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Does John 6 Teach Calvinism?

Does John 6 Teach Calvinism?


God’s Sovereignty in Drawing People to Himself

John 6 is pivotal in understanding the Calvinistic doctrines of election and irresistible grace. Jesus’ discourse, especially in John 6:37-44, emphasizes the role of the Father in drawing people to Christ. Verse 37 states, “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.” This passage suggests that individuals come to Jesus because they have been given to Him by the Father, reflecting the Calvinistic belief in unconditional election, where God chooses individuals based on His will and not on any merit or foreseen faith on their part.

Additionally, Jesus’ assertion in John 6:44, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them,” supports the doctrine of irresistible grace. This teaching posits that when God calls His elect to salvation, the call is so powerful that it invariably results in the individual’s willing response. The drawing by the Father is not merely an invitation but an effective action leading to the salvation of those He has chosen.


Assurance of Eternal Security

In John 6, particularly in verses 39-40, Jesus speaks of the assurance of eternal security for those the Father has given Him. He states that it is the Father’s will that He should lose none of those given to Him but raise them up at the last day. This promise of preservation and ultimate glorification aligns with the Calvinistic doctrine of the perseverance of the saints, which asserts that those who are truly chosen and called by God will persevere in faith until the end.

This aspect of eternal security is a cornerstone of Calvinistic soteriology, emphasizing that the salvation God initiates is brought to completion, a belief grounded in the faithfulness and omnipotence of God.

Interplay Between Divine Sovereignty and Human Responsibility

John 6 also presents the interplay between divine sovereignty and human responsibility in the context of salvation. While the chapter strongly emphasizes God’s sovereign role in drawing people to Christ and securing their salvation, it also acknowledges human response. For instance, Jesus’ call to “come” and “believe” (John 6:35) implies human involvement in responding to God’s initiative.

This paradoxical relationship is a nuanced aspect of Calvinistic theology. The belief is that while God’s sovereignty is absolute, it does not negate human responsibility to respond in faith. The divine sovereignty and human agency work together in a manner that is ultimately harmonious, though it may be beyond full human comprehension.

Divine Sovereignty and Human Response

The discourse in John 6, especially verses 64-65, where Jesus acknowledges that some do not believe, highlights both God’s sovereignty and human unbelief. Jesus’ statement, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them,” reinforces the necessity of divine action for belief. Calvinism holds that apart from God’s enabling grace, humans are incapable of coming to faith due to their sinful nature.

This teaching does not imply that humans are mere automatons; rather, it emphasizes the depth of human sinfulness and the necessity of God’s grace to overcome this barrier to faith. The balance between divine sovereignty in enabling belief and human responsibility in responding to the gospel is a key element in Calvinistic theology.


John 6 strongly supports Calvinistic doctrines such as unconditional election, irresistible grace, and the perseverance of the saints. The chapter illustrates the sovereignty of God in salvation, the assurance of eternal security for the elect, and the mysterious yet harmonious interplay between divine sovereignty and human responsibility. These themes affirm the scriptural basis for Calvinistic beliefs regarding salvation.

Read More

  1. “The Gospel According to John” by D.A. Carson – A comprehensive commentary that provides an in-depth look at John 6 and its theological implications, especially in the context of Calvinistic beliefs.
  2. “John: St. Andrew’s Expositional Commentary” by R.C. Sproul – This commentary offers a clear, Reformed perspective on the Gospel of John, with particular attention to the teachings of John 6 on election and grace.

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