Are you the Y'all

John 6  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented
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Are you of the Y’all
John 6:34-44
October 22, 2023
For many of us we can look back at key events in our lives where drastic changes happened. It could be physical, spiritual, or emotional changes that alter the direction that we have to go. For the kids in the room, get ready, there will be times when God changes your course and narrows our path. For some of us, these changes are abrupt while others get the luxury of having gradual changes.
This time of year is typically my favorite. It is hunting season and usually during this time of year I am on a mountain somewhere not answering my phone. When I leave my house, I get on southside, hit the freeway, get on a two lane road like highway 55 and head out of town. Soon, I have to turn off the highway and will get on a dirt road that is tight. If have lived in Idaho, you know what Idaho pin striping is. It is the scratches you get on your truck from driving down “roads” that are not roads because you think you can get down them.
After there is no way to get any further, you unload the 4wheeler and go until the trail is now a walking path. This is when it gets real, the rifle is out, and you are hoping to see game. The path is no more than a goat trail. The brush on both sides reminds you that getting off the trail is NOT a good idea. In my hand is ONEX hunt, a GPS system that tells me my direction. It points me over this trail and the true direction I need to go to get to my spot. Sometimes, I HATE what that thing tells me I have to do, but that doesn’t mean I don’t’ believe it.
I have said this before, truth does not change because we don’t like it. Today’s passage that John the apostle records is some hard truth that we have to know.
Do you all know why I teach the way I do? Why I go line by line through a text? There are three reasons, 1. It forces us to look at passages that would normally be skipped because they are hard. 2. It removes curiosity of why a particular passage was skipped and 3. It includes the context of the text making it harder for me to interject my opinions and assumptions. It is the very best way you to hear what the author intended to say.
With that, let’s get into the text. Today Jesus proclaims the will of the Father in salvation, our response, and the assurance that only He can provide. After today, we must understand the exclusive right to salvation that Jesus has. (re read) This is where we are headed.
Overview of John 6:1-34:
6:1-15- feeding of the five thousand
6:16-21- Jesus walks on water
6:22-24 – Jesus confronts the crowd with the “I am the bread of life”
Up to verse 34, Jesus has been non offensive and exciting. Up to 34, His message of free food and free healing is appealing, and many churches like to stop there. But, over verses 35-71 the tone of the message turns. We see the main focus of His message move from free food and fun miracles to hard-liner comments that not only offended the Jews AND His disciples but us today.
The offense of these passages is God does not save everyone.
Look at verse 41, these truths cause grumbling from the Jews that knew Him.
Let me be very clear, to God, these are not offensive statements but wonderful truths that are intended to help us pass the offense so that you may believe in the Son. These are truths that, if we fully understand the intent of the writing, will break our walls of pride and show us how Great and How merciful God is.
1. The Father gives:
When people read these verses, it is easy to lose site of the truths Jesus is communicating and impart our own prejudice on the text. To be clear, in this text there is:
100% Human responsibility: Come to the Father
100% Election /retention of a sovereign God: I will never cast out.
How can something be 100% on apposing sides?
(Romans 9:19-21)
What seems to be a paradox to us, makes perfect sense to an infinite God.
In verse 35, we see a shift. Jesus went from allegorical teaching (speaking of Himself as bread) to a direct approach. He comes back to the bread analogy soon, but you can see in verse 36, He is direct and to the point. He takes the gloves off and hits them where they are the strongest, their prides.
“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.”
“ALL” = means every part of the NEXT article. It does not mean all of all. It means all that comes next. Meaning “all that my Father gives me”.
The language means that the All is directly referring to the ones that God is going to Give Jesus is the ones that is being referenced here. In other words, no one can come to Jesus unless God gives them to Jesus. Does that sound familiar? If we take the time to read this one verse and rest in how it is worded, we really don’t need verse 44. But, in His mercy, Jesus provides it anyway.
“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.”
(Universal Negative Proposition)
The word “can” denotes ability and permission, and the human condition (Total Depravity) why can’t you come on your own?
We have all heard “teacher can I go to the bathroom”? And the teachers response:“I am sure you can, but you may go to the bathroom”
(Necessary Condition must be met first)
“Unless” in the text denotes a necessary condition must be met. The Father must draw (translated as compel not whoo or entice same word used for when Paul and Silas were drug to jail) After the Father gives them to the Son, then they will be raised up on the last day (eternal life)
The word “all” could have ended the debate, but the Jews did not get the message. What the Jews are missing in this verse is the flow or order of salvation and when it all started. It is so important that we see that from the day God said “let there be Light” to today, God knew who he would “give to the Son.” Do you not see that God’s predetermined, pre-planned, pre saw, or to use the church word predestined those whom He would give to the Son.
Not all without exception = not
every single person who has ever been or ever will be born
All without distinction = people
from every tribe, nation, kindred, and tongue
So, God wants all to be saved, not in the sense that He wants to save every single person who ever will be, but all in the sense that He does not only want Jews but also Gentiles to be saved.
Vs 38: “For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of Him who sent me.”
The “Will” of the father is more than just coming to earth. The WILL of the Father is the plan of salvation. The will of the Father is to provide the ONLY plan for salvation through the Son. The will of the Father is to drag sinners to the Son so that the Son can save them. This will is on display in Christ.
Okay, now is a great time to review the order of salvation. I hear the feathers being rustled.
What God decreed in eternity past
Who God Predestined the difference between decree and predestination is predestination focuses on salvation
Who God elects, God’s selective process demonstrates His sovereign love and grace contrary to man’s natural thought.
God uses the call of the Gospel
Holy Spirit applies His work of Regeneration
1. I am walking in my sin and am dead “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked…” (Eph 2:1)
2. God, in His mercy spins me around and regenerates (makes new) my dead heart: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God” (2 Cor 5:17)
3. Now I see Him and this is where my will (which as I told you is 100% necessary) comes into play.
“If you believe what you like in the Bible, and reject what you don’t like, you don’t believe in the Bible, you believe in yourself”. Augustine
Church, if we miss this order, or we put the 3rd step in front of the 1st step of God’s work, we ABSOULTELY have something take credit for in our salvation and that is NOT how Jesus taught it here in John 6 and we miss the “will of the Father.” The will of the Father is that:
God ordains salvation from eternity past (Gen 3:15)
Father commissioned the Son (Sent HIM (John 6:38)
The Son perfectly obeys the will of the Father (John 6:39)
The HS applies the redemptive work of the Son: (Eph 1:13 “In Him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in Him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.”
The roll of the Father, Son and HS are clearly being described here in John 6. Jesus is showing us and the Jews there is the responsibility of the Father, Son, Holy Spirit and LASTLY us. We have a job, and we have to know what that is.
2. We come to Him:
Vs 37: “All that the Father gives will come to Me, and whoever comes to me…
Vs 44: No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him…
What would hold us back from coming to the Son? Or to go back to my hunting story. What causes me to get lost in the woods? Me not listening to onex, PRIDE.
I see vs 37 as the great pride buster. You know, pride is a strong wall and for some of us, the pride of life is very thick. Some of us it requires a battering ram to break down these walls. Spiritually speaking, some may have a wall still up. Church, I want each of you to know, my wall of pride is something God works on every day. I mess up the order of salvation every day. I want to put myself at step one.
You know we are no different than the Jews. Look at verse:
Vs 41: “So the Jews grumbled about Him… (pride)
Vs 42: “The said “Is this not this Jesus, the son of Joseph whose father and mother we know? (Familiarity)
Two key limitations are on full display there and in this room. First, PRIDE: The Jews struggled with it and so do we. Jesus says, no one can come, I am the ONLY way, you can’t do this unless the Father acts.
The other limitation; Familiarity. They knew His family, (maybe Joseph is still a alive??). They saw Jesus as a young child. We see Jesus as he was wrongly taught when I was a child that Jesus is on the sideline of your life with fingers crossed hoping that you pick Him to be on your team. I was taught that the text read:
“All who come to Me the Father will give to Me.” = We come, we decide, then the Father reacts to me and gives His son.
Pelagianism (Grace not necessary)
Church, that isn’t what is here in John 6. You are being “drawn” onto HIS team. It is our responsibility to “come” onto the field.
We need to look at that verb:
Vs 37: “and whoever comes” = means to move toward, approach, travel (our action is there). We MOVE
Vs 44 “No one can come”= To reach the destination by movement and in some cases without agency. Meaning, we are directed to come.
It is amazing what 1 little letter does. We are to move to Him. BUT we can never get there unless the Father acts.
This is the plan church! Look at the grace and mercy of the Father! I guarantee there are people in this room still bogged down on the fact that not everyone is part of the All and miss the great mercy of the Father to bring a sinner like you and me to the Son!
I want our focus on that! I want us to not get frustrated or concerned about something that we are not specifically given the answer too. It is not my job or your job to question the will or the plan, but to be obedient and see that Love and forgiveness that the Father has for you to call you specifically to the cross of Christ!
Who comes? The ones whom the Father draws.
Okay, I wish I could show you this! If I had a TV big enough, I would show you what I see so that you believe me.
The word Draw is= “helkyo” to attract powerfully, conceived of as drawing a heavy object out of something with great effort; pull in; lead by force”
Like a bucket of water out of a well.
The original language is more powerful than how our English versions portray it. The reason is because we want it to sound like Jesus is begging us. Maybe using some honey on a stick to get the sinner to fly into it. Or maybe like a net that Jesus throws out there hoping to catch us. No. that is not how the language works. The rest of the Bible does not support anything else but the dragging of a loving Father to a perfect Son.
Paul captures our pre drawn hearts well when he writes:
Rom 8:7 “For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”
Before we “come” to Christ, we are actually enemy combative to God. We are hostile to God. BUT, in His mercy, the Father steps into our enemy camp, and choses to drag us, (and for me, kicking and screaming) to the foot of the cross.
Look, I didn’t want to give up on my sin church. I enjoyed it too much. I had no desire for the things of God. You can ask Heidi, I was so against organized religion and the things of God I have no idea why He would waist His time on me! All I do know, is that without HIM, I would never have come to Him. He drug me to the foot of the cross.
ANNALOGY: Leaving the Army (my commander getting me out). I fought him!
It is my hope that you, MBC see that the greatest offense is actually the greatest work of mercy. The question should never be “how come not that person”. Rather it MUST be “why would you save me!” Because of what HE (the Father does) we get the second promise that Christians NEED to remember.
Wrong perspective is “why doesn't God save everybody” Correct perspective is “why does He save anybody”
God saves us in spite of us, not because of us.
3. He keeps (the best promise of all):
Vs 37: “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.”
Hey believer, ever doubt your salvation? Every wonder, did I ever say the right words? Did I ever mean it? Did I do it right? Am I doing it right now?
Did I nail those questions right? These questions should sound familiar because they are originating from someone who asked them! When we do not understand the process or who is doing the transaction, we are left with doubts. When we put ourselves at step one of the salvation processes (I come first then God reacts) it is no wonder that verse 37 is completely not believed. If we put ourselves in charge of making the first step or first decision, then what Jesus says “I will never cast out” is wasted ink on a page.
To understand this doctrine unlocks the vast oceans of grace God has for His people. You will embrace them as a beautiful sanctifying truth that gives assurance in dark times.
The word cast= ekballo meaning: to force to leave or move out; sometimes involves physical violence
The word out= exo meaning moving or appearing to move away from a place especially one that is enclosed or hidden.
The transaction is this: The sinner is drawn (like a bucket of water from a well) to the Son. The ownership is given from the God of the universe, to the Son of God. Once IN His nail scared hands, there is no casting. Then imagine the Holy Spirit sealing those loving fingers around you. How dare we be so arrogant to think that our sin is bigger/stronger than that bond. Christ will in NO way throw the gift that the Father has given Him (us) away?
The grace of God is infinitely superior to the sinfulness of man. Think about that for a moment, all the human beings whoever lived on the Earth until present, their sin can be quantified. And not only that, also all future sins that will be committed. Gods grace overwhelmingly washes it away!
Did you catch that? The Father gives!
The word give or grant is used twice here in our passage but over 8 times in John 17:
didomi meaning to cause to have, in the abstract sense or physical sense.
Look at John 10:27-29
27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one[1]”
Snatch: haparzo meaning I seize, snatch, obtain by robbery.[2]
The concept is repeated over and over in the NT. It is not isolated in just one section. This is why we teach the way we do.
Why am I spending so much time on this? I know this is a common issue with Christians! I was and at times hear the same lies. You and I have to be constantly reminded about this. We are un snatchable. We are un castable. We are kept in His hand.
We should and must stop playing the flower peddle game of His love. “He loves, me, He loves me not”. No, Christ will never give the gift that the Father has given Him back. The ownership has transferred and is set.
John 6:37 “…and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.”
Our final point is not a suggestion but a request. The things that keep people from Christ boils down to one thing. It is pride. The Jews had it. It was obvious. They “grumbled about him.” We too grumble about His exclusivity and hard sayings.
Look back over your life and tell me how often your pride got you in trouble. I will tell you from first-hand experience, I have hurt feels, cost relationships, and wounded my love ones over that stupid thing called pride. I am begging you, do not allow your pride to keep you from coming to the foot of the cross.
I came across this quote from John Stott and thought it valuable here:
“Nobody can reach God by his own wisdom or by his own morality. Only at the cross can God be known. And this is doubly offensive to men and women of culture. They resent the exclusiveness of the Christian claim, and even more the humiliation implicit in it. Christ from His cross seems to say to us, ‘I am here because of you. If it were not for your sin and pride, I would not be here. And if you could have saved yourself, I would not be here either.”
Church, that sin and pride comes with it a heavy price. It is hard to be prideful when you’re on your knees at the foot of the cross. At the cross, when we look on our Lord, it takes us out of the control seat for salvation and puts Him squarely where He belongs.
Psalm 51 David says a broken and contrite heart you will not despise. Thats the heart God heals, the heart He comforts, the heart He saves.
You know that there are two types of a calling.
i. The external call: that is the calling I am doing to you today.
Isaiah 52: 7 “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who bring good news of happiness, who publishes salvation…”
But, that calling is limited to the ear drums that vibrate. It stops there.
ii. The second calling is the one GIVEN. This call is the personal, internal calling from the Father. It’s power is the greatest known to man and will change the soul for eternity.
Rom 8:29, 30
29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.[3]
There it is, He knew us, predestined this plan, conformed us to the image of His son. He called us to this new relationship, He justified (made right with Himself) and now, He glorifies us.
If you are here today and you are wondering, am I being called, drawn or pulled or drug, you most likely are! If you even asked that, there is a really good chance that the God of this universe is making it known to you that it is time! In His loving mercy, answer that call! Come to the foot of the cross. You heard what Stott said. Your sin, your shame, your rebellion put Christ on that cross. Why did He have to die? Because that was the ONLY way to pay for the sin you and I have committed.
Look, Christ, being fully God and fully man was the only way to pay such a huge payment for sin. He, being obedient to the Father, went to calvary to make your spiritual bank account flush. He paid your tab so that you can come. Now, answer by surrendering your life to Him. The Word of God is clear, in no way would He cast you out if you are being called! Jesus Himself is saying that you need to come.
The title of this message is “Are you the Y’all”. Not that Jesus is southern but I think it is a logical answer.
In this text we see a narrowing. Our Lord makes it clear that the road to salvation is not a freeway. It is a goat trail and it’s full of rocks. BUT, He is very clear that He is leading us. He is keeping us on that trail. He is pointing the direction and keeping us from getting lost. He provides the perfect onex hunting app known to man. In all of this, It is Him who is walking us to the foot of the cross.
What a wonderful message to hear that God gives us the Son. We exercise our will and come to Him while he secures us. Now, let’s let go of that pride and allow that call to go into us and out to others.
Repent! Repent! Repent! And you will know you are of the “all”
[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. 2016. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
[2] Souter, Alexander. 1917. In A Pocket Lexicon to the Greek New Testament, 38. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
[3] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. 2016. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
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