Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Skeptical Grumbling and Sovereign Grace

(Desiring God Ministry: David Mathis)

This week's sermon: "Skeptical Grumbling and Sovereign Grace"

John 6:44 is controversial. Jesus says, "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him."

Jesus' words could be taken in two different directions. On the one hand, it could mean that God draws everyone and not all come, so God isn't decisive but the human will. Or, on the other hand, it could mean that everyone God draws comes.

Five other passages in the Gospel of John (6:37, 63­65; 8:47; 10:26­27;12:37­40) clarify and confirm that Jesus means the latter, that everyone God draws comes. (A common objection is John 12:32—to be treated next time.)

If this is what Jesus means, then why does he say it? He says it to stop his questioners' grumbling and point them to prayer that God would do the decisive work that only he can do in his sovereign, undeserved grace—grace that has at least 5 effects on its recipients:

1.It humbles them.
2.It fills them with thankfulness.
3.It gives them assurance.
4.It gives them hope for the conversion of the people they love who seem utterly beyond hope.
5.It gives all glory to God, not to them.

Jesus does not speak mainly to create controversy. He speaks to call sinners to himself, and to humble the proud, and to glorify his Father. This is why he lived. This is why he died. This is why he rose again. Come to him. Be satisfied in him. Be humbled by him. Give glory to God because of him. Amen.

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