Drinking Deeply

Tuesday, December 19, 2006 at 11:17 PM

TULIP (9) - Effectual Call(2)

John 6 is another passage in support of the doctrine of Effectual Call (or Irresistible Grace).

To lay down some background of the passage, Jesus has just fed the 5000 (John 6:1-14), convincing many that he was the prophet to save the world. While they want to make him king, he withdraws (John 6:15). He then crosses the sea (by foot) and frightens some apostles (John 6:16-21), finally landing on the other side of the sea. The crowd, waking up and not finding Jesus, decide to go looking for him (John 6:22-24). They find him on the other side and are amazed. Jesus rebukes them for seeking the food of this world and exhorts them to labor for eternal life (as a side note, there is much in this short passage that can be expounded upon, but my focus is the next one, so that sentence will have serve as a summary of John 6:25-34).

John 6:35-40
35Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. 36But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. 38For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. 39And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day."
With the exhortation of minding spiritual food that lasts and not material food, we find Jesus saying that whoever comes to him shall not hunger and whoever believes in him shall never thirst. What is he speaking of? Eternity of course.

Verse 37 is the big verse in support of Irresistible Grace.
"All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out."
The act of the Father giving people to Jesus preceeds their coming to Jesus. Notice also how the 5 points of TULIP are being woven together here. Preservation of the saints is directly supported by the second half of that verse and by the two verse 39 and 40.
39And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day."
Notice also that the connect to preservation of those who come to Christ for all eternity prevents the possibility of reading into the passage a possibility of a universal giving by the Father to Jesus Christ.

Continuing in the passage, we see Jesus making similar statements. The Jews grumble that Jesus couldn't be divine (from heaven) as he has a father and mother that they know. Jesus reaffirms his divinity and points to why they actually don't believe him.

41So the Jews grumbled about him, because he said, "I am the bread that came down from heaven." 42They said, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, 'I have come down from heaven'?" 43Jesus answered them, "Do not grumble among yourselves. 44No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. ho sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day."
Why don't the Jews believe him? Because the Father does not draw them. But what does this draw (same word translated "drag" in Acts 16:19 and Acts 21:30) result in? Jesus raising the ones drawn on the last day. Notice the direct connection to John 6:39

39And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.
This drawing is the same (or at least very closely connected) as the giving of the Father. It is an active thing done by God and only God. We cannot come to Jesus without this drawing, and this drawing leads directly a raising up on the last day. Notice also the direct connection to our complete inability (Total depravity). No one can come unless the Father draws.

As if this isn't convincing enough, we see Jesus hammering home the point. Why does he say all this about no one being able to come? Because that point explains why some people do not come. (Does this remind us of Romans 8:7-8?) They do not because they cannot.

John 6:64-65
64But 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.) 65And he said, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father."

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Blogger Mike said...

This isn't about your post, but did you read JollyBlogger's post on "Chess and Fundamentalist Religion"? He agrees with your view on rewards in heaven (as do I, I suppose =P).  

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