In my previous post, I looked at Moses, Malachi, and Matthew on the doctrine of election. We saw that the God’s electing choice in each of these biblical authors’ writting is not based on foreseen faith but rather simply on God’s love and soveriegn choice. Today I want to challenge you to hear out what Jesus says in the gospel of John concerning election. Again, I am shooting for a simple, straightforward reading of these texts–I do not think these are difficult to understand–they may be difficult to accept, but they are clear and speak for themselves, so I have kept my commentary to a minimum.
John 5:20-21 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel. 21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will.
The Son gives new life, eternal life to whom he will.
John 15:16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.
Many say that this verse is about service and not salvation. But you cannot separate bearing fruit from being a believer. There is no such thing in Scripture as a believer who does not bear fruit.
John 10:25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not part of my flock. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.
Jesus says you do not believe because they are not part of his flock. In contrast those who are Jesus’ sheep hear his voice and Jesus knows them and they follow him. Notice the text does NOT say you are not of my flock because you do not believe. It clearly says that the reason these people do not believe is because they are not part of his flock. And it’s worth noting that these people are Jews! These are Jews that Jesus says are not elect.
John 17:1-2 When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, 2 since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him.
Verse 2 clearly states that God has given Jesus authority over all flesh. Its worth stopping there and simply noting that Jesus has authority over all human beings to do with them what he will. If we go further, we see that Jesus clearly claims that this authority is authority in giving eternal life to those whom the father has given him.
John 17:6 “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word.
Jesus manifests God’s name to those whom the Father gave Him out of the world. They were God’s and God gives them to Jesus and they have kept God’s word. Again the Father is choosing and giving and we don’t have people choosing. If it were up to man to choose God based on some offer wouldn’t we see some indication of that in these sayings of Jesus where he is clearly talking about those who will be saved? John 17 continues with such language:
John 17:9-12 I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. 11 And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.
Again, it is those who the Father has given to the Son that the Son prays for. Jesus is glorified in these ones who the Father has given him. Further Jesus keeps these ones and guards them so that they will not be lost. Jesus’ prayer will be answered. Jesus will keep those who believe to the very end.
John 17:24 Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
Again, it is those the Father has given to the Son who will see His glory.