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David Cloud comments on John 6

Discussion in 'Calvinism & Arminianism Debate' started by Truth Seeker, Nov 14, 2015.

  1. Truth Seeker

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    May 11, 2007
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    John 6:37 “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

    This verse is used by Calvinists to teach that God chooses who will be saved, and when He chooses that a person will be saved, that person will definitely come to Christ. Thus, this verse is used to support the Calvinist doctrines of Unconditional Election and Irresistible Grace. How do we know that the Calvinist interpretation is wrong? The verse must be interpreted in light of its context. If the verse were left isolated from all the rest of the Bible, it could be interpreted in a Calvinist manner, but it must be interpreted in light of the rest of the teaching of Christ in John. Verse 40 explains verse 37.

    It is God's will that every one that believes on Christ will be saved. The ones that God the Father has given to the Son are those who believe on Him. This is the consistent teaching of John's Gospel. See John 1:11-12; 3:15-18, 36; 5:24; 6:29; 11:25-26; 20:31.

    John 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.

    This verse is used by Calvinists to support their doctrine of Unconditional election, that only those sovereignly chosen by God can be saved. The problem with this is twofold:

    (1) Christ said He would draw all men to Himself (Jn. 12:32; 1:9).

    (2) The Bible says God desires all men to be saved (1 Tim. 2:3-4; 2 Pet. 3:9).

    Thus while it is true that no man can come to Christ except that he be drawn by God, it is equally true that all men are being drawn, and that those who are rejected are those who reject the truth and do not believe (2 Thess. 2:10,12) and He has ordained that the gospel be preached to every creature (Mark 16:15).

    Here are David Cloud's big 3 against Calvinism. (John 1:9; John 12:32; John 16:8-11)

    JESUS ENLIGHTENS EVERY MAN THAT COMES INTO THE WORLD - “That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world." (John 1:9).

    The Bible teaches that men are in darkness, dead in trespasses and sins, but the Bible plainly teaches that God gives light to every single man that comes into the world. There is no other way to understand the meaning of these words. There is no way to apply this only to the elect. The fact is that God draws men to the light and if they respond He gives them more light. That is what we see in the case of Cornelius in Acts 10. The Bible does not say here that the light that God gives to some is more effectual than that which He gives to others. It simply says that He enlightens every single man.

    JESUS WILL DRAW ALL MEN UNTO HIM - “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die." (John 12:32-33).

    Here the Lord Jesus promised through His crucifixion to draw all men unto Him. Thus we see that He died to make it possible for all men to be saved and that He actively draws all men to Himself toward that end. That all men are not saved is not the fault of Jesus nor is it His intention. All are enlightened and all are drawn. What Jesus said about Israel is true for all men: “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!" (Mat. 23:37).

    THE HOLY SPIRIT WILL CONVICT THE WORLD - “And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged." (John 16:8-11).

    The Calvinist claims that “it is not the present mission of the Holy Spirit to convict the world of sin and that “the Holy Spirit is sovereign in His operations and His mission is confined to God's elect.  (Pink, The Sovereignty of God, pp. 75, 77). In fact, the Lord Jesus plainly and unequivocally teaches in John 16 that the Holy Spirit will indeed convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment. The Holy Spirit has a special work in this age both toward the unbeliever and toward the believer. There is no good reason to believe that “the world in this passage is “the elect. Consider what would happen if we were to change “the world “the elect. The passage would then read: “And when he is come, he will reprove the elect of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because the elect believe not on me. But, of course, the elect do believe on Jesus. Further, the Calvinist teaches that the elect are saved by regeneration rather than by conviction. The truth of the matter is that this important passage describes how the unsaved, which are spiritually dead and blind, are brought to repentance and faith. It is by the convicting power of the Holy Spirit. That not all believe is not because only some are pre-elected to believe but because God made man with the ability to resist him and according to the Scripture he has been exercising that ability since the Garden of Eden.

    Is David Cloud misinterpreting some of these biblical passages?