“But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.” (John 6:36-37).
I may have used this illustration previously, but I believe it helps us understand what is transpiring in today’s text.
Imagine this scene. A non-Christian you have known for some time approaches you. Perhaps because of your Christian testimony, they begin asking you questions regarding why you believe in the existence of God. You do your best to answer each question thoughtfully, graciously and accurately to the biblical text.
The individual in question may be a co-worker, a friend or even a member of your immediate or extended family. Over the course of several meetings and conversations your relationship with the individual continues to be cordial and friendly. You are encouraged and increasingly hopeful that this person will soon come to repent of their sins and trust Christ as their Savior and Lord.
However, after answering every question posed to you, your friend, co-worker or relative does not respond to your request for them to repent of their sin and receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. They become increasingly resistant to even the slightest suggestion that they need Jesus.
You are perplexed. You are confused. You have answered every one of their questions. You have addressed each of their objections. You were encouraged by their initial response to your sincere explanation of the basics of biblical Christianity and the evidence for God’s existence. They even let you pray with them. Now, they want little or nothing to do with you or with your God. It is as if someone threw a switch to completely change the person you have come to know. What happened?
The question I have posed also apply to the many who witnessed Jesus’ miracles in general, and the feeding of the 5,000 in particular (John 6:1-14), who did not believe in Him. They witnessed what He did, but they neither trusted, committed, depended nor came to worship Him as Savior and Lord.
What all too often happens when we share the gospel, and a defense of the same, is that we mistakenly believe that reason and biblical revelation alone are sufficient to convince a person of their need for Christ. Not so! There is a necessary third component to a true, biblical understanding of God and sin resulting in conversion to Christ. That indispensable component is monergistic regeneration which as we explained when we studied John. The individual in question needs to be born again by the Holy Spirit (John 3:1-8). This new birth is a sovereign work of the Spirit.
However, underneath and undergirding the sovereign work of the Holy Spirit is the sovereign grace of God the Father. This is what Jesus begins to explain in John 6:37 when He says, “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.” We have two cause and effect statements in this compound sentence. Let us examine this sentence today.
“All that the Father gives me will come to me.” Before the sinner comes to Christ, by a regenerating work by the Spirit, there is a prior work accomplished by the Father. He gives the particular sinner to the Son. This leads us to biblically conclude that all three members of the Godhead are involved in our salvation. This giving the sinner to the Son as a gift is upon the basis of God’s sovereign grace alone (Ephesians 1:3-6).
Dr. R. C. Sproul explains that, “God leads to faith all who He plans to redeem. The redemption of the elect is certain since it is secured by the sovereign purpose and invincible power of God Himself to draw them to the Son and secure them in “His” hand (John 10:27-30).”
Please notice the word “all.” This is a universal positive statement. Jesus is saying that “all” who belong to a particular class of people will come to Him for salvation. Those who comprise the “all” of John 6:37 are those the Father gives to the Son.
Another Bible teacher states, “This verse (vs. 37) emphasizes the sovereign will of God in the selection of those who come to him for salvation (cf. vv. 44, 65; 17:6, 12, 24). The Father has predestined those who would be saved (see notes on Rom. 8:29–30; Eph. 1:3–6; 1 Pet. 1:2). The absolute sovereignty of God is the basis of Jesus’ confidence in the success of his mission (see note on John 6:40; cf. Phil. 1:6). The security of salvation rests in the sovereignty of God, for God is the guarantee that “all” he has chosen will come to him for salvation. The idea of “gives me” is that every person chosen by God and drawn by God (John 6:44) must be seen as a gift of the Father’s love to the Son. The Son receives each “love gift” (v. 37), holds on to each (v. 39), and will raise each to eternal glory (vv. 39–40). No one chosen will be lost (see notes on Rom. 8:31–39). This saving purpose is the Father’s will, which the Son will not fail to do perfectly (John 6:38; cf. 4:34; 10:28–29; 17:6, 12, 24).”
Please notice the latter portion of the phase, or the effect portion which says, “will come to me.” This is a promise from God the Son. With absolute assurance we can know that if the Father truly gives us to the Son, we will come to the Son in repentance and faith alone in Jesus’ person and work alone.
John Calvin explains, “that God works in His elect by such an efficacy of the Holy Spirit, that not one of them falls away; for the word “give” has the same meaning as if Christ had said, ‘Those whom the Father hath chosen He regenerates , and gives to me, that they may obey the Gospel’.”
An additional promise is given in the second portion of the sentence and verse. “and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.” The ones who come to the Son, who God the Father has given to the Son, will never be cast out of the presence of the Son. To “never cast out” means that Jesus will never expel or drive away a soul who the Father has given to Him unto salvation. What a wonderful promise of assurance and eternal security.
Regarding this second statement, John Calvin also comments that, “This is added for the consolation of the godly, that they may be fully persuaded that they have free access to Christ by faith, and that, as soon as they have placed themselves under His protection and safeguard, they will be graciously received by Him.”
I love Jesus’ words in this text. I love that all three members of the Trinity are involved in my salvation. I trust that you love this truth as well.
Soli deo Gloria!