Yesterday we established that in the context of John Chapter Six coming to Jesus and believing in Jesus are synonymous; and it is possible to “seek Jesus” without coming to Him in saving faith. Some people come to Jesus in saving faith and some do not. Why?
Probably the most common answer given for why people do not come to Jesus in saving faith is that they do not want to, or choose not to. No argument there. The unregenerate sinner is dead and trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1) and thus incapable of wanting or choosing to come to Christ in faith. He lacks the ability to understand who Christ is, to want Christ, or to trust Christ. Driven by the flesh the unbeliever always chooses that which gratifies the sin within. This commitment to the flesh might manifest itself in “seeking Jesus” through some kind of religious activity; or it might take the form of wanton license. There is no qualitative difference between the two. The difference between a muddy pig and a clean pig is purely cosmetic.
In John 6:35 Jesus promises that those who come to Him in faith will never hunger or thirst. It is clear from the context that he is not talking about physical hunger and thirst, and that He is speaking of his body and blood as food and drink metaphorically. So who are those who come to Jesus in saving faith?
Those who are given to Christ by God the Father (vv. 37-40). All of these will come and Christ will raise all on the last day without exception. Since it is clear that not all will come to Christ in saving faith it follows that not all are given to Christ by the Father. In other words you are not given to Christ because you come and believe; to the converse, you come and believe because you have been given. Christ puts it this way in John 10:26: But you do not believe because you are not of my sheep. Jesus could have told these Jews, You are not my sheep because you do not believe; but instead He tells them just the opposite. Coming to Jesus in faith is not the prerequisite to becoming one of the sheep. The primary reason anyone ever comes to Jesus and believes in Him is because he has been given by God to Christ. In other words you have to be one of the sheep to believe.
All this presupposes election and predestination, one of the clearest doctrines in the New Testament. God the Father has from eternity chosen His sheep from the mass of fallen humanity. These elect are given to Jesus and they alone–without exception–will come to Jesus in faith and will persevere to the end and be resurrected by the Saviour on the last day. It is a sure thing. A done deal.
But there is more to this story. Being given to Jesus by the Father is but one prerequisite to coming to Jesus in faith. Stop by the room tomorrow for the full meal deal.