The Daily Word of Righteousness

John 6:25-58, #14

For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. (John 6:40)

Using a verse as a ticket.

I think one of the problems in Christian thinking is we seize on a verse like the above and use it as sort of a ticket. We give an altar call. Someone raises his hand and comes to the altar. We ask the person if he wants to accept Christ as his personal savior. He says yes. From our point of view he has fulfilled John 6:40)

This does not agree with the rest of the chapter, or with the four Gospel accounts, or with the remainder of the New Testament.

What is the problem? The problem is in order to lay hold on eternal life one has to look to the Son at all times of the day and night. As he looks he gains life. He has to believe in the Son at all times of the day and night. As he believes he is transformed.

The new covenant operates as we look to the Son constantly and believe in Him constantly. We behold the Glory of the Lord continually; and as we look we are changed into the image we are beholding, just as the face of Moses was transfigured as he spoke with God.

John 6:40 is not a formula by which we are saved. John 6:40 is a way of life, which if pursued will result in our attaining to the resurrection that is unto eternal life in the inward man and immortality in the body.

Who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, But it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. (II Timothy 1:9,10)

One could use the above to support the idea that we do nothing. It is all by grace.

This is an understandable interpretation, but it does not fit the entire New Testament.

It is absolutely true that God has saved us and called us to a holy life—not by anything we have done. We did not earn our salvation and our calling. These were given to us by grace, apart from our obeying the Law of Moses. In fact, our salvation and calling were given to us "before the beginning of time."

But our calling is to a holy life. If we do not cleanse ourselves each day from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, and walk in the fear of God, then we have broken our part of the contract.

We have been called to a holy life, meaning a life set apart to the Lord. When we do not live a life set apart to the Lord, we have turned the grace of God into an excuse for immorality.

We have not been called to go to Heaven. We have been called to live a holy life. We did not earn this calling, it was given to us by grace. By "grace" Paul means apart from the Law of Moses. But it is up to us to lay hold on what God has given us by grace. If we do not, choosing instead to be the slave of sin, then our wages are spiritual death. This is what the Bible teaches.

Christ has destroyed death and has brought spiritual life and bodily immortality to light through the Gospel. Our inward nature is born of God. The redemption of our body is its adoption by the Lord. Eternal life in the inward nature and in the body are the direct result of a holy life.

But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. (Romans 6:22)

We do not have to earn our salvation. It is a gift. But we certainly have to set aside our old life in order to work it out!

To be continued.