John 6:41
We see:

1. That the majority of Christs hearers disbelieved him. His verdict at last was, "Ye believe not;" "Ye will not come."

2. That they disbelieved him in spite of the greatest advantages to faith. (Ver. 36.)

3. That in spite of their obstinate unbelief and cruel rejection, the gracious purposes of God and the mission of Jesus will not be void. "For all that the Father giveth me," etc. Notice -

I. THE FATHER'S WILL. We see in this will:

1. That he has given a certain number of the human family to Christ. In a general and a true sense all the human family have been given him; they are the objects of his saving love and grace. All are invited to the gospel feast, and commanded to repent. The earth is Immanuel's land, and the human race, without exception or partiality, are the objects of his saving mercy. But there are some specially given to Christ; they are spoken of as such: "All that the Father giveth me." They have been given in the past in purpose; they are given in the present in fact. This suggests:

(1) That the salvation of the human family is carried on according to the eternal purpose and plan of God. Everything has been arranged from the beginning. Nothing happens by accident; neither the Father nor the Son is ever taken by surprise.

(2) That the mission of Christ is not a speculation, but with regard to him an absolute certainty. Speculation is a term unapplicable to Divine proceedings; they are fixed and determined as to their mode and result. Jesus lived and acted on earth in the full consciousness of this. And who would not rejoice that the blessed Redeemer was not in this hostile world as the creature of chance and at the mercy of fate, but ever fortified with the knowledge of his Father's will and purpose, the consciousness of his Father's love, and the certainty of the success of his own mission?

2. That the Father gave these to Christ, because he knew that they would come to him. Let it be remembered that the division of time, as past, present, and future, is nothing to God. All time to him is present. In his plans and election he experienced no difficulty arising from ignorance, but all was divinely clear to him. And we see that he is not arbitrary in his selections, We know that his authority is absolute; that he has the same authority over man as the potter over the clay. He can do as he likes, and perhaps this is the only answer he would give to some questioners, "I can do as I like." But we know that he cannot like to do anything that is wrong, unreasonable, or unfair. He cannot act from mere caprice, but his actions are harmonious with all his attributes, as well as with the highest reason; and can give a satisfactory reason for all acts, and justify himself to his intelligent creatures. The principle on which he gave certain of the human family to Christ was willingness on their part to come to him. In the gifts of his providence he has regard to adaptation - he gives water to quench thirst, etc. But, in giving human souls to Christ, he had a special regard to the human will. He knew as an absolute fact that some would refuse his offer of grace in Christ, and that others would gladly accept the same offer under the same conditions. The former he neither would nor could, the latter he graciously gave. It is an invariable characteristic of those given to Christ that they give themselves to him.

3. Those given to Christ shall certainly come to him. "All that the Father giveth me shall," etc. Jesus was certain of this. And if given, they come; and if they come, they were given. Divine foreknowledge is never at fault, and Divine grace can never fail to be effective with regard to those thus given to Christ. Their coming was included in the gift. There was the knowledge of their coming, and every grace, motive, and help was promised with the gifts; so that their arrival to Christ is certain. They shall come, in spite of every opposition and difficulty from within and without.

4. That these were given to Christ in trust for special purposes. These are set forth:

(1) Negatively. "That I should lose nothing" (ver. 39). Not one, not the least, and not even anything necessary to the happiness of that one.,

(2) Affirmatively. "May have everlasting life." The highest good they could wish and enjoy.

(3) That they should have these blessings on the most reasonable and easy terms. By simple acceptance of the gift, and simple and trustful faith in the Giver (ver. 40).

II. JESUS AS THE EXECUTOR AND TRUSTEE OF THE FATHER"S WILL. In these capacities:

1. He is most gracious, for

(1) the work involves the greatest responsibilities. It is true that those given shall come to him. But look at their miserable condition. They are guilty; he must procure their pardon. They are condemned; he must justify them. They are corrupt; he must cleanse and sanctify them. They are sick; he must heal them. They are in debt; he must pay it. The responsibilities are infinite.

(2) It involves the greatest self-sacrifice. To meet these responsibilities required the greatest self sacrifice possible. Before they could be justified, he himself must be condemned; to heal them, he must be mortally wounded; to make them rich, he must become poor; to pay their debt, he must lay down his life as a ransom; and to bring them unto glory, he must be made "perfect through sufferings." What but infinite love would accept the trust and execute the will?

2. He is most tenderly and universally inviting. "Him that cometh to me I will," etc. These words are most tender and inviting. They were uttered in the painful consciousness that many would not come to him, although there were infinite provisions and welcome. The door of salvation need not be wider, nor the heart of the Saviour more tender, than this. There is no restriction, no favouritism. "Him that cometh."

3. He is most adapted for his position. This will appear if we consider:

(1) That he is divinely appointed. "The Father which sent me." The Father appointed him to be the Trustee and Executor of his will. And he knew whom to appoint. He acts under the highest authority.

(2) He was willing to undertake the trust. It is true that he was sent, but as true that he came. "I am come down from heaven" (ver. 38). There was no coercion. His mission was as acceptable to him as it was pleasing to the Father, so that he has great delight in his work.

(3) He is thoroughly acquainted with the Divine will. Perfect knowledge is essential to perfect execution. Many profess to know much, but where is the proof? Jesus proves his knowledge by revelation. "This is my Father's will," etc. He was acquainted with all its responsibilities, its purposes, and sufferings, as well as all the difficulties in carrying it out. This he knew from the beginning before he undertook the trust.

(4) He is enthusiastically devoted to both parties - to the Testator and the legatees. He is devoted to the Father. "I am come down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but," etc. He had a will of his own, but in his mediatorial office it was entirely merged in that of his Father. He is equally devoted to the objects of his Father's love; for "him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." And he could say more - he would help and almost compel him to come in.

(5) He is divinely competent. He is the Son of God, the Elect of the Father, ever conscious of his capacities for this work. Not a shadow of doubt in this respect ever came across his mind. He was serenely conscious of fulness, of power, of life - the fulness of the Godhead; and he gave ample proof of his Divine competency as he went along. The sick were healed, the dead were raised, the guilty were pardoned, and all penitents who appealed to him were saved. Naturally and well he might say, "I will raise him up at the last clay." And being able to do this, he can do all. All the qualifications necessary to execute the Divine will with regard to the human race fully meet in him. "His will be done."

LESSONS.

1. The purposes of the Divine will are in safe hands. Not one shall suffer on his account.

2. The lives of believers are in safe custody. Nothing will be lost.

3. The mission of Jesus is certain of success. "All that the Father giveth me," etc.

4. The perdition of man must come entirely from himself. All the purposes and dispensations of God, all the mediatorial work of Jesus, are for his salvation. All that God in Christ could do for his deliverance is done. Nothing but his own will can stand between him and eternal life.

5. The duty of all to come to Jesus and accept his grace. There is a marked difference between the conduct of Jesus and the conduct of those who reject him. He receives the vilest; they reject the most holy and gracious One. He opens the door to the most undeserving; they close it against the pride of angels, the inspiration of the redeemed, and the glory of heaven and earth. Beware of trifling with the long suffering mercy of Jesus. The last thing he can do is to cast out; but when he casts out, he casts out terribly. - B.T.







The Jews then murmured at Him because He said, I am the bread which came down from heaven.
I. THAT CHRIST'S LOWLY CONDITION IS A STUMBLING-BLOCK TO THE NATURAL MAN.

1. Had He come as a conqueror with royal favours for His followers they would have received Him willingly; but their pride refused to believe that the lowly prophet was from God.

2. There is nothing surprising in this. It is human nature showing itself in its true colours (1 Corinthians 1:23). Thousands reject the gospel because of its humbling doctrines. Christ's teaching and example they admire, but His blood they cannot away with.

II. MAN'S NATURAL INABILITY TO REPENT AND BELIEVE, until the Father draws him. We are spiritually dead and without the power to give ourselves life. The will of man is the part of him that is in fault. It' would not be true to say that a man has wish to come, but no power; it is that a man has no power because he has no desire.

III. THE SALVATION OF A BELIEVER IS A PRESENT THING. It is not said that he shall have life at the judgment day, but that he has it now.

(Bishop Ryle.)

I. The enigma of CHRIST'S HEAVENLY ORIGIN (vers. 41-43).

1. The mystery propounded. The difficulty was not that the Messiah's origin should be mysterious. The popular opinion, based on Daniel 7:13, was that when Christ came no one should know whence He was (vii. 27). But the Jews supposed that they knew exactly whence Jesus was, and that He should have come down from heaven seemed absurd.

2. The mystery resolved. What to the learned Scripturists of His day was a puzzle He left a puzzle. To have refuted their objections by a declaration of what took place at Bethlehem would only have increased their incredulity. The true method of faith is not to believe that Christ is Divine because the Incarnation story is authentic: but that Christ having been powerfully declared to be the Son of God with power by His resurrection (Romans 1:4), the account given of His conception must be correct.

II. The enigma of MAN'S RESPONSIBLITY (vers. 43-45).

1. The difficulty set forth. Christ blamed His hearers for their unbelief (ver. 36), and yet affirmed (ver. 44). This is what the intellect of centuries has wrestled with.

2. The difficulty set aside.(1) Not by denying the fact of man's responsibility (John 5:40; John 6:36). This the Scripture often declares (Romans 1:18; Romans 6:23; Ephesians 5:6; 1 Peter 3:12) and conscience confirms.(2) Not by explaining away the alleged necessity of Divine grace (vers. 37, 44, 45). But —(3) By showing that the Father's drawing interferes pot with human freedom. In naming it "drawing" and a "teaching" Christ makes it a moral suasion.

III. Enigma of SAVING FAITH (vers. 46, 47).

1. The perplexity stated. If no one could come to Him without first hearing and learning of the Father, then no one could come (Exodus 33:20; 1 Timothy 6:16). This, though not expressed, was clearly the hearer's thoughts.

2. The perplexity recognized. He admitted that no one had ever seen the Father.

3. The perplexity removed. He, the Son, had seen the Father (vers. 19; 1:18; 16:28). Hence to hear and learn of the Father was to hear and learn of Him whom He had sent. To learn of the Father one must be a disciple of Christ.

IV. The enigma of ETERNAL LIFE (vers. 47-51).

1. The riddle proposed. The manna had only supported physical life for a few years, and those who had partaken of it were dead. The Jews were at a loss to know how Christ could do more for them than Moses.

2. The riddle read.

(1)The bread of life was a living, spiritual Person (ver. 48).

(2)It was in itself living and life-giving.

(3)When eaten by the soul it communicates to the soul the life itself contained.

(4)The soul thus vivified could not die.

(T. Whitelaw, D. D.)

There is nothing so truly reasonable as to exclude reason from the province of faith; and nothing so truly irrational as to lose sight of reason in things which are not necessarily of faith. The two excesses are equally dangerous — to shut out reason, or to make it all in all. Faith tells us what the senses cannot tell; but it never contradicts them; it is above, and not against them.

(Pascal.)

Consider that murmuring is a mercy-embittering sin, a mercy-souring sin. As the sweetest things put into a sour vessel sours them, or put into a bitter vessel embitters them, so murmuring puts gall and wormwood into every cup of mercy that God gives into our hands. The murmurer writes "Marah," that is, bitterness, upon all his mercies, and he reads and tastes bitterness in them all. As "to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet," so to the murmuring soul every sweet thing is bitter.

(T. Brook.)

As the River Nile bringeth forth many crocodiles, and the scorpion many serpents, at one birth, so murmuring is a sin that breeds and brings forth many sins at once. It is like the monster hydra — cut off one head and many will rise up in its room. It is the mother of harlots, the mother of all abominations, a sin that breeds many other sins, viz., disobedience, contempt, ingratitude, impatience, distrust, rebellion, cursing, carnality; yea, it charges God with folly, yea, with blasphemy. The language of a murmuring soul is this, "Surely God might have done this sooner, and that wiser, and the other thing better."

(T. Brooks.)

No man can come unto Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him
I. THE RELIGIOUS ACTION OF WHICH CHRIST SPEAKS. Coming to Him — a frequent Scriptural phrase expressive of the first step in religion.

1. Its nature. An act of the soul. There was no impediment to a literal approach. He was always accessible. Coming is used for faith in Christ as prophet, priest, and king, and living on His fulness for all spiritual purposes.

2. Its importance.

(1)Implied in the invitation of Scripture, "Come unto Me."

(2)In the promises (ver. 37).

(3)In the directions, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ."

(4)In the decisions, "If ye believe not ye shall die."

II. THE INABILITY OF MAN TO PERFORM IT OF HIMSELF. Whence does this arise?

1. Not from any Divine decree, for it would be neither just nor reasonable to command men to believe and to decree that they should not. But —

2. From the depravity of the heart.

3. And in some cases carnal policy operates to fetter the mind to its moral powers. Success in life is the one thing needful.

4. From religious mistakes. Some imagine that they have come in sacramental actions, or by the repetition of certain words, or by good works.

III. THE DIVINE AGENCY BY WHICH IT IS ACCOMPLISHED.

1. The Father. He draws by moral and persuasive means. He draws man as guilty that He may be pardoned; as ignorant, that he may be instructed, etc.

2. The process is generally conviction of sin, desire for salvation, direction to the cross, discovery of a Saviour, trust, safety, rest.

IV. THE DELIVERANCE PROMISED.

1. The solemn event which the language implies. We must die.

2. The resurrection promised. The event is general, but the benefit is particular.

3. The agency by which it is effected. "I," which shows the dignity and power of Christ.

4. The period of its performance — "the last day." The day for which all others were made, and to which they are introductory.Conclusion:

1. In coming to Christ nothing can prevent your salvation (John 10:27-29).

2. In turning from Him-nothing can save you from perdition.

(J. E. Good.)

ised by Him: —

I. OUR COMING TO CHRIST.

1. This is not to be understood corporeally. It was not so taken by Himself. "Ye will not come," and yet many literally come from captiousness, curiosity, for loaves and fishes, and under temporary emotion, and after awhile "went back."

2. But the expression is taken from the body, and there is hardly a part of it that has not been used to hold forth the operations of faith. Sometimes the reference is —

(1)To the eye; then believing is seeing Christ.

(2)To the ear; then believing is hearing Him.

(3)To the taste; then believing is eating His flesh and drinking His blood.

(4)To the head; then believing is knowing Him.

(5)To the feet; then believing is coming to Him.

3. This coming to Christ implies —

(1)Absence. Else why come?

(2)Accessibleness. How can we come unless we can approach Him? "Lo, I am with you alway."

(3)Application. We come to Him —

(a)As the way that we may walk with Him;

(b)As to a refuge that we may enter Him;

(c)As to a fountain that we may be cleansed;

(d)As a foundation on which we may build;

(e)As to a physician for cure;

(f)As our prophet, priest, and king, to be taught, saved, and ruled over by Him.

4. Faith is trust, confidence.

II. MAN'S INABILITY WITHOUT DIVINE AGENCY.

1. This is a very unwelcome doctrine, even to those who admit human depravity; but it is wrapped up in that depravity.

2. This is a Scriptural doctrine — "In our flesh dwelleth no good thing."

3. This is a doctrine based upon the nature of things. As we cannot perform natural actions without the concurrence of nature, how can we perform spiritual actions without the concurrence of the Spirit?

4. This is a doctrine of importance.

(1)It serves to show those who are the subjects of this work what is their duty to bless and praise God for His sovereign grace.

(2)It serves to show sinners their duty to pray to Him who wills all men to be saved.

III. THE INFLUENCE BY WHICH THE SOUL IS BROUGHT TO THE SAVIOUR. In a general way the Father draws thus.

1. There is a confliction of sin

2. This produces distress and fear:

3. Hence renunciation and despair.

4. Yet along with this is hope.

5. Concurrently new desires after Jesus.

6. Reception of Jesus as a Saviour, and reliance on His salvation.

IV. THE FINAL BLESSEDNESS RESULTING FROM THIS.

1. The speciality of this reference. He will raise all, but the privilege is limited to some.

2. The memory of this blessedness. It is the completion of the blessedness of a persevering Christian life. Without the body the Christian man would be incomplete. Man will be raised infinitely improved.

3. The Author of it. Christ is not only the model of this resurrection, but its accomplisher.

4. Its certainty. If it were not so, He would have told them. "Because I live ye shall live also."

(W. Jay.)

I. MAN'S INABILITY. Wherein does this consist?

1. Not in any physical defect. If in coming to Christ moving the body should be any assistance, or includes the utterance of a prayer, man can come.

2. Nor in any mental lack. Man can believe in the Bible and in Christ as in anything else. But —

3. In his nature, which is so debased by the Fall that it is impossible for him to come without the assistance of the Holy Spirit. To enter into the subject of this inability note —(1) It lies in the obstinacy of the human will, which is set on mischief and disinclined to that which is good.(2) The understanding is darkened so that it cannot perceive the things of God until opened by the Holy Spirit.(3) The affections are depraved and must be renewed. We love that we ought to hate, and hate that we ought to love.(4) Conscience has been impaired by the Fall, and must be repaired.

4. So that while largely this is a question of the will, it is not exclusively so, for sometimes even in the regenerate there is will without power, much more in those who are dead in trespasses and sins.

5. Were it otherwise, how are we to account for the uniform testimony of the Scriptures that our salvation is wholly due to God?

6. This doctrine is condemned for its hurtful tendency. But what doctrine is there that will not hurt a man if he chooses to make hurt of it? So with this otherwise it only hurts Satan's kingdom.

7. You are not warranted in saying, "If I cannot save myself and cannot come to Christ, I must sit still and do nothing." There are many things you can do.

(1)To be found continually in the house of God is in your power.

(2)To study the Word of God.

(3)To renounce outward sin.

(4)To make your life honest, sober, righteous.

8. But your want of power is no excuse, seeing you have no desire to come, and are living in wilful rebellion. Suppose a liar has been a liar so long that he says he has no power to speak the truth, is that an excuse? Ii a drunkard has become so foully a drunkard that he cannot pass a public-house, do you therefore excuse him? No; because his inability to reform lies in his nature, which he has no desire to conquer.

II. THE FATHER'S DRAWINGS.

1. God draws men by the preaching of the gospel, but not by this alone, for the men of Capernaum had the gospel in its fulness, and attested by miracles. There is such a thing as being drawn by a minister without being drawn by God.

2. Clearly it is a Divine drawing, a sending out of the Third Person in the Holy Trinity.

3. In this there is no compulsion. Christ saves no one against his will.

4. How then does the Holy Spirit draw him? By making him willing. He goes to the secret fountain of the heart and he knows how, by some mysterious operation, to turn the will in an opposite direction. But he is saved with full consent, for he is made willing in the day of God's power. "Draw me and I will run after Thee."

5. How this is done is a mystery, but the apparent way is:(1) He finds a man with a good opinion of himself — an effectual barrier to coming to Christ — and lays bare,the man's heart, full of sin, so that he stands aghast.(2) The man says I will try and reform — another barrier — but the Holy Spirit shows him he cannot do this.(3) The heart sinks, and the man is ready to despair — then the Spirit shows him the Cross and enables him to believe.

III. APPLICATION:

1. One says, "If all this be true, what is to become of my religion? I must give it up and begin again." That will be better than building on the sand of your ability, and as soon as you say, "I cannot come to Christ; Lord draw me," grace is begun in your heart, and God will not leave you till the work is finished.

2. Careless sinner, thy salvation hangs in God's hand, and He is the Gad thou art grieving every day. Does not this make them tremble. If so the Spirit has begun to draw.

3. Some of you are conscious that you are coming to Christ. It is the Father's doing — "With lovingkindness have I drawn thee."

4. Rejoice in this love those of you who have come.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

I. We must never suppose that the doctrine of this verse TAKES AWAY MAN'S RESPONSIBILITY to God for his soul. On the contrary, the Bible always distinctly declares that if any man is lost, it is his own fault (Mark 8:36). If we cannot reconcile God's sovereignty and man's responsibility now, we need not doubt that it will be all plain at the last day.

II. Nor does Christ's teaching here LIMIT THE OFFERS OF SALVATION TO SINNERS. On the contrary, we must hold firmly that pardon and peace are to be offered freely through Christ to all without exception. We never know who they are that God will draw, and have nothing to do with it. Our duty is to invite all, and leave it to God to choose the vessels of mercy.

III. We must not suppose THAT WE, OR ANYBODY ELSE, ARE DRAWN, UNLESS WE COME TO CHRIST BY FAITH. This is the grand mark and evidence of any one being the subject of the Father's drawing work. If "drawn" he comes to Christ, believes, and lives. Where there is no faith and love, there may be talk, self-conceit, and high profession. But there is no "drawing" of the Father.

IV. We must always remember THAT GOD ORDINARILY WORKS BY MEANS, and specially by such means as He Himself has appointed. No doubt He acts as a sovereign. But we must carefully maintain the great principle that God ordinarily draws through the instrumentality of His Word. The man that neglects the public preaching and private reading of God's Word, has no right to expect that God will draw him. The thing is possible, but highly improbable.

V. WE MUST NEVER ALLOW OURSELVES OR OTHERS TO WASTE TIME IN TRYING TO FIND out, as a first question, WHETHER WE ARE DRAWN OF GOD the Father, elect, chosen, and the like. The first and main question is, whether we have come to Christ by faith. If we have, let us take comfort and be thankful.

(Bp. Ryle.)

Man is like a waggon sunk in the mire under a heavy load, and Divine love is the strong team which draws it up and draws it forward.

(R. Besser, D. D.)Just as the magnet does not attract everything, but only iron, so there must be in man a disposedness of heart, before God's drawing can take hold of him.

(Theophylact.)

I have seen a captive eagle, caged far from its distant home, as he sat mournful-like on his perch, turn his eye sometimes heavenwards; there he would sit in silence, like one wrapt in thought, gazing through the bars of his cage up into the blue sky; and after a while, as if noble but sleeping instincts had suddenly awoke, he would start and spread out his broad sails, and leap upward, revealing an iron chain that, usually covered by his plumage, drew him back again to his place. But though this bird of heaven knew the way to soar aloft, and sometimes, under the influence of old instincts, decayed, but not altogether dead, felt the thirst of freedom, freedom was not for him, till a power greater than his own proclaimed liberty to the captive, and shattered the shackles that bound him to his perch. Nor is there freedom for us till the Holy Spirit sets us free, and by the lightning force of truth, breaks the chains that bind us to sin.

(Dr. Guthrie.)

You see a mother with her babe in her arm. You put a knife into her hand and tell her to stab that babe to the heart. She replies, very truthfully, "I cannot." Now, so far as her bodily power is concerned she can if she pleases, there is the knife, and there is the child. But she is quite correct when she says she cannot do it. Her nature as a mother forbids her doing that from which her soul revolts. It is even so with a sinner. Coming to Christ is so obnoxious to human nature that, although so far as physical and mental forces are concerned men could come if they would, it is strictly correct to say that they cannot and will not unless the Father who hath sent Christ doth draw them.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

And they shall be all taught of God
I. WHAT IS IMPORTED BY OUR BEING TAUGHT OF GOD.

1. Negatively. The text is not to be understood(1) of any extraordinary, visional appearances, or miraculous and immediate voice of God (Numbers 12:8; Hebrews 1:1, 2),(2) nor as opposite to or exclusive of the teachings of men. Saul was taught of God (Galatians 1:12). Yet the ministry of Ananias was honoured (Acts 9:4, 17).

2. Positively: the teachings of God (2 Corinthians 4:6: John 14:26) are —(1) The sanctifying impressions of the Holy Spirit by virtue of which the soul receives marvellous light and insight into spiritual things, and this not only at conversion but continuously (1 John 2:27; John 7:17; Jeremiah 31:83). Sanctification gives the soul experience of the truths of Scripture.(2) The gracious assistances of the Spirit as our need requires (Matthew 10:19; John 14:26).

II. WHAT THOSE SPECIAL TRUTHS ARE WHICH BELIEVERS LEARN.

1. That there is abundantly more evil in their natures than they ever discerned before (John 16:8-9). There is threefold knowledge of sin.(1) Traditional in the rude multitude;(2) discursive in the more rational;(3) intuitive in the divinely enlightened.

2. The wrath and misery which hang over the world in consequence of sin. Scripture threatenings were before slighted (Isaiah 28:15; Psalm 1:1.21); now they see that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6.).

3. That deliverance from sin is the greatest business man has to do in this world (Acts 16:30).

4. That though it be obligatory to strive after salvation, yet one's own strength is insufficient to attain it.

5. That though the case be sad it is not remediless. There is a door of hope and way of escape.

6. That there is a fulness of saving power in Christ whereby any soul that duly receives Him may be delivered from all its guilt and misery (Hebrews 7:25; Colossians 1:19; Matthew 28:18).

7. That we can never reap any benefit from the blood of Christ without union with Christ (1 John 5:12; Ephesians 4:16).

8. That whatever is necessary in order to this union is to be obtained in the way of prayer (Ezekiel 36:87).

9. To abandon their former ways and companions (Isaiah 55:7; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Psalm 119:115), and to see the beauty and excellency of the ways and people of God (Psalm 16:3; Zechariah 8:28).

10. That whatever difficulties there maybe in religion they must not be discouraged or return to sin (Luke 9:62; 1 Corinthians 9:24).

III. WHAT ARE THE PROPERTIES OF DIVINE TEACHING. God teaches —

1. Powerfully (2 Corinthians 10:4; 1 Thessalonians 1:4, 5; 1 Corinthians 14:25).

2. Sweetly (Song of Solomon 1:3; Song of Solomon 5:16),

3. Clearly (2 Corinthians 3:16; Luke 24:45).

4. Infallibly (John 14:13).

5. Abidingly (Psalm 119:98; Jeremiah 31:33).

6. Savingly (2 Timothy 3:15; John 17:3).

7. Penetratively (Matthew 11:25; Isaiah 32:4).

8. Transformingly (2 Corinthians 3:18; Romans 6:17).

IV. WHAT INFLUENCE DIVINE TEACHINGS HAVE UPON SOULS IN BRINGING THEM TO CHRIST.

1. They have an influence upon the means (2 Corinthians 3:6; 1 Corinthians 3:7).

2. Upon the mind to remove what hindered it from Christ.

3. They powerfully allure the sinner to Christ (Hosea 2:14).

V. WHY IS IT IMPOSSIBLE FOR ANY MAN TO COME TO CHRIST WITHOUT THE FATHER'S TEACHINGS. Because —

1. Of the power of sin

(1)Sin is co-natural with the soul (Psalm 51:4; Isaiah 48:8).

(2)The power of sin hath been strengthened by long continued custom which gives it the force of a second nature (Jeremiah 15:23).

(3)Sin is the delight of the sinner (Proverbs 10:23).

2. Of the indisposition of man (1 Corinthians 2:14). Before he can come to Christ —

(1)His blind understanding must be enlightened, which is the work of God (2 Corinthians 4:6; Revelation 3:17; Ephesians 5:8).

(2)His hard heart must be broken and melted (Acts 5:31; Ezekiel 36:26).

(3)His stiff and obstinate will must be conquered (Philippians 2:13).

3. Of the nature of faith, everything in which is supernatural.

(1)The habit (Ephesians 2:8).

(2)The light (Hebrews 11:1, 27).

(3)The adventures (Romans 4:18).

(4)The self-denial (Matthew 5:29).

(5)The victories (Hebrews 11:33-34; Acts 15:9; 1 John 5:4).

(John Flavel.)

I. THE RECIPIENTS OF THE TEACHING. The people of God; all of them, from the least to the greatest; and that not only instrumentally but directly.

II. ITS SUBJECTS. Spiritual things generally, called —

1. "Things of God," pertaining to Him and our relationship to Him. His nature and ours; His moral character and ours; His sovereignty and our dependence and duty; His salvation and our need of it.

2. "Things of Christ," relating to His person, offices and work.

3. "Things of the Spirit," our need of Him; the reality of His influence; His indwelling.

III. ITS NECESSITY.

1. They must be taught. Why so?

(1)Because an all-wise God has ordained it.

(2)Because our ignorance and spiritual darkness require it.

(3)Because this knowledge is the germ of everything of a saving and holy character in a sinner's heart.

2. None but God can effectually teach them.

(1)He does not supersede the teaching of His servants, but energizes it.

(2)When the ordinary means fail He does His own teaching.

IV. ITS MEANS.

1. His written Word.

(1)To this all others are subsidiary, and are only helpful so far as they are related to it. Preaching; creeds.

(2)This excludes tradition, modern, so called, inspiration.

(3)But the written Word is not sufficient without the aid of the Holy Spirit to act upon the heart and to apply its truths.

2. His providence. The man of commerce forgets, e.g., that "they that will be rich fall into a temptation and a snare," and the God of providence by a calamity brings it to his mind.

3. The Christian's inward experience. This harmonizes wonderfully with Scripture, throwing light upon it, and confirming it.

V. ITS EFFECT. God teaches that He may —

1. Save.

2. Comfort.

3. Sanctify.

4. Make useful.

5. Make meet for heaven.

(C. Bradley, M. A.)

The gospel is a picture of God's free grace to sinners. Were we in a room hung with the finest paintings, and adorned with the most exquisite statues, we could not see one of them if all light were excluded. Now the blessed Spirit's illumination is the same to the mind that outward light is to the bodily eyes. A compass is of no use to the mariner unless he have light to see it by.

(Toplady.)

Take the cold iron, and attempt to weld it, if you can, into a certain shape. How fruitless the effort! Lay it on the anvil, seize the blacksmith's hammer with all your might, let blow after blow fall upon it, and you will have done nothing; but put it in the fire, let it be softened and made malleable, then lay it on the anvil, and each stroke shall have a mighty effect, so that you may fashion it into any form you may desire; so take your heart, not cold as it is, not stony as it is by nature, but put it into the furnace; there let it be molten, and after that it can be turned like wax to the seal, and fashioned into the image of Jesus Christ.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

No human teacher can do it. Conscience cannot do it. Law in none of its forms, human or Divine, can do it. Nay, the gospel itself cannot do it. Although the Word of God is the sword of the Spirit, yet, unless the Spirit of God draws forth that sword, it lies powerless in its sheath. Only when the Spirit of God wields it, is it quick and powerful, and sharper than a two-edged sword, piercing to the dividing asunder of the soul and spirit, a discerner of the thoughts and purposes of the heart. Therefore, as the work of convincing the world of sin is one which nothing less than the Spirit of God can effect — and which yet must be effected thoroughly, if sin is to be driven out from the world — our Saviour was mercifully pleased to send the Comforter to produce this conviction in mankind.

(Archdeacon Hare.)

I. THE PERSONS TO WHOM THE PROMISE IS MADE.

1. They must be living ones or they cannot be taught anything. They become so by being quickened together with Christ (Ephesians 2:5).

2. They are described in Isaiah 54:13.

3. All that the Father hath given Christ (vers. 37, 39). Given

(1)in the covenant of grace to preserve and to teach;

(2)in effectual calling (John 17:6).

4. In short, they are those who are loved by the Father, redeemed by the Son and quickened by the Spirit.

II. WHAT SHALL THEY BE TAUGHT?

1. To know themselves

(1)as sinful (Luke 15:18; Romans 7:18).

(2)Their own helplessness (Isaiah 38:14; Matthew 14:30; John 15:5).

(3)Their own ignorance (Psalm 25:5; Job 36:22).

2. To know Christ as their way of life and salvation.

(1)The suitableness of His righteousness (Isaiah 45:24).

(2)The completeness of His atonement (Hebrews 1:26).

(3)The riches and efficacy of His grace (John 1:16; Titus 2:12).

(4)In short to embrace Him as their wisdom, etc. (1 Corinthians 1:36), and their Saviour from the charge, punishment, guilt, love, and dominion of sin.

3. To use the means of grace —

(1)Prayer;

(2)Reading and hearing God's Word.

(3)The Lord's Supper.

(S. Barnard.)

Preacher's Analyst.
The text shows us —

I. WHAT FAITH IS. COMING TO CHRIST.

II. THE REASONABLENESS OF FAITH. It is not the offspring of a diseased imagination, but the result of Divine teaching.

III. THE IMPORTANCE OF CHRIST. All God's teaching is designed to make us feel our need of Christ.

(Preacher's Analyst.)

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