John 6:40-44, 1 John 5:13-21
Jesus’ words in John can be limiting if we let them be. For example, if we were too literal in seeing or not seeing Jesus (John 6:40), most of us would not have much hope for eternal life. There are many who have visions and dreams of Jesus, they might count. This one of those language problems. The Greek lends itself to beholding and experiencing. This is not to take away the responsibility of physically seeing Jesus, but to add onto it.
This does lead well into the next slight challenge of verse 44. From the Wesleyan point of view, God did the calling (prevenient grace), we do the responding/accepting. Why is this a challenge? Many would (have and do) argue this means we have no role in this salvation business. Yet, while God acts first, God gives us the freedom and ability to choose to accept.
However, this does help us with the first phrase, for when God calls us and we respond, we are able to see Jesus for who he is…our savior.
That “vision” provides us the assurance that we have eternal life. Yet, the world is constant calling us back to it, and away from God. When we are together as fellow believers, we are able to intelligently, understandingly, and compassionately pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ. As John points out in his letter, God hears us when we pray according to his will. God’s will is that not should be lost.
1) What is your reaction to knowing that you have a part (response) in your salvation?
2) Why do you think it is important to understand that God did the saving before you did the responding?
3) The sin that leads to death is ominous. What do you think that might be?