want to keep a record of the questions/challenges and links to the answers for people who are also interested in the same challenge questions.

    Ben, also I would really like it if you would at some point in time consider answering the questions I asked in my three comments above? I understand that this is my blog and I am welcoming questions, and I do not demand answers of commenters, but it is so helpful for me to “hear” your answers so that I can really understand where you are coming from. One of my mottos is to seek first to understand and then to be understood. It is almost impossible for one to be understood if that person does not understand the obstacles that make communication very difficult. If you don’t want to answer, that is okay, but if you are willing at some point to answer my questions, it would be beneficial to me (and I am sure also to those who do read the comments).

  15. BTW for anyone interested I had a bone scan today. It was an all day affair at a hospital away from home. I have an appointment tomorrow with my doctor and I should be getting the printout of my scan. I am really praying that God will give me His grace and mercy as I find out whether the cancer has spread or not.

  16. Dear Cheryl:

    Truly troubles me that you continue to struggle with your health and have to endure all of these tests and procedures – I hope you can find a holistic approach which cures this cancer.

    I am happy to answer any of your questions, I simply wanted to stay on track with the specific issues discussed in John 6. But I will give it a good college try (!) anyhow…

    CHERYL wrote: “Your question deserves to be answered. I do have to admit that I have never seen loving God or fearing God called a “work”. Can you explain why someone responding to the Father in a godly fear would be calling “working” for his salvation? Would you be able to give me a verse that deals with the conclusion because honestly, I have never seen it.”

    I asked this of you because you seemed so focussed on attempting to demonstrate that those who are given to Jesus are the ones who fear God; i.e. the Father offers salvation to all, and then gives people to Jesus who have already come to Jesus through their humble fear of the Lord. The main idea I see you presenting is that for anyone to come to Jesus, they simply have to fear the Lord, and then the Father sees their sincerity and gives them to Jesus in the act of regeneration, adoption, justification, etc. If I have misunderstood you, forgive me. This is why I believe it would be a work, because God’s “election” is suddenly conditional on something in the person, namely their fear of the Lord. I don’t have a specific verse that speaks like this, because I believe the Bible clearly teaches unconditional election, i.e. that God chooses His people from before the foundation of the world based on the good pleasure of His will (Ephesians 1), and not due to some desirable characteristic in the people.

    CHERYL: “I didn’t say that coming to Jesus is conditional on the character of the person. I would say that coming to Jesus is conditional on believing the Father. The second part of your statement “the Father gives to the Son based on the one who is given”. I don’t understand this. Would you be able to flesh this out so I understand what you are hearing me say? Thanks!”

    My apologies for my ambiguity! My statement was worded to repeat the same principle twice, namely that it seemed as though you were saying that “coming to Jesus is conditional on the character of the person”, in discussing the root condition for the Father giving people to the Son. Again, forgive my misunderstanding of your position.

    CHERYL: “According to this passage, what is the LORD of hosts paying attention to? (verse 16) Why is a “book of remembrance” written before God? (vs 16) What promise does the LORD of hosts make following the attention he paid to them and because He heard what was said by these people? (vs 17) What is the “possession” that is prepared by the LORD of hosts and who are spared by the LORD of hosts? (vs 17)

    Again, with all of the other passages you cited, you fail to discuss just why anyone fears the Lord at all. Your questions are perfectly solid in looking at Malachi 3 (esp. vv. 16-18), but do not specify how the people came to “listen” to God, “feared the Lord and esteemed His name.” Do you believe that man has the ability in him or herself to fear the Lord, without having a new heart beforehand? Do you believe that God gives the grace to fear God to everyone, and then leaves the decision to listen and respond to every person? This is why I believe we need to stick to the immediate context of John 6, especially in regards to the blunt statement Jesus made regarding the unbelief of the crowd who could see and hear Jesus perfectly well, but were not able to come to Jesus because they had not been drawn by the Father….

    CHERYL: “Why does He say that there must be a distinguishing of people rather than calling all people as God-haters? (vs 17)”

    Everyone is a God-hater until they have true belief in Jesus – those who continue on in true faith are distinguished by their works and their spiritual life. That is the whole point – the ones who listen to God, the ones who believe in Jesus, are the ones who have been given to Jesus by the Father…

    25Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.” (John 10)

    Notice the similar discussion of ability here as in John 6… Jesus is perfectly consistent in explaining why people do not believe in Him.

  17. Ben,
    You said:

    Truly troubles me that you continue to struggle with your health and have to endure all of these tests and procedures – I hope you can find a holistic approach which cures this cancer.

    Thank you for your compassion! I don’t like all of the doctor’s visits and the tests, but I have entrusted myself to the care of the doctors and nurses and I am truly touched by how much they have compassion and care for those who are fighting this terrible disease. I would give myself the freedom to research and use holistic methods, but I would not use them alone. When you have a very aggressive cancer there is not a lot of time to death with it. In my case the chemo really did a great job — miraculous in fact. I will be updating my personal On the Path blog either later tonight or tomorrow as I have time. My bone scan results are in.

    You wrote:

    I asked this of you because you seemed so focussed on attempting to demonstrate that those who are given to Jesus are the ones who fear God; i.e. the Father offers salvation to all, and then gives people to Jesus who have already come to Jesus through their humble fear of the Lord.

    No, that is not what I believe. For example Lydia did not already come to Jesus before she was given to Jesus. The giving to Jesus happens before the coming to Jesus. I will explain more in the next post that I am working on.

    You wrote:

    The main idea I see you presenting is that for anyone to come to Jesus, they simply have to fear the Lord, and then the Father sees their sincerity and gives them to Jesus in the act of regeneration, adoption, justification, etc. If I have misunderstood you, forgive me.

    No, that is not what I believe. First of all I don’t believe that anyone can simply “fear the Lord” on their own. Neither do I believe that the Father sees people’s “sincerity”. I also do not believe that Abraham is the Father of sincerity. Again, I think the next post will explain more and if it is still not clear, I welcome questions.

    Ben you wrote:

    This is why I believe it would be a work, because God’s “election” is suddenly conditional on something in the person, namely their fear of the Lord. I don’t have a specific verse that speaks like this, because I believe the Bible clearly teaches unconditional election, i.e. that God chooses His people from before the foundation of the world based on the good pleasure of His will (Ephesians 1), and not due to some desirable characteristic in the people.

    No, I wouldn’t say things this way at all. It is not “suddenly conditional” if God has created conditions for receiving what He has already paid for. Rather it would be a plan from before the creation of the earth and the conditions would be written and communicated over and over again, not just once.

    A condition for salvation is not a work, unless God identifies the fear of God, or faith in God’s revelation as a work. I have not seen such a thing, so I think we can both agree that the fear of God is not a “work” of man. I think we would both agree that faith in God is not a work of man.

    You wrote:

    My statement was worded to repeat the same principle twice, namely that it seemed as though you were saying that “coming to Jesus is conditional on the character of the person”, in discussing the root condition for the Father giving people to the Son. Again, forgive my misunderstanding of your position.

    Apology accepted and thanks for clarifying that. So hopefully I can make this clear that I do not believe that “coming to Jesus” is conditional on the “character” of the person.

    I will continue in the next comment.

  18. Ben,
    You wrote:

    CHERYL: “According to this passage, what is the LORD of hosts paying attention to? (verse 16) Why is a “book of remembrance” written before God? (vs 16) What promise does the LORD of hosts make following the attention he paid to them and because He heard what was said by these people? (vs 17) What is the “possession” that is prepared by the LORD of hosts and who are spared by the LORD of hosts? (vs 17)

    Again, with all of the other passages you cited, you fail to discuss just why anyone fears the Lord at all. Your questions are perfectly solid in looking at Malachi 3 (esp. vv. 16-18), but do not specify how the people came to “listen” to God, “feared the Lord and esteemed His name.” Do you believe that man has the ability in him or herself to fear the Lord, without having a new heart beforehand? Do you believe that God gives the grace to fear God to everyone, and then leaves the decision to listen and respond to every person? This is why I believe we need to stick to the immediate context of John 6, especially in regards to the blunt statement Jesus made regarding the unbelief of the crowd who could see and hear Jesus perfectly well, but were not able to come to Jesus because they had not been drawn by the Father….

    You are looking for why anyone fears the Lord, but in the Malachi 3 passage, the fear of the Lord follows many reasons why people chose to respond in the fear of the LORD. In Malachi 3:1 God gives a prophecy of the coming of the Messiah. He is called the “messenger of the covenant” and he will “suddenly” come to His temple. Next God talks about the need for fear “But who can endure the day of His coming?…He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver… Then I will draw near to you for judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers and against the adulterers and against those who swear falsely, and against those who oppress the wage earner in his wages, the widow and the orphan, and those who turn aside the alien and do not fear Me,” says the LORD of hosts.

    God gives warnings as well as promises to those who will listen. The LORD of hosts says to “test” Him “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out a blessings until it overflows”.

    God always, always gives reason to fear Him. The fear of the Lord is not conquered up in the heart of a man. It is a response to the warning of God and the promises for those who will heed the warning. It is God-centered. It is always conditional. Malachi verse 16 says Then those who fear the LORD spoke to one another… The first action belongs to God. The response is conditional upon hearing and fearing.

    Ben, you wrote:

    Do you believe that man has the ability in him or herself to fear the Lord, without having a new heart beforehand?

    A new heart is given for one to serve God and for one to walk in His ways. But the bible never says that one must have a new heart in order to fear God. If you have found a verse like this, please let me know where it is.

    You wrote:

    Do you believe that God gives the grace to fear God to everyone, and then leaves the decision to listen and respond to every person?

    I am not sure which verse you are referring to, because I have not seen a reference to God needing to give people “grace” in order for them to fear Him. I do believe that God MUST reveal Himself and reveal truth in order for a person to fear Him.

    You wrote:

    This is why I believe we need to stick to the immediate context of John 6, especially in regards to the blunt statement Jesus made regarding the unbelief of the crowd who could see and hear Jesus perfectly well, but were not able to come to Jesus because they had not been drawn by the Father….

    Malachi 3 is very relevant to John 6 and there are passages that are fulfilled in John 6. The New Testament is the fulfillment of the Old. Yet the context of John 6 and the book of John will buttress the meaning of the sayings of Jesus. You are quite right that the context is key. And it is true that no one could come to Jesus unless the Father draws him. The drawing comes first, not the coming. But the giving comes before the coming as well. More in next comment.

  19. Ben,
    You wrote:

    Everyone is a God-hater until they have true belief in Jesus – those who continue on in true faith are distinguished by their works and their spiritual life. That is the whole point – the ones who listen to God, the ones who believe in Jesus, are the ones who have been given to Jesus by the Father…

    I appreciate that this is your belief, but the Bible doesn’t say this. Cornelius was not a God-hater until he had true belief in Jesus. He was called a God-fearer. Also Lydia was not a God-hater until she knew who Jesus was. She also was called a God-fearer.

    I agree that the ones who believe in Jesus are the ones who have been given to Him by the Father, but I do not see that the ones who listen to the Father were given to Jesus before they listened to the Father. The LORD of hosts says “They will be Mine” not “They already are Mine” in Malachi 3:17. The giving by the Father is of those who already belong to Him in faith and He gives these ones to Jesus so that they can believe in Him and be saved.

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