Prepared by John E. Marshall
Ben Franklin rightly said, AGod governs the affairs of men.@ Since God creates and oversees, all that matters in human history is what God desires. His sovereign will is the subject of verses 38-40.
John 6:38 (Holman) AFor I have come down from heaven, not to do My will, but the will of Him who sent Me.@
The first rule of Christian living is, obey God=s will. We are to follow the example of our Savior and Master, who made His will obedient to the Father=s.
Unqualified obedience is rare and remarkable. People are intrigued by it. The world went into a state of shock when a cult of 900 people obeyed Jim Jones= command for them all to commit suicide. Even more stunning was the fact the first ones were already dead before the last ones drank the poison.
Abu Taher, an Islamic leader, once tested the loyalty of his troops by commanding one to plunge a dagger into his own breast, a second to leap in the Tigris River, a third to cast himself headlong down a precipice. Each obeyed instantly without a murmur.
Henri Christophe, a Haitian Commander, was one day parading his troops before several French observers, who were critical and sneered. Christophe responded to their cynicism by ordering seven men to march off a cliff to certain death. They obeyed.
God also has His champions of obedience. Abraham obeyed God by leaving home. Daniel obeyed by not defiling himself. Philip obeyed God by going to the desert. Peter obeyed by going to Cornelius the Gentile.
Hear the story of John and David, two brothers. John wanted to be a millionaire and succeeded. David obeyed the Lord=s call and became legendary. An old issue of Britannica says only this of John: brother of David Livingstone.
We are enamored by stories about obedience, of which none compares in intensity to the obedience of Jesus to His Father. Before Jesus was born, He existed in an essence totally divine. Christ, while in Heaven, had a distinct will of His own, but did not come to earth to fulfill His will.
Christ did not enter our world as a private person acting for Himself only. He rather came as a public figure, acting for Another, as an ambassador authorized by an official commission. He came to settle affairs between parties no less considerable than the awesome Creator Himself and His whole creation.
While in the world, Jesus never conducted private affairs, nor had selfish personal interests. He had no desires distinct from those of Him for Whom He acted.
Jesus never consulted His own ease, safety, or quiet. Even when He was about to endure the Cross, though His human nature flinched at it, He resolutely set aside death=s repulsion, joining His will with the Father=s will.
We too are to make God=s will our will, having Jesus as our example. The purpose of our life is to please God, to obey His will whatever it is.
We must die to our own desires, and make uncompromising, unyielding, unconditional obedience to the Lord the norm for our lives. Holiness matters most.
Christianity without obedience to Jesus is a sham, counterfeit, demonic. Our God is holy, worthy of absolute, unquestioning obedience.
John 6:39a This is the will of Him who sent Me; that I should lose none of those He has given Me . . .
God wills that in Jesus= hands we are safe, and that only God can bring us to this safety. Our calling is to receive God=s provision God=s way, to yield to His will in matters of salvation. People cannot be their own Messiah. Humans are depraved, helpless to help themselves in spiritual matters.
God made our race happy in Eden. We, by our sin, made ourselves sad and miserable, but cannot make ourselves happy again.
ACan the Cushite change his skin, or a leopard his spots? If so, you might be able to do what is good, you who are instructed in evil@ (Jeremiah 13:23). AThe heart is more deceitful than anything else and desperately sick B who can understand it?@ (Jeremiah 17:9).
These Old Testament verses are reinforced by several verses from Roman 3 in the New Testament. AThere is no one righteous, not even one@ (v. 10). AThere is no one who understands, there is no one who seeks God@ (v. 11). AAll have sinned and fall short of the glory of God@ (v. 23).
Some say times have changed, people are now more enlightened. The only significant shift is, we have grown more sophisticated and technologically advanced in our sinning.
Alfred Nobel invented dynamite in 1867 to help industry, mining, and construction. He lived long enough to see his invention used for war and destruction. Guilt crushed him. As a result he established the famous peace prize.
The Wright brothers believed the airplane would make war obsolete. Orville lived to see both world wars. He knew of Hiroshima and Dresden.
My Grandpa Hill left Water Valley MS early in the twentieth century to fight the war to end all wars. Now in the twenty-first century our world remains as torn, fragmented, and oppressed as ever.
Humanity is corrupt. Our deliverance must come from outside us. Our salvation depends on divine intervention. Fortunately, it is God=s will to save us.
He wants people to be saved, to enjoy a deliverance not of their own making. He alone can provide it. Every Christian is a tribute not to human ingenuity, but a monument to God=s mercy.
After our rebellion in Eden, the Father had the right to do anything with us He pleased. He chose to give believers to Jesus, to let us enjoy salvation.
John 6:39b-40 A. . . but should raise them up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father: that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.@
It is God=s will that all who come to Jesus enter a state of safety not only for now, but also forever. At conversion, we enter a spiritual life we never had before, and leave a spiritual death we=ll never enter again. The life God gives us can never die, for it is everlasting.
Once born again, we can never be lost again. We are secure now and forever. In this life we are safe. On the last day we will still be safe.
The final resurrection will crown and complete the upending of death.
Christ=s resurrection defeated death; our resurrection will dissolve death.
Death has been so utterly defeated by Jesus that in the end it will not even deprive us of our bodies. Christ will not only lose no person, but also no part of the person, including the body. Everything associated with this life as given to us in Eden will be perfectly restored.
It is comforting to know our everlasting safety depends not on our feeble hold on Christ, but on His sure grip on us. The assurance that God chose us for everlasting life and keeps us secure is a powerful, effective motive for Christian living.
Any who are working in an effort to earn their salvation serve God from a selfish motive. They actually serve self rather than God. A person who lives a good life due to fear of being damned is merely a hireling.
Those who know they are God=s children and can never be anything else serve God from gratitude. They are too thankful to wallow in sin. Any who use eternal security as an excuse to live habitually in sin are presumptuous, not safe.
Believers who are truly secure live like it. Holiness is their earmark. The secure are characterized also by love for others.
People aware of their security do not need to worry about their own salvation any longer. Knowing they are adequately cared for, they don=t have to hold on to God with both hands. Realizing Jesus holds on to them, they are free to use both their hands to help save others.