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All That the Father Gives

A Word for Today | John 6:37

In our study of Jesus as the bread of life, we noted that Christians grow strong by feeding on God’s Word, while those who neglect the Bible will be weak and anemic. This is especially true when it comes to John 6:37, with its soul-enriching teaching: “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.” This great verse teaches that, despite universal human failure, God’s sovereign grace provides a people for his Son, who come to Him in saving faith.

The previous verse notes that despite Jesus’ great claim to be the “bread of life,” the people did not believe. But Jesus did not despair in the face of unbelief because the Father had given Him a people for salvation. When Jesus speaks of “all that the Father gives me,” we encounter the Bible’s teaching of unconditional election. This doctrine teaches that despite complete human unworthiness, the Father has chosen a people to be given to His Son. Election teaches us not to despair, since if we believe in Christ – despite all our failures and weakness – God’s Word states that we were “chosen in [Christ] from “before the foundation of the world” (Eph. 1:4).

Moreover, Jesus says that all those who were chosen for salvation “will come to me.” Not only will some believe, but “all” of the elect will come to saving faith. Here we encounter the doctrine of irresistible grace, which says that otherwise hopeless sinners believe and come to Christ because of the effectual working of God’s grace to give them eternal life. John Murray explains, “God the Father draws men, he places holy constraint upon them, he calls them into the fellowship of his Son, and presents them to Christ as trophies of the redemption Christ himself has accomplished.”[1]

Finally, Jesus assures us that if we come to Him in faith, not only were we chosen by God in eternity past, but our future eternity is safe in His hands: “whoever comes to me I will never cast out.” This statement of the perseverance of the saints is absolutely definitive. Will Jesus ever cast out one who has come to Him in faith? The Greek text employs a double negative: “Never, no, never!” When Christians realize that we are the Father’s gift to His Son, we understand why Jesus will never discard us. What an encouragement are these words in troubled times! Despite all that we face, Jesus speaks out of the joy of God’s saving grace to assure us of an eternal ending in joy: “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” (Jn. 6:39).

In Christ’s Love,

Pastor Phillips

[1] John Murray, “The Father’s Donation,” in Collected Writings, 4 vols. (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1992), 3:205-206.

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