The Contextual Identity of "all" who are given in Jn. 6:37

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by The Biblicist, Aug 15, 2016.

  1. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
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    Some have suggested that "all" those given by the Father, drawn by the Father in John 6 have as their primary application to the 12 apostles and the Jewish remnant living at the time of Christ while any larger application is secondary.

    I believe it is the very reverse. I believe the primary application refers to the whole body of believers that will ever come to Christ by faith in time and eternity while the secondary application is the present application to his disciples and believers in his day. Here is the evidence:

    First, Some suppose that John 18:9 is the fulfillment of John 6:39. However, there is a nearer application and that is John 17:12. Still, some imagine that John 17:12 has reference to John 6:39 and therefore John 18:9 fulfills both texts. However, John 17:12 does not refer to John 6:39 for the following reasons:

    1. John 17 deals with two different topics, (a) the salvation of all that will ever be saved (Jn. 17:1-3, 20) and the choice of 12 disciples to apostleship (Jn.17:5-19).

    2. Those given to him for salvation none of them will be lost, but those given to him for apostleship could be lost.

    3. In John 6:39 "lose nothing" has to do with personal salvation as the concluding phrase proves "it shall be raised up in the last day" whereas John 17:12 refers to the office of apostleship, not salvation. If it referred to salvation then Judas was saved and lost and yet Jesus denies that he was ever truly saved (Jn. 6:64; 71).

    4. Hence, John 18:9 refers to John 17:12 and not John 6:39


    Second, trying to localize and restrict John 6:37-45 to just the 12 or disciples of Christ during his ministry has many problems.

    1. John 6:44 "no man can" is not a localized problem but a universal problem.

    2. John 6:44 is extended beyond Judaism in John 12:20-32 to "Greeks"

    3. John 6:39,40, 44, 54 all conclude with the very same phrase that has in view not his present earthly ministry but those who will be raised in the first resurrection as the focus for being given and drawn to Christ by the Father. Surely, the promise of resurrection cannot be intended for 12 men only.

    4. The word "whosoever" in verse 40 cannot be restricted to just 12 men or just the jews of his day since the resurrection is in direct view as the consequence of "whosoever" believeth not whosoever is appointed apostles.

    5. The issue is in John 6:37-39 is broader than selecting and securing of 12 men but is the explanation to those Jews in John 6:36 why they saw but refused to believe in Christ just as John 6:65 is Christ's explanation why those disciples in John 6:64 were still in unbelief "from the beginning." Coming to Christ in faith for eternal life is the stated consequence of being given to the Son by the Father and that is why those in verse 36 did not come to Christ in faith for eternal life. Being drawn by the Father is the stated consequence for the ability to come to Christ by faith for eternal life and that is why those in versre 64 were still in unbeleif because that ability "it" was not "given unto them by the Father." The very same cause and effect is stated in John 10:26-27. Jesus told the Pharisees they believed not because they were not of his sheep rather than "you are not of my sheep because you believed not."

    6. It must be broader than then merely 12 men or even the whole present era because Jesus states that his incarnation or coming to earth was for this very purpose secure all that the Father gave unto him. Surely, the incarnation was designed to secure more than just 12 persons or even all the Jews saved in the first century.

    7. Finally, the whole chapter from beginning to end is concerning why people come to Christ and why all that come to him are not saved not about the 12 apostles or their calling.

    a. Those in John 6:2 came to him "because they saw miracles"
    b. Those in John 6:14-15 came to him for power to set up a kingdom to free Israel from Rome.
    c. Those in John 6:26 came to him for food
    d. Those who come to Christ by faith for eternal life have been given to Christ for that end - Jn. 6:36-40
    e. Those who come to Christ by faith for eternal life have been drawn by the Father for that end - Jn. 6:44-45, 64-65
    f. Coming to Christ by faith is as revolting to the natural man as cannibalistically eating Christ's flesh and drinking his blood - Jn. 6:51-66.

    8. The immediate context has a greater focus than just 12 men or even the whole nation of Israel as Jesus introduces John 6:37-45 with a "world" application:

    Joh 6:33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.

    Hence, His coming from heaven in John 6:38-39 cannot be restricted to just 12 men or even the whole nation of Israel

    Joh 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

    CONCLUSION: John 6 and "all" in verses 37, 39, 45 cannot be restricted to the 12 apostles or to those saved among the jews just in the ministry of Christ or even in the whole first century. Its primary application is in principle "all" who will ever come to Christ by faith for eternal life, while a secondary immediate application may be refer to eleven of the apostles and/or present day Jews.
     
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