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John 17 Destroys the Calvinism of John 6

Marc Chagall Calvary 150x150 John 17 Destroys the Calvinism of John 6

I hope you will take some time by reading John chapters 6 and 17 on your own before moving on and reading my opinion.

Jhn 17:9     “I ask on their behalf; I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom You have given Me; for they are Yours;

“whom you have given me” This is the key phrase we are trying to nail down. Who has God given to Jesus?

Jhn 17:18     “As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.

Jhn 17:20     “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word;

The “whom you have given me” refers to the disciples as seen in verses 18 and 20. He contrasts the disciples in John 17:20 with other believers. There is no way to mistake those given to Jesus with all believers. Read the entire chapter yourself to get the full context. Let’s jump back to John chapter 6. Are those given to Jesus by God different in chapter 6 than in chapter 17? Again, I suggest you read all of chapter 6 for context.

Jhn 6:37     “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.

Jhn 6:39     “This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day.

Jhn 6:66     As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore.

Jesus is referring to his disciples in both chapters. In chapter 6, we are told this includes the 12 and other followers, all called disciples. Among this group of disciples, there were some who did not believe, who hearing Jesus’ words, left him. John 6:66

Those given to Jesus by God referred to in both chapters, John 6 and John 17, were Jesus’ disciples. John 17:20 clearly separates the disciples, who are given to Jesus by God, with believers. There is no separation between believers and non-believers, but between believing disciples and other believers. John 6, those given to Jesus by the Father are the disciples.

Now for some speculation.These are both pre-resurrection stories. We can speculate that is why they were given to Jesus. The drawing of all men does not begin until the crucifixion/resurrection, per John 12:32. From there, they must make a choice whether or not to accept the Gift of Grace the rest of the Bible tells us.

Jesus often put stumbling blocks in the way to belief. This is opinion, but I think that is what he is doing in chapter 6. Those followers who were not actually believers needed to face their unbelief. And they walked away.

I highly encourage you to read both John 6 and John 17 for your own insights into the Word.

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I regret even having to mention Calvinism at this point. These are two beautiful chapters of the Bible. John 6 is a favorite proof of Calvinism for the doctrines such as irresistible grace and unconditional election. But clearly, John 17 shows the Calvinist’ read of John 6 to be incorrect. God is not saying He alone chooses who will be saved. He is saying the disciples were given to Jesus by God. Calvinism dramatically alters the method of salvation, soteriology.  It alters our image of God as well. Both seem extremely dangerous.

2 Timothy 3:16-17  All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

The central message of the Bible is that through faith in Jesus we are saved. Upon this we would agree. But faith in God comes from God drawing us, from seeing Him in Creation and in our hearts. Whereas Calvinism says God puts belief (only) into the heart of the believer. Since this is contrary to the Bible and in need of correction, does that mean believers in this doctrine are inadequate and not equipped for every good work?
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4 Comments

  1. Thank you for your thoughtful studies. It has help me greatly

  2. Lots of greatinformation and inspiration.

  3. John 6:39, “This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day.” Why do we see the verb in the Present Perfect sense, “has given” instead of simply “gives”? Less important that the English, anyone out there understand Greek well enough to say we can put those given in the future with the Greek construction? If not, this would also be devastating to a Calvinist read. The group of those ‘given’ would be a closed group in the past. No others could be saved, so evangelizing and spreading the Gospel would have been a meaningless assignment to give the Disciples.

  4. May I save this article to my hard drive?

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