Exegesis versus “a word from the Lord.” That’s what I ran into today at the end of my hour long discussion with Chuck Crismier on his Viewpoint program. Here is the program link. Right at the end Chuck got in the “last word” so to speak, claiming that he had “asked the Lord” about John 6 and had been directed, evidently supernaturally, to John 6:45, and how this passage, in essence, teaches free will in some fashion. I only had time to say, “No, 6:45 defines and describes what it means to be drawn from v. 44,” and that was all I managed to get in.
Now, it is a very interesting situation we face here. We have someone claiming the Lord has provided him with insight and understanding into the meaning of the text, yet, that meaning and insight is directly contradictory to the conclusions one draws from the study of the verse itself. Now, later, when speaking with Mr. Crismier after the show, he said that his insight does not trump the text, which is good, but one is forced to ask how it could not, if, in fact, he believes he was given a supernatural “nudge” and understanding. But since I did not get to explain myself, a brief comment on the text: John 6:44-45
44 “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. 45 “It is written in the prophets, ‘AND THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF GOD.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me.
The interpretation offered did not connect 45 to 44, but, obviously, the text makes no break between the two verses. In fact, the repetition of the phrase “come to Me/comes to Me” connects these two verses and continues the theme begun in 6:37. In 6:44 the one who comes to Christ is the one drawn by the Father. In 6:45 the one who comes to Christ is the one who has “heard and learned from the Father.” Hearing and learning are descriptive of the action of drawing that, in 6:44, results in being raised up to eternal life. All of this presents a consistent teaching that the Father reveals the Son to the elect through the work of the Spirit so that their faith is placed firmly in the Son. There is no disruption of the consistent emphasis upon the sovereign freedom of God in salvation in the text, and surely nothing supportive of some theory of libertarian free will, either.