Monday, May 12, 2008

John 6, Steve Gregg and eisogesis!

An Arminian interpretation...........
I heard Steve Gregg argue this and I see others at his forum interpret the same.

John 6:37 All that the Father gives to me will come to me. The one who comes to me I will in no means cast out.

This is true -- all that the Father gave to Jesus did come to Him -- the question is "who are those people"? Who "did" the Father give to Him? That answer is elsewhere in Scripture.... In John 17:6, Jesus is praying about his disciples and he says to His father "I have manifested your name to the men whom you have given to me out of the world." So, these are those who the Father had given to Him.

He says "they were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word." When he talks about these people (frequently), he's talking about people who were "ALREADY" the Lord's people. Now, Jesus did NOT believe that all the Jewish people were God's people. (e.g., "you were of your Father, the devil -- you're not God's people, you're the devil's people.") Jesus does NOT indicate that God took some of the devil's people and gave them to Jesus. Before Jesus arrived, the faithful remnant was God's people. God took these and gave THEM to Jesus. They were already committed to God, and it is natural that they (the true remnant) would believe in the Messiah when he was announced -- those who were still alive in fact did, and Jesus is just stating that he already knew that they would.

Let us have a look at this, considering context and stuff like that.

Sonic boom! did u hear it?
It was the noise made at the speed of which the text was left at!
Immediately John 6 is speedily departed from, and the next station is John 17.

Any interaction with John 6? Nope, nada, zip.
Does not John 6 have a context, and a flow of thought?
It certainly does, and Arminians cannot even begin to do exegesis of John 6, for if they did, their Arminianism would fall apart at the seams.

Steve asks who these people are who come to Jesus, and immediately goes to John 17 to answer this question.
Leaving John 17 aside for a moment, does John 6 tell us who these people are?

If we go back in John 6, we have Jesus making an important point in answering this “who” question.
We read, Joh 6:33 For the bread of God is He who comes down from Heaven and gives life to the world.

When Steve Gregg tries to convince us that Jesus has only these believing Jews in mind, he is way off the context in John 6. Jesus has already maintained in verse 33 the “who” question, which includes all people groups including the Jews, but particularly the world.

Joh 6:37 All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will in no way cast out.

There is no reason to read “All” as “all the present tense believing Jews” in light of the context. To read it as such is gross eisogesis on Mr Gregg’s part, or wherever he got the teaching from.

In verse 51 Jesus ties in the “bread which comes down from Heaven” with the natural thought flow from the earlier verse 33, where the link between the “bread” and the “world” ties in overall with the answer to the “who” question of verse 37.

Also, if Jesus was so clearly talking about present believing Jews as being the “who” are given, then why are even the Disciples offended at this teaching?

Now, going to John 17 to answer the “who” question of John 6:37.
First off, we have a different context here, where Jesus is praying immediately prior to going to the cross. He is praying for that unity that He shares with the Father, to also be shared with all believers.
First the current believers are in mind, but Jesus also prays for every single believer in future times in this prayer which is clearly taught in John 17:20.
Joh 17:20 And I do not pray for these alone, but for those also who shall believe on Me through their word.

So, we see a correlation and harmony with the same people Jesus prays and intercedes for in John 6, namely the elect, believers, all that the Father gives to Him, and not just some present tense group of people.
Jesus in John 17 does not pray for the “world” in verse 9, but again makes comments consistent with John 6:37, 44 and 65.

For Steve Gregg’s views to hold water, one needs to butcher the text and read one’s theological presuppositions into both John 6 and John 17, as well as just about everywhere else that is relevant to this discussion of God’s ancient choice of who shall make up His family.

God is free in the matter of Salvation and man hates that fact.


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