Welcome to the footnote¹ blog. Our goal each day is to examine a verse and give a short summary in commentary form or simply an encouraging note to help you remain faithful to God throughout the week. Either way we hope that the footnote¹ blog will comfort you through God's word and give you a better understanding of His will.
“I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 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.” (John 11.28-29, ESV)¹
¹Speaking of His sheep (disciples), Jesus gives all a beautiful promise – “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish” and “no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand”. Too often people claim that this means that His disciples cannot be lost.
The first problem is that this belief is built on a system of beliefs that state that the child of God cannot be lost (often referred to as once saved always saved), and the second problem is that this belief requires those who accept it to overlook the context of the verse in question and deny clear passages that teach a Christian can lose his salvation (see Gal. 5.4; James 5.19-20; Heb. 3.13; 2 Peter 2.20-22, etc.). Additioanlly, one has to overlook the fact that salvation and remaining saved is conditional.
For example, prior to giving this promise, Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (John 11.28, ESV). This implies that His disciples choose to “hear” and “follow”. To hear Jesus is to listen to all that He teaches and to follow Jesus is to obey all that He commands. Many people listen and yet do not follow (refuse to obey). The promise of eternal life does not apply to them. Many people claim to follow and yet do not listen (claim to have a relationship with Christ and yet live immoral lives). For example, Jesus said, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?” (Luke 6.46, ESV). The promise of eternal life does not apply to them.
Therefore, for all who listen and follow, “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 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.”
If you’re interested in learning more about God’s will, e-mail Bryan Garlock or text 903.308.4905.
"No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day." (John 6.44, ESV)¹
¹Many appeal to John 6.44 as proof text that the only way to come to Jesus is for God the Father to draw them. In fact, one may hear exactly this language from preachers and teachers and rightfully so because the language is biblical. The problem is in the way they interpret this passage. Many believe Jesus is saying that there is an irresistible "drawing power" that is applied by the direct operation of the "Holy Spirit." However, there are two problems with this interpretation. First, the Holy Spirit is not even mentioned in the passage. Second, it assumes that the Holy Spirit draws someone separate and apart from God's word; that is, through feelings or "personal experiences" where the Holy Spirit irresistibly "drew them to God." One could possibly concede that this is true if it did not contradict other passages within Scripture and if the Lord Himself did not explain what He meant. After Jesus told them that they could not come to Him unless the Father draws them, He taught, "It is written in the Prophets, 'And they will all be taught by God.' Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me" (John 6.45, ESV). Therefore, Jesus tells us exactly what He meant by being drawn to Him by the Father - those who have heard and learned (and that through His revelation of Jesus, the Bible) from the Father. Since faith comes by hearing the word of God (Rom. 10.17), I cannot have faith or be drawn to the Son of God without first hearing it and learning of it from God's revealed word.
The gospel is calling us to obey Jesus today (2 Thess. 2.14; 1.8). If you're interested in learning more e-mail Bryan Garlock or text 903.308.4905.