A passage in which many struggle

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by agedman, Jun 30, 2013.

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  1. agedman

    agedman
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    It is no secret that on the BB many discussions deteriorate into a view that involves either "free will / choice" or total inability.

    There is a section of Scriptures in which Christ states EXACTLY who will and will not be saved as well as the security of those that believe.

    There are other Scriptures that bear witness, but those of John 6 are so plainly stated that it remains inarguable.

    John 6:
    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.”30 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? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread out of heaven to eat.’” 32 Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven. 33 For the bread of God is [i]that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.” 34 Then they said to Him, “Lord, always give us this bread.” 35Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen Me, and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.39 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. 40 For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”
    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’?” 43 Jesus answered and said to them, “Do not grumble among yourselves. 44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.45 It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught of God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me. 46 Not that anyone has seen the Father, except the One who is from God; He has seen the Father. 47 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.” 52 Then the Jews began to argue with one another, saying, “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?” 53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. 54 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 55 For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. 56 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me. 58 This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever.”
    Does ANY not read that belief is the work of God?

    Does anyone miss that some will see (even read, hear...) the Word (Christ) and NOT believe?

    Does anyone not see that Christ was contrasting those who do not believe with those that DO believe is decreed NOT by human effort but by the very WILL of God ("This is the will of Him who sent me...").

    Does anyone not take it as factual "...that everyone (NOT ANYONE) that beholds the Son and believes in Him WILL have eternal life...?"

    I cannot find even the slightest hint of human capacity to accept, reject or any other current indicators of "free will / choice" exist in this passage from John. In fact, I see this passage as a TOTAL refutation of such thinking.

    Frankly, I am rather weary of those who want to bolster some kind of human made up view in order to water down the decrees of God.

    "NO MAN comes to me unless the Father who sent Me draws him" does NOT include humankind ability in any manner.

    God draws; Jesus saves.

    Because whom God draws WILL believe.

    There is no freedom of choice / will as some on the BB have continually argued for in plain refutation of the very Word of God.

    It is no wonder that the end of such a human involvement view is that salvation must be held on to under human effort and cannot ultimately be assured.

    Certainly, there are those of the BB who would make much of the adoption of some principle such as OSAS.

    But, upon what is that hope based when they put human involvement into the salvation from the beginning.

    ONLY those given to Christ by God WILL come in belief.

    NONE others are invited.

    You may not like that message, but if you deny it, you set yourself against the very words of Christ.
     
  2. HisWitness

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    those who set their selves against the words of Yeshua

    Kinda like just when Yeshua said--IF YOU LOVE ME KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS

    Then they turn around and say were NOT to keep his commandments ??

    I can see how they set their selves against the words of Yeshua---just like you are saying about Salvation is TOTALLY a work of YAH. :thumbsup:
     
  3. psalms109:31

    psalms109:31
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    I don't struggle at all with it, because they can't believe or even come to Jesus and be saved unless they listen and learn so Jesus will do His work. Some going to condemnation for turning away from their only hope, for there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus.
     
    #3 psalms109:31, Jun 30, 2013
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  4. Herald

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    I will wade in to this discussion.

    Full disclosure: obviously I approach Scripture from a Reformed presupposition.

    John 6:29 has a difficult time being translated from Greek into English. From a pure grammatical construction writing, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him who He sent" the sentence does not make sense. The sentence should finish with God doing something. It actually finishes with Christ's audience being instructed to do something [believe in Him who He sent]. An expanded understanding of the verse is, "This the work God expects from you, that you should believe in Him He sent". I do not believe this understanding subtracts from God's sovereignty in salvation in any way, but it is an honest rendering of the text.

    It is not difficult for those who hold to self-autonomous free will position to reconcile verses 37-40; 44. One of their answers will be that the Father does give to the Son all those whom He saw choose the Son through His foreknowledge. I believe that takes a certain amount of interpretative gymnastics that results in God being reactive to man as opposed to sovereign over man. In other words God becomes dependent on man's actions before He can save. We do a disservice to the nature of God when we effectively dumb Him down. When Jesus said that "All that the Father gives to Me", He meant exactly that. The Father chooses based on the counsel of His own will, not because He has box seats in which to view the future.
     
  5. agedman

    agedman
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    Very good Herald!!! :thumbsup::thumbsup:

    To me, one of the remarkable moments of the BB came when some poster(s) actually considered that God was exalted as more sovereign when He was reactive to and dependent upon man. In response, I posted that either God is sovereign or He is not God. (Folks, I have used the liberty of not using identifiers of who said what out of respect).

    Perhaps that was the push that caused me to post this thread.

    Any scheme that makes the Creator dependent upon the creation doesn't align with Scripture. Is it not so with the nature of our own creations?

    Someone might state, "We are dependent upon technology" or the age old question, "Did God create a rock that He cannot move?"

    Anyone knows that the technology is dependent upon the creator for upkeep and upgrades. Without that intervention, the technology would fail. Just as humankind without the direct and purposeful upkeep and upgrade(s) when left to them self are doomed and fail.

    God never created what He cannot move or replace. That is why He makes the believers "NEW creatures" and discards all of the old, every bit of it. God didn't create a heart that was so stony He couldn't move it, rather He gives a new heart with the new nature.

    Your translation work is in agreement with my own.

    The emphasis is upon the work that God does and not upon humankind ability. If that were not true, the verse would have stated something like, "The is the work that God desires, that you believe in Him who He sent." But that is not the intent nor the emphasis of the passage and especially this particular verse. The two inserted words (that and desire) are not even hinted as consistent with an appropriate translation.
     
  6. Revmitchell

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    It is arrogant statements like this that cause so much animosity on the board.
     
  7. Herald

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    Let me explain why I agree with this (and agedman, I am not throwing you under the bus. Please read my reason). If the author of a post was writing a book he would not be seeking a ready response or an ongoing dialog. Message boards invite immediate responses; they foster dialog. It is difficult to have meaningful dialog when we say to people, "you set yourself against the very words of Christ." Now, we may believe that, but it does not help the conversation because we have already conditioned the response we are going to receive from the other person. I am not saying we need to back down from our convictions. I am not saying that we cannot engage in grown up debate. I am even not saying that there does not come a time in the discussion where what agedman wrote should be said. I just happen to think we do it far too often and at times when we do not need to. I have been guilty of that myself. If you find yourself engaging like that with specific BB members, perhaps they are folks you should disengage with.
     
  8. agedman

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    Upon rereading the OP, I agree that some who don't like the message of the statement may be discomforted, and perhaps in that I could have chosen a better way of stating the point I was making.

    For the record, if any consider it offensive, I have no such desire to offend and certainly no puffed up arrogance to fill the sails of my ship.

    My usual goal is to bring learning and encouragement to embrace the truth of the Scriptures.

    Attempting to place emphasis upon the aspect that these are the words of Christ was the motivating factor.

    The desire is that if one is going to post a contrary view, then they would need to show how Christ didn't mean what He so clearly stated, and intended to state.

    Example: Herald joined the post using a bit of language work to show how the emphasis of a certain verse was upon God and not man.

    Did Herald (as verified by me) present the truth?

    If not, show by similar fashion how I got it wrong, and post the truth.

    I will go back to the OP and edit the statement (if that is possible on an OP). :)

    Nope, can't do it.
     
    #8 agedman, Jul 1, 2013
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  9. convicted1

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    Don't believe him, Brother. I can smell the burnt rubber and see the tire marks up your back from here.....:D

    [​IMG]
     
    #9 convicted1, Jul 1, 2013
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  10. Revmitchell

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    I appreciate your responses. I believe there are times when strong statements need to be made. Especially when the issues at hand are part of specific salvic issues. If Rob Bell came on board and and started posting his univeralism garbage then it may be time for some strong responses. Making posts that deny the necessity of the blood of Christ is another one (more recently).

    But when we are discussing semantical mechanics of God's will then it is over the top.
     
  11. Van

    Van
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    There are two very different ways of understanding this verse. Does the work of God refer to something God does, or does the work of God refer to what God requires of those seeking salvation? Calvinism claims the idea is this refers to God's work. Thus the "gift of faith."

    So lets look at the passage and see what it actually says.

    Verse 28 has unregenerate men, men of flesh, unsaved men asking a question, What must "we" [the men not God] do to work the works of God.

    Then in verse 29, Jesus is answering that question, "this is the work of God, meaning this is the work God requires of you, that you believe...."

    So once again we have a vague phrase, "work of God" and Calvinism claims it means the opposite of the contextual meaning.

    Notice in verse 30 the men are asking for a sign so they might believe in Christ, thus also understanding verse 29 as indicating the work God requires of them. It is a lock.
     
  12. Van

    Van
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    Yes, many read that belief is the work God requires of those seeking salvation.

    Agreed, some understand the gospel but are unwilling to believe or believe fully, in Christ.

    Only Calvinists would "see" this, since it is not in the text.

    Not everyone who beholds and professes belief in Christ will be saved, some will say on that day Lord, Lord, but Jesus will say I never knew you. However everyone who beholds Christ and believes (as determined by God crediting their faith as righteousness) will have eternal life, and Jesus will raise him up on the last day.
     
    #12 Van, Jul 1, 2013
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  13. Van

    Van
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    Lets consider John 6:37, "all that the Father gives to Me...." How does the Father give individuals to Christ? Certainly in a way they "come to Me." If you take a look at the underlying Greek word translated come, you will see it means to arrive. Thus those given arrive in Christ, and therefore Christ will not cast them out, because when they were given, they were put spiritually in Christ. So all that come to me, i.e. are transferred from the realm of darkness into the kingdom of the Son, will not be cast out. (The second "come" in the verse does indeed mean travel toward Christ, i.e. refers to being transferred, but the first one means arrive in.)

    The issue for Calvinism to address is we no verse that says people come to Jesus because they are compelled by irresistible grace, but we have verse after verse that says God puts people "in Christ, sets them apart, the sanctification by the Spirit, baptizes them into Christ, and on and on. All those in Adam die, all those in Christ live. And on and on.

    The the phrase, come to Me, could refer to making the decision because someone is willing, to put their trust toward and on Jesus, or it could refer to being transferred from the realm of darkness into His kingdom. We must look at the context of each place in scripture where the phrase appears.

    Matthew 11:28 -decision
    Mark 10:14 - refers to travel and possible decision to trust.
    Luke 1:43 - refers to travel,
    Luke 11:6 - refers to travel
    Luke 18:16 - refers to travel toward Jesus and possible decision trust.

    John 5:40 - refers to decision to trust in Christ.
    John 6:37a - refers to being placed in Christ
    John 6:37b - refers to being transferred into Christ.
    John 6:44 - refers to being placed in Christ being conditioned upon having been drawn by the Father.
    John 6:65 - refers to decision to trust in Christ being conditioned upon having been allowed to trust, i.e. not hardened by God.
    John 7:37 - refers to decision to trust in Christ

    1 Cor. 16:11- refers to travel
    2 Tim. 4:9 - refers to travel
    Titus 3:12 - refers to travel
     
    #13 Van, Jul 1, 2013
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  14. agedman

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    Van, perhaps you should go back and attend to the original language, for the conclusion drawn above isn't very supported.

    "This is the work of God" cannot with any accurate rendering be translated as "This is the work that God desires unregenerate humankind do."

    There is not even a hint of that in the translation.

    Christ is answering that the heathen audience, that is schooled in "doing" by sacrifice and offering, can do nothing. He is stressing it is a work of God, and not humankind.
     
  15. agedman

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    In the above post, in the first paragraph it states that "those given arrive in Christ, and therefore Christ will not cast them out, because when they were given, they were put spiritually in Christ."

    Then in the second paragraph, "we (have) no verse that says people come to Jesus because they are compelled by irresistible grace, but we have verse after verse that says God puts people "in Christ, sets them apart, the sanctification by the Spirit, baptizes them into Christ, and on and on. All those in Adam die, all those in Christ live. And on and on"

    Does anyone see the disconnect?

    How does God guarantee the giving and "the arrival" without unmerited favor being extended to the particular unbeliever?

    In this post, the term "irresistible grace" is used with the declaration that "we (have) no verse that says people come to Jesus because they are compelled." Yet, the first paragraph states, "those given arrive in Christ." Seems that there must be some evident use of grace that is compelling and cannot be resisted by the heathen.

    Eph. clearly state, "by grace you are saved...." ONLY grace.

    Therefore without grace, compelling and irresistible grace, not a soul would be saved.
     
  16. Van

    Van
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    I rely upon Dr. Daniel B. Wallace, a Calvinist of immense integrity, and his version translated it as a deed God requires.
    (NET)

    And next you seem to miss verse 30 where those hearing the answer of Jesus, did indeed understand it as saying they must believe.
     
  17. agedman

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    Joh 6:37 All <pas> that <hos> the Father <pater> giveth <didomi> me <moi> shall come <heko> to <pros> me <eme>; and <kai> him that cometh <erchomai> to <pros> me <me> I will <ekballo> in no wise <ou me> cast <ekballo> out <exo>.

    I quickly copied this from "Sword Searcher." You can see for yourself.

    A person has the capacity to understand with ears and eyes and still not have "ears to hear and eyes to see."

    Mental understanding does not equate to heart belief.
     
  18. Van

    Van
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    First, there is no disconnect. Being spiritually transferred from the realm of darkness into the Kingdom of His Son is the Father giving to the Son those the Son will not cast out.

    God does not "guarantee the giving" He does the giving. He puts us spiritually in Christ. The act of transfer is by grace, the person transferred does not merit salvation. 2 Thessalonians 2:13 says God chooses through the sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. He sets individuals apart in Christ, the sanctification by the Spirit, based on crediting their faith as righteousness. It is all God and grace, and no merited favor.

    The transfer by God refers to God unilaterally moving a believer from being "in Adam" to being "in Christ. Calvinism has God compelling faith, rather than transferring those whose faith He has credited as righteousness.

    Next, the phrase you have been saved by grace is claimed to say you have not been saved by grace through faith, Ephesians 2:8. This argument is without merit. You have to look at all the verses and arrive at a view that is consistent with all, rather than picking one and nullifying the others.

    It is certainly true that without God's revelatory grace, revealing Himself through His inspired word and ambassadors, no one would be drawn by the lovingkindness of God. It is also certainly true, without God's saving grace, no person's faith would be righteous such that it could be credited as righteousness, only God can turn a pig's ear into a silk purse. And it is certainly true that it is by God's grace He transfers us from the realm of darkness into the Kingdom of Him Son. Thus salvation does not depend upon the man that wills, but on Him who has mercy.
     
  19. Winman

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    Exactly. I have said it a hundred times and it is true, Calvinism teaches the exact opposite of what scripture truly says.

    Jhn 6:28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
    29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
    30 They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work?

    Van is correct, these Jews were asking Jesus what works they could do to do the works of God. Jesus answered them that they should believe on him (Jesus).

    These Jews understood perfectly that Jesus was telling them to believe, as they asked for a sign that they might believe.

    Calvinism perverts scripture in a vain attempt to make it support their presuppositions.
     
  20. Van

    Van
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    This post does not address the argument that the verse can be translated as deeds God requires. It simply demonstrates it can be translated as "the work of God." John 6:29 not John 6:37.
     
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