John 6 Part 1 and Done

I have decided not to engage John 6 at Arminian Perspectives. The Calvinist exegesis is just too strong, and I cannot figure out how to deal with it.

Just kidding 🙂

The real reason I have decided not to engage the text is because I have been directed to a four part essay written by Robert L. Hamilton that presents the best and most detailed Arminian exegesis of the passage that I have ever read. I cannot improve on his work and would rather begin to focus on the subject of inevitable perseverance. His essay is especially useful as it deals with all of the difficult passages in John that might seem to support Calvinism, as well as passages in Acts regarding Gentile believers [Acts 13:48]. Please take the time to read this essay. We can use this post to discuss his essay for those who take the time to read it. I highly recommend it to both Arminians who have struggled with these texts, and Calvinists who are convinced that there are no viable Arminian alternative interpretations for the key passages in John 6, 8, 10, and 17.

I have not looked at the entire site yet but have also read most of Mr. Hamilton’s essay on Rom. 9 which I also highly recommend. I am indebted to Dr. Brian Abasciano for directing me to these essays.

The Order Of Faith And Election In John’s Gospel: You Do Not Believe Because You Are Not My Sheep

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4 Responses

  1. Are you going to deal with the subject of “inevitable perseverence” in regards to John chapter 6?

    I had to give an exposition of john 6:36-37, 43-44, and 64-66″ back in Feb of 07. On another board where alot of Calvinists hang out at.

    I handled it in the way you are talking about now. I was looking at it in regards to “perseverence”.

    I also used a method that Robert L Hamilton didn’t seem to like……and that was looking at another passage to balance the one I was dealing whith in John chapter 6.

    I like the way Robert Hamilton went to the Old Testament and looked at the words “sheep”, “my people”, and “Israel”.

    I found that very helpful.

    I’ll post what I typed on the other board.

    “”””john 6:36-37

    “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.”

    The word “gives” is a “present active indicative” of didomi So it is a continual giving to the Son. One could argue that the giving was done in Eternity where time is not present……you know…..no past, no present, and no future.

    Whoever the Father continually gives to the Son will in a future time continually “come” to the Son and the person that continually comes to the Son will not be cast out by Him.

    This is how I understand those verses.

    John 6:43-44

    43Jesus 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.

    No one can continually come to Jesus unless the Father continually draws them to Christ. And Jesus will raise that person up on the last day.

    This is how I understand those verses.

    John 6:64-66

    64″But there are some of you who do not believe ” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him.
    65And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.”
    66As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore.

    This is a Perfect Passive Participle of didomi so this was a one time event in the past. And as you can see in verse 64 Jesus foreknew which ones who would not “continually” believe and who would eventually betray Him. We tend to forget that God has perfect knowledge. God is Omniscient! He is all knowing!

    No one can continually come to Jesus unless it has been granted by the Father before the foundation of the World.

    We know in John chapter 15 that it is the Father who “takes away” those who do not bear fruit in Christ.

    John chapter 15

    “1”I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.
    2″Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.”

    Thus this is how I understand what happened in John chapter 6

    It is my belief that scripture shows us that whenever we have the light we “must” embrace the light if we are to get out of Darkness, grow in grace, and remain being drawn by the Father.

    We see in John 5:35 that some embraced a prevenient light

    31″If I testify about myself, my testimony is not valid. 32There is another who testifies in my favor, and I know that his testimony about me is valid.
    33″You have sent to John and he has testified to the truth. 34Not that I accept human testimony; but I mention it that you may be saved. 35John was a lamp that burned and gave light, and you chose for a time to enjoy his light.

    They were able to enjoy the Light of John the Baptist.

    In John chapter 12 we see Jesus refusing to argue with some of the people who resisted the words He shared. Instead, he just told them to believe while you still have the chance.

    John chapter 12

    “35Then Jesus told them, “You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. The man who walks in the dark does not know where he is going. 36Put your trust in the light while you have it, so that you may become sons of light.” When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them.”

    The same was true in John chapter 6 many including the 70 resisted the words of Jesus!

    When we resist the Light we are in danger of no longer being Drawn by the Father. We must keep believing whatever Jesus says for this is how we know we are being drawn by the Father.

    Will we be one of the called? You know, those who only believe for a season? Or will we be one of the chosen? Those who continually believe for eternity and will show up at the wedding with their wedding clothes on?

    Only the Father knows the answer to that question.

    Romans chapter 8
    29For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;

    It is our responsibility to watch our life and doctrine closely……and to hold on even to the end.

    1 Timothy 4:16
    Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.

    1 Corinthians 15:2
    By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.”

    That’s pretty much how I handled the text. Now thanks to you and Mr. Hamilton I have more ammo to add, but that’s going to take a few months before I’m able to mold this new stuff with what I already have.

    Take care and stay blessed

    Jnorm

  2. Great post.

  3. […] Posted on April 23, 2010 by kangaroodort I noticed that several people were visiting this post on John six which directs the reader to John Hamilton’s excellent essay on election in John […]

  4. I recently wrote a post on John 6. I don’t know if how it compares to Hamilton’s. I’ll try to read it soon.

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