Bible Study: Does John 6 teach Calvinism?

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Spine of a Bible ca. 2001. Credit: Quotesgram

John 6 is a chapter hailed by many proponents of Calvinism as a “de facto” passage in favor of John Calvin’s theology. And yet, as I teach in this Bible Study, John 6 doesn’t teach what Calvinists believe it does. There are a number of anti-Calvinist statements, such as Jesus’ words to the crowd that followed Him because of food that “the Son of Man will give you” the everlasting food (John 6:27), Jesus’ claim that the work of God is “to believe in Him whom He sent” (v.29), and Jesus’ own statement that He is the bread of life “who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world” (v.33). The fact that Jesus gives life to the world shows that He came on a mission to save the world, as Jesus Himself says in John 3:16-17 (He did not come “to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved”).

When it comes to John 6:44, the statement that “no one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him,” the inclusive, world statements we’ve seen earlier mean that man cannot come unless drawn by God. And yet, that doesn’t exclude the world because Jesus “gives life to the world,” not just some of us, but all of us. Jesus says the same thing in John 6:51: “I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world” (John 6:51). How could Jesus say that He dies “for the world,” but then only have an interest in saving some, as Calvinists believe John 6:44 teaches? It’s simply illogical and inconsistent, and posits that God is double-tongued — which He isn’t.

There’s more to the Bible Study than this, so have a listen, then write us at our Contact Page (see the top of the main page) to let us know if you enjoyed the Bible Study. Contact us there as well if you’d like to join us on Monday and Thursday nights. For any inquiries, whether it be for personal prayer or theological matters, or to introduce yourself and express an interest to join our Bible Study and/or worship services, please contact Pastor D.M. at essentialpastor@gmail.com.

May the Lord bless and keep each of you as you go.

-In Him,

Pastor D.M. Richardson,

The Essential Church

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