No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. (1 John 4:12)
This verse is so good. It reminds us of the greatness of God and how we can never really understand God. He’s just too big. No one can really know everything about Him because, well, as the scripture says, “no one has ever seen God.”
It also reminds us of Jesus’ command for us to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to love our neighbor as ourself. (Matthew 22:37-39)
But right now I want to talk about the first part, the part that says, “No one has ever seen God.”
He Spoke As Though He Knew For Certain About Something No One Can Really KnowContinue reading →
“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me…” (John 6:44-45)
No one can come unless they’re drawn.
Jesus said to the crowd, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.”
Youngs Literal Translation says it this way, “no one is able to come unto me, if the Father who sent me may not draw him…” (John 6:44-45 YLT)
For centuries now, Christians have debated the meaning of verses like this one. God’s sovereignty vs. our free will. Calvinism vs. Arminianism. John Calvin’s theology vs. Jacobus Arminius’s theology. And then there’s a huge number of Christians who hold views that are mixtures of the two. I’m not going to attempt to resolve a debate that began almost five hundred years ago and continues today.
But I will speak to anyone who reads this verse and worries that they may be a person who hasn’t been drawn to Jesus by God the Father.
“The surest way to work up a crusade in favor of some good cause is to promise people they will have a chance of maltreating someone. To be able to destroy with good conscience, to be able to behave badly and call your bad behavior ‘righteous indignation’–this is the height of psychological luxury, the most delicious of moral treats.”
“for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” James 1:20
“If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”
Last post from the book of John we saw how Jesus called out the crowd. He told them the reason they went to the trouble to find him was because he fed them, when he multiplied the loaves and the fish. Then he instructed them to work “for food that endures to eternal life,.which the Son of Man will give you.”
This prompted the people to ask, “What is it we should do, to do the works of God?”
It’s 3:30 in the afternoon, at the time of this writing, on the 4th of July, Independence Day. And I’m thinking about patriotism. I wonder about it sometimes, patriotism, because sometimes it can lead to decisions that hurt another human being simply because someone isn’t from our own particular country. So I get that there are problems with patriotism. Those problems make me wonder what God wants from us. They make me wonder if he wants me, and you, to be patriotic.
We left off in our study of the book of John with Jesus allowing his disciples to be battered about by a storm. There may have been a good reason for that. If you’re interested you can read the last post from the Gospel of John here: What It Takes To Be Glad About Jesus: John 6:16-21.
The Work Of God
The morning after the storm, what the crowd saw was that Jesus sent his disciples over to the other side of the sea of Galilee in a boat, and then he himself hiked up a mountain to pray. What they didn’t see was Continue reading →