...and the Spirit is from the Father

It all comes down to grace.

The Gospel of John: John 6.60-71

Read and meditate on John 6.65.

The Spirit and life which are to be found in Jesus are from the Father only. You’d better believe it.

           65And He said, “Therefore,
I say to you, as I have said before,
no one can come to Me unless it has
been granted to him by My Father.”

- John 6.65

Reflect
1.  Coming to Jesus is not something initiated by people. The flesh profits nothing. Explain. Complete this prayer: Why do I belong to You, Lord? Why do I know and love You? Why have I come to Jesus, if only because…

2.  Jesus has explained that the life He offers is His flesh and blood, by His Word and Spirit, and whoever wants this life must feed on Him, which is what He means by coming to Him. But here Jesus says that no one can come to Him unless the Father grants it. How do you understand what He means here? How would you explain the relationship between our responsibility and God’s work in our coming to Jesus? It is hard to understand the workings of grace and faith, Lord, but…

3.  Nothing in our lives that pertains to coming to Jesus can be ours unless the Father grants it. What are the implications of this for your daily walk with and work for the Lord? Apart from You, Lord, I…

4.  Like those Jews and those complaining disciples, we are all basically skeptical, self-centered, seeking only what’s best for us, and expecting everyone to cater to our needs and whims. We are all like this. Why does this make the phrase “has been granted”so extremely important in understanding the life of faith? Father, unless You grant me life with Jesus, today and every day…

5.  Meditate on Galatians 4.6. How is anyone able to cry out to God as Father? And, by the way, in the Greek, the words crying out in Galatians 4.6 are in a form indicating that it is the Spirit doing the crying. It’s all of grace, friends. Explain. Bring together into one your prayers from questions 1-4.

Summary
“He teaches us that even the act of believing is by way of being a gift and not a matter of merit: ‘As I told you,’ he says, ‘no one can come to me but whoever has been given it by my Father.’ If we call to mind the earlier part of the Gospel, we shall discover where the Lord said this. We shall find that he said, ‘No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me drags him.’ He did not say ‘leads’ but ‘drags.’ This violence happens to the heart, not to the flesh. So why be surprised? Believe, and you come; love, and you are dragged. Do not regard this violence as harsh and irksome; on the contrary, it is sweet and pleasant. It is the very pleasantness of the thing that drags you to it. Isn’t a sheep dragged, or drawn irresistibly, when it is hungry and grass is shown to it? And I presume it is not being moved by bodily force but pulled by desire.” Augustine (354-430 AD)

Salvation is all of grace. Every day. Give thanks to God for the great gift that has been granted to you. Share that gift with someone today.

Closing Prayer
Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning,
For in You do I trust;
Cause me to know the way in which I should walk,
For I lift up my soul to You.
Deliver me, O LORD, from my enemies;
In You I take shelter.
Teach me to do Your will,
For You are my God;
Your Spirit is good.
Lead me in the land of uprightness.
Revive me, O LORD, for Your name's sake!
For Your righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble.

Psalm 143.8-11

Psalm 143.7-12 (Divinum Mysterium: Of the Father’s Love Begotten)
Answer quickly, O my Lord! Do not hide from me Your face!
For my spirit fails and I am like those who do not know Your grace.
In the morning let me hear Your steadfast love; Lord, I trust You, show my way!
I lift up my soul and pray!

Rescue me from all my enemies! Lord, I refuge seek in You.
Let me know Your will, O Lord my God; make me know what I must do.
Let Your Spirit lead me on to level ground; save my life! Preserve my soul!
Rescue, Lord, and make me whole!
           
T. M. Moore

Jesus is the Centerpiece of all Scripture, as He Himself explained (Jn. 5.39). But how can we learn to see Him there? How do the primary themes of Scripture revolve around Jesus? Our online course, Introduction to Biblical Theology, shows you how best to get at, get into, and get with the Word of God, so that you can grow more consistently in the Lord. It’s free, and you can study at your own pace. For more information or to register, click here.

We are happy to offer each week’s Scriptorium studies in a free weekly PDF, suitable for personal or group use. You can download all the studies in our series on the Gospel of John by clicking here. Please prayerfully consider sharing with The Fellowship of Ailbe through your giving. You can contribute to The Fellowship by clicking the Contribute button at the website or by sending your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452.

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series IV a and b: John, edited by Joel C. Elowsky, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006. Verse translation of John by T. M. Moore.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT. 

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