In explaining the meaning of John 6, we need to pay close attention to the context surrounding John 6 as well as the relevant context from the entire book of John. Here are some verses that are HIGHLY relevant and some questions for you to ponder.
John 1 and Questions
John 1:9 There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. (What does the true Light do?)
John 1:11–12 He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, (Who were Jesus’ own that did not receive Him? Who did Jesus give the right to become children of God?)
John 1:29 The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! (What is the sin of the world?)
John 1:45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” (When did Philip first believe in Jesus?)
John 1:47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!” (What does it mean that Nathanael had no deceit in him?)
John 1:48–49 Nathanael said to Him, “How do You know me?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” 49 Nathanael answered Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel.” (Why did Nathanael say that Jesus knew him? What was it that Jesus said to Nathanael that cause Nathanael to declare that Jesus is the Son of God and King of Israel?)
This post is in response to Dr. James White from his August 5, 2014 podcast where he gave several challenges about the answers I posted on my blog post “Why are people not coming to Jesus?”Dr. White’s point was that if one believes that Jesus showed a person belongs to the Father before he belongs to Jesus, then it must mean that the sheep choose the shepherd. Is Dr. White’s statement true? Do the sheep choose the Shepherd if they respond to the Father first? This post will be the first in a series of posts that will answer the challenges of Dr. James White on the issue of Calvinism vs. non-Calvinism.
Dr. James White’s challenge: If people are given to the Son as believers, they are choosing the Shepherd
The biblical truth that is being challenged is Jesus’ teaching that people who fear God, first belong to the Father before they are given to the Son.
Malachi 3:16–18 (NASB) 16Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who esteem His name. 17“They will be Mine,” says the LORD of hosts, “on the day that I prepare My own possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.” 18So you will again distinguish between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.
John 6:37 (NASB) “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.
In Malachi 3:16-18, those who feared the LORD were heard and a book of remembrance was written. Does this mean that they were the ones who chose the Shepherd? No! God Himself must first do the work that prepares the sheep. God must first teach people to fear Him.
Deuteronomy 31:12 (NASB) “Assemble the people, the men and the women and children and the alien who is in your town, so that they may hear and learn and fear the Lord your God, and be careful to observe all the words of this law.
God prepares the sheep by teaching them about Him.…
I would like to collect challenges and questions that Calvinists have for those of us who are non-Calvinists. What question or challenge do you normally give to those Christians who do not believe in the Calvinist “Doctrines of Grace”? I will be going through the comments and questions and composing blog posts to address the challenges. Please don’t forget to read the page “Read this first” so you understand why this blog exists and what I expect from those who post here.