Interpretation of John 6:35-40

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by zrs6v4, Nov 15, 2011.

  1. zrs6v4

    zrs6v4
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    As I read John 6:35-45 I find a few things we agree on about salvation (its through faith, its secure, its God's will for Christ, etc. The obvious debate is numbers 2 and 3 below (Calvinistic teaching). My interest in this thread is to see how non-Cals deal with John 6:35-40 namely verses 37-39. If you adhere to Calvinistic style teaching and disagree or can expound on my brief post feel free to do so for discussion purposes.


    1. It is through faith in Jesus (v. 35 and 40)
    2. The elect are predetermined by God the Father (v. 37 and 39)
    3. The Father's will was for Jesus to come and purchase those who He chooses Jesus to save. (v. 38-39)
    4. This salvation cannot be lost as it is secure. (v. 39)
     
  2. zrs6v4

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    Just to be clear.

    I would like to see people, namely non cals, interpret John 6:35-40. If necessary you are welcome to back up, explain context, and then interpret the passage.

    Thanks
     
  3. Romans7man

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    I'm not much on discussing the TULIP, but I think you are reading more into it than what is there or should I say you are not reading everything.

    6:44; No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

    We are also told elsewhere that it is the will of God that no man perish, that He would have all men to be saved.

    We also know that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.

    So we know that first for one to come to Christ they would have to hear the gospel. otherwise how would they know who Christ is?

    For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth: to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.


    The gospel gets preached, we come to the Father, the Father gives us to Christ, and Christ says he will not cast us out. I'm not Calvinist and I don't have a problem with that, so I don't see the big deal. I take the Bible as a whole, not just a verse here and a verse there. You can come to some weird doctrine cherry picking verses.

    The Calvinist see it as either or. In other words if God is sovereign then man does not have a free will, but if man has a free will then God is not sovereign. To disregard either one one has to disregard many verses if not half the book.
     
  4. zrs6v4

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    First of all thanks for the reply. I have not gotten into this debating about God's election in about a year, but I enjoy discussing it and it helps me develop my understanding to hear everyone.

    The passages you quotes above are from John, Peter, and then Paul. Although we can talk about those later and they are good passages to consider I would wish to stick with passage presented and deal with it by itself. If it helps a contextual discussion on chapter 6 and surrounding may help and I'd even except context based on John's gospel as a whole. Now you quoted John 6:44, and I almost did this post on 6:35-45. Your welcome to explain how that verse fits in with 35-40.


    What you are describing is systematic theology. It is literally to take Biblical teachings and organize them in categorical systems. That is a great practice, but I am more interested in focusing on the context and single teaching in John 6:35-40. After we interpret that passage you can then move to other passages that can be combined.

    Does that make sense?

    If not simply read 6:35-40 and put it in your own words.
     
  5. Winman

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    You can't isolate vss. 35-40 or you can come to some wrong conclusions. Vss. 44-45 explains vss. 35-40.

    Jn 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
    45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh to me.

    Vs. 45 explains the word "given" in vss. 37 and 39. If a person comes to Christ, it is because he has been taught by the Father. How was this done? Was it done through regeneration? No, it is done through the scriptures, the Word of God. Faith comes by hearing the word of God (Rom 10:17) and no man can believe in him of whom they have not heard (Rom 10:14).

    In vss. 63-65 this is shown again, Jesus says the words he speaks unto us are spirit and life, but some believe not, therefore no man can come to him unless it were given by the Father. If you don't believe the words (scripture) given by the Father, you cannot come to Jesus.
     
  6. convicted1

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    John 6:35-40

    35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

    36 But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not.

    37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

    38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.

    39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.

    40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.


    Have you seen the Son with your natural eyes, Brother? I haven't, but I sure have felt His touch many times, praise His sweet name. Jesus is talking about those who saw Him in his natural body, in a "in the now" sense. So He is talking about those around Him at that time.
     
  7. zrs6v4

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    I never said you had to in fact above I encouraged everyone to explain the passages in the context of John 6.

    I think you are on to something with connecting 6:44-45, 6:60-63, and 6:37 and 6:39. I agree that Jesus explains 37 and 39 in verses 44-45 with a quotation from Jeremiah 31 (I believe anyway). I'm not sure if you are reading closely unless I am to narrow minded on my theology I can't see around it. I really don't think it is a good practice to jump to your conclusion with Romans 10 because I think you are missing the point in the context of John. Here is why I say that:

    What happened is that Jesus fed 5,000 + people then they came back for Him a day later looking for Him. Their motive was to get more food. Jesus knew this and rebuked them by saying, "You seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of he loaves and were filled" (6:26). Jesus then went on to tell them to "work for food which endures to eternal life." As a result they asked what this work God wanted them to do was (6:28). Jesus then showed them that they must believe in Him (6:29). They then asked for sign so they could know or believe using the example of the time where God fed the Israelites with bread from heaven. Jesus took their example and applied it to Himself (6:32-33).

    So that sets the context. Jesus is definitely speaking to a group of Jews here (6:59). I am not sure if any Gentiles are present. It is a blessing that we all agree on the main and simple point of this passage that is that we must believe in Jesus. That is John's main point here in line with his purpose statement (20:30-31). So rest assured both Cals and Non Cals agree on the main point. We must, by our own choice, come to Christ, and believe in Him.

    So now we come to our text at hand.

    6:35- Jesus restates that He is the bread of life, the bread that God has given to save His people eternally by paying for their sins. He is unlike the bread in Moses day because that gave them physical life. Jesus brings Spiritual life. "he who comes to Me will never thirst" reveals that we must willingly come to Christ personally and trust in Him and then we will never thirst (have eternal quenching from sin). This is yet another statement teaching faith is the means to eternal life.

    6:36- The Jews here are rebuked by Jesus. He said, "you see Me, and yet do not believe." Jesus has brought many signs and wonders and clear teachings yet they just simply cannot except the fact that He is their Messiah (see also 3:2, 5:31-40). Many factors have prevented them and in their case Isaiah was right as repeated the first 6 books of the New Testament (Is. 6:9-10; John 12:37-43). The Jews were blind and God had left them in their judicial punishment and was beginning to work the way for Gentiles to be brought into His kingdom (see also John 10:14-16, 25-29) first while the Jews stumbled on the rock of offense (the blindness of the Law). The Jews were blind, blind guides, dead, unable to come to Christ, and on and on we can read about the impossibility of the ones who were left in their sinful state. Yet some Jews did believe and God revealed His arm to them (refer back to my John 12 reference). So we see the immediate need for God's work.

    6:37- The need of God to work in them in Jesus mind was an essential element to faith. Jesus said, "All the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out." Jesus already has told us that those who believe get life and they are free to come. He also said they refused to believe, and now He is saying that the ones who come to Him are precisely those who God has elected or chosen to be His sheep (refer back to my John 10 references). In order to come to Christ in faith it is essential for God to be the one drawing you (This is where 6:44-45 fit in). It isn't that Jesus will turn people down because they are not elect. Many people have the idea that people are clawing at Jesus' feet and He's like well let me check the list, nope, your not on the list get out. In this passage Jesus said, "The one that comes to Me I will surely not cast out." This is showing the connection between the elect and the sovereign work of God in the elect revealing that everyone who comes are the ones who God has elected for Jesus to save. Words to notice in the passage are "ALL THE FATHER GIVES WILL COME." This proves that not everyone is given. This is why many are charged with universalism and then they become hostile because they don't see this or intend to teach universalism.

    6:38 and 39- Jesus came to do the will of God. In God's will ALL that Jesus is given WILL COME. Do you see election and predestination here? Everyone God gives to Jesus to save, will come, and Jesus raise them to glory on the day of judgment. Jesus said, "This is the will of Him who sent Me, that all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day." There is a strong connection between the work of the Spirit before justification, during sanctification, and in glorification. I can go outside of the text here, but for the sake of this study I will not.

    6:40- Jesus goes back to the surface teaching here that a child can understand. It doesn't matter if you fully get everything Jesus said at first. Nobody understood the teaching in John 6 because they didn't understand Jesus purpose fully and He used difficult and deep theological language. Yet, a child can understand the simple offer to come to Jesus. Remember faith in Christ is the key to the text.

    I hope you spend time to read my above post, if not you will never be able to discuss this rationally with me. So please read my post and my Scripture references and think about it.

    I would be happy to explain how 6:63-65 fits in the picture but I want you to deal with the above posting first. Remember belief if determined by God's predetermined will. Those who come (in faith) are saved and those exact ones who come are those who God has given to the Son to save. The one's given are the ones drawn and taught by the Father through the Spirit. The Spirit gives (or brings) life to the souls of men. Through Jesus words the Spirit was working to teach the hearts of men and bring life to then in accordance with the predetermined will of God. verse 64 plainly restates that some are in unbelief why? John 10:26, "You do not believe because you are not of My sheep." God's elect sheep hear the voice of the Son and come to their Shepherd and the sheep are from Israel and now also from Gentiles (10:14-16).

    So in 6:65- people don't believe and that is exactly why He said (6:44), "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him." belief in Christ is a result of God's election and drawing (election: 6:37 and 39; they definitely come who God has given).
     
  8. zrs6v4

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    I am not exactly sure if that captures the passage (I am also not exactly sure what you are saying here). Can you explain where you get that interpretation from by quoting the text and explaining your thoughts. See my above response to Winman for my thoughts and interpretation of the passage.

    Are your quoting, "But I have said to you that you have seen Me, and yet do no believe"?

    If so, you are right in some sense because they did physically see Jesus and all He did. Yet they (Jews) did not believe. You are also right that we are blessed because we do not see Jesus and yet believe. We know He is near by faith and we walk with Him. It is a great blessing and no easier or harder than living with Him physically back then. So while I agree with you in this sense I do not think that is the intent of the passage.
     
  9. The Biblicist

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    This is one of the most clearest and I might add most direct passages in scripture that deal with the security of the believer.

    Verse 36 sets the tone. He is not addressing believers but unbelievers. They saw him and yet they did not believe and then Jesus explains unto these unbelievers why they did not believe in verses 37-65.

    First, they did not believe in him because they are not among those whom the Father gave to Christ! Why? Because "ALL" that the Father gives to Christ, "ALL" come to Christ. The idea of "come" means to believe in. This must be the meaning because they are the only ones (believers) that he emphatically declares he will never cast out. That cannot be said of unbelievers. Hence, the idea of "come to me" means to savingly believe in him.

    Anyone have any problems so far with what I have said?

    They did not believe in him because they were not given unto him by the father because "ALL" that the father gives him do come to him. The word "come" is inclusive of faith or believing in him.
     
  10. zrs6v4

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    I agree with you on clearest because it touches on the main points and thinking process of my soteriology.

    The only thing I disagree with you (maybe) on is the second quote above. I do not think it is safe to say all who Jesus spoke to were unbelievers. That is an assumption and not a direct taking from Scripture in my mind. We know He is in the synagogue here (6:59) among Jews with a group of people that were largely involved in the 5,000 feeding. The only thing that backs your statement is that everyone that he spoke to left because His teaching was to hard (6:66). It said the disciples didn't leave (6:67), but there is possibility verse 66 allows for other unmentioned followers. We know the disciples had faith although they didn't understand most of what Jesus said until the Spirit came after Jesus was raised from the dead (12:16, 2:22, 20:9, 14:26). The group however big it was (over 5,000 the day before :/) was now pretty small. I would argue that most of whom he spoke to were unbelievers being hardened Jews, but Jesus knew who He was speaking to (6:64).
     
    #10 zrs6v4, Nov 15, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 15, 2011
  11. The Biblicist

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    38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
    39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.


    Verse 38 is the beginning of a defense of what he states as a FACT in verse 37. In verse 37 he states two FACTS:

    1. ALL (not some) the Father gives to the Son comes to the Son
    2. He will never cast out this "all"

    In verse 38 he provides a GENERAL fact to defend what he said in verse 37. The General fact is that Christ's intent for coming to earth was to do the will of the Father. He is not speaking about his POTENTIAL to do the will of the Father but his OWN ABILITY to do the will of the Father. Significantly, he is not supposing or presenting any kind of POTENTIAL but non-effectual attempt to carry out the Father's will. He ALWAYS and thus EFFECTUALLY did the Father's will in everything as no sin could be found in him, he did no sin and he knew no sin.


    Verse 39 shifts from the declaration of FACT in GENERAL terms (v. 38) to the declaration of FACT in SPECIFIC terms in regard to what he said in verse 37.

    Both verse 38 and 39 have to do with CHRIST'S ABILITY to "DO" the Father's will not in terms of POTENTIALITY but in terms of certainty as coming short by Christ to "do" the Father's will would be SIN charged agains the Son.

    Moreover, verse 37 SPECIFIES what is the exact and precise ASPECT of the Father's will he is directly speaking about:

    And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day

    He could have listed many other aspects of the Father's will he came to do but he is concerned with that specific aspect first introduced in verse 37 and now identified specifically in verse 39 to be again that "ALL" which the father gave him that NOT ONE would be lost but "IT" (he) will be in the resurrection of life at the last day.

    CONCLUSION: He is not talking about any POTENTIAL for the Father's will to be accomplished but HIS OWN ABILITY to accomplish the Father's will. Hence, the security of "ALL" those given to the Son do not stand upon THEIR ABILITY but the ability of the SON OF GOD "to do" the Father's will in regard to "ALL" not some that were given him.
     
  12. The Biblicist

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    40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

    In verse 36 he declares to those unto whom he is speaking that they both "saw him and beleived not" but in contrast "all" that the father giveth him do "cometh to me". Hence the contrast defines "cometh to me" to be the same as seeing him and beleiving in him.

    Prior to verse 40 he has consistently used the term "cometh" but now in verse 40 he clearly sets forth the meaning of "cometh" to mean "every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him" in contrast to those in verse 36 both saw and did not believe.

    In verse 40 "everyone" translates the same Greek term that is translated in verses 37 and 39 as "all". The "all" that he promises in NEGATIVE TERMS that shall never be cast out in verse 37 and that shall never "perish" in verse 39 are expressed in POSTIVE TERMS in verse 40 "may have everlasting life" and then concluded with the absolute promise first introduced in verse 39 and then repeated in verse 40 "and I shall raise him up at the last day."

    CONCLUSION: thus he has come in full circle from verse 36 in regard to those who do see him and yet do not believe in him to who are those who will see him and will beleive on him BECAUSE "ALL" who do see and believe on him are given unto him by the Father ON PURPOSE for that very thing. That is the FATHER's WILL in regard to "ALL" that the Father gives because "ALL" the Father gives do come to him in saving faith and NOT ONE of that "ALL" shall perish but each one of that
    "ALL" or "everyone" of that "ALL" will be raised up at the last day.
     
  13. The Biblicist

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    36 But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not.

    The fact that more were present does not change the specific audiance he is said to address this unto.
     
  14. zrs6v4

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    I see what you mean now. I missed your point. I just assumed He was addressing the majority people as a whole but what you say makes sense. In either case the interpretation is the same.
     
  15. freeatlast

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    "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!" - Matthew 23:37

    For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. - John 3:16

    It is also a personal choice. Both God's election and mans choice without God making the person choose Him.
     
  16. zrs6v4

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    Thanks for the reply but you have not dealt with the passage at hand. Im not going to argue with you about calvinism but i will say that God does not force as you say. I suggest reading posts already if you havent yet.
     
  17. freeatlast

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    I did not say He forces us. I said we have free will.
     
  18. The Biblicist

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    You are trying to circumvent the text by going outside and reading your presuppositions back into this text. Deal with the text in its context first before jumping outside and forcing it to conform to your interpretations of outside texts which are not in view here.
     
  19. Skandelon

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    In approaching John 6, I believe it is first necessary to answer this very important question:

    Why can't Jesus' audience come to him?

    Possible answers:
    1) Because God doesn't really salvifically love them and since they have been born in their totally depraved condition by which they really can't even hear, understand, believe and come to him they have no hope of salvation unless God supernaturally regenerates their hearts, changing their natures and effectually drawing them to come to Christ to be saved.

    OR

    2)
    "For this reason they could not believe, because... "He has blinded their eyes and deadened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn--and I would heal them." - Jesus in John 12:39
    What Calvinists fail to see is that the reason people weren't enable to come to Christ was not because of some inborn nature preventing their faith, but because Jesus was hiding the truth in parables and the father was sending them a 'spirit of stupor' to keep them in their rebellion. He was hardening them temporarily to accomplish redemption through them. The Jews, in their unbelief crucified Christ. The father had only granted a few from Israel to come to Jesus while he was on earth, the rest were hardened/blinded from the truth for a time.

    The GOSPEL, God's means to draw all men to himself, wasn't even sent out into all the world; and the Holy Spirit, which is to convict the world of sin, wasn't poured out UNTIL Christ had been raised up!

    "But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself." - Jesus
     
    #19 Skandelon, Nov 16, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 16, 2011
  20. freeatlast

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    :confused:

    Like I said we have free will.
     

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