John 6

John 6:27

“Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.”

(a) Do not work for the food which perishes. The most important work we will ever do is partake of Jesus, the bread of life. Indeed, believing in Jesus is the work of God (John 6:29).

(b) Food which endures. Jesus is bread of God which gives life to the world (John 6:33).

(c) The Father; see entry for John 4:21.

(d) Eternal life is living forever in union with Jesus; see entry for John 3:15.

John 6:29

Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”

(a) The work of God. In the new covenant of grace, Jesus has done all the work; your part is to trust him.

Much confusion has come from misunderstanding the relationship between faith and works. We are justified by faith and not our good works, but faith without works is dead and useless (Jas. 2:17, 20). What are the works of faith? In the New Testament, there are more than 200 imperative statements linked with faith. Some of these statements exhort us to: receive Jesus (John 1:11-12, 5:43), receive the message of Jesus (John 17:8), obey or heed the message or good news of Jesus (John 17:6) and turn to God in repentance (Acts 26:20).

Other scriptures encourage us to accept the word (Mark 4:20), confess Jesus as Lord (Rom. 10:9), call on the name of the Lord (Act 2:21), eat the bread of life (John 6:50-51), be reconciled to God (2 Cor. 5:20), submit to God’s righteousness (Rom. 10:3), and be born again (John 3:3, 7). But the one imperative that appears far more than any other, is the instruction to believe. We are to believe in Jesus (see entry for John 3:16).

(b) Believe in Him. If faith is the noun – the state of being persuaded that God loves you – then believing is the verb or activity that flows from that conviction. Indeed, believing in Jesus is both the work of God and the command of the Lord (1 John 3:23). We do not believe to create faith. Rather, believing is the action that reveals our faith. “Having the same spirit of faith… we also believe” (2 Cor. 4:13).

Further reading: “What are the works of faith?

John 6:37

“All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.

(a) The Father; see entry for John 4:21.

(b) I will certainly not cast out. Notice the absence of conditions and qualifiers. Jesus does not say, “I will not cast them out for as long as they behave right.” One with the Lord, you are eternally secure.

John 6:39

“This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day.

I lose nothing. The Good Shepherd keeps his sheep and loses none of them (John 18:9).

Christ sustains us (Rom. 11:18, Eph. 5:29) and keeps us from stumbling (Jude 1:24). We can be confident that he will complete the good work he began in us (Php. 1:6) and bring us safely to his heavenly kingdom (2 Tim. 4:18).

John 6:40

“For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”

(a) The will of My Father. The will of God is the same as the work of God and the command of God – that you believe in Jesus (John 6:29, 1 John 3:23). Jesus is the will of God made flesh.

(b) My Father; see entry for John 4:21.

(c) Beholds the Son. Earlier Jesus said “whoever hears my word and believes” (John 5:24). We get a revelation of the Son by hearing the gospel.

(d) And believes in him. All of God’s blessings, including forgiveness, salvation, righteousness and eternal life, come to us freely by grace and are received by faith. Faith does not compel God to forgive us or sanctify us. But faith is the conduit through which grace flows. See entry for Eph. 2:8.

(e) Eternal life is living forever in union with Jesus; see entry for John 3:15.

John 6:46

“Not that anyone has seen the Father, except the One who is from God; He has seen the Father.

(a) The Father; see entry for John 4:21.

(b) He has seen the Father. The character and purposes of God are revealed in prophecies, laws, and visions, but the clearest picture of God the Father comes through the Son. “No one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son reveals him” (Matt. 11:27). It is through Jesus alone that we encounter the true character of God. “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6).

John 6:47

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life.

(a) He who believes; see entry for John 3:16.

(b) Eternal life is living forever in union with Jesus; see entry for John 3:15.

John 6:51

“I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.”

(a) The life. Two kinds of life are described in the Bible; the psuche– or soul life we inherited from Adam and the zoe– or spirit life that comes from God (John 5:26). It’s the second kind of life that is described here. See entry for New Life.

(b) My flesh. My body. Jesus will sacrifice his body so that all may live.

John 6:63

“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.

(a) The Spirit who gives life. The chief ministry of the Holy Spirit is to give life to the dead.

Technically, zoe-life comes from God the Father (John 5:21, 26, 6:27, Acts 17:28, Heb. 12:9) and God the Son (John 1:4, 5:21, 14:6, Rom. 6:23, 2 Tim. 1:9, 1 John 1:2, 1 John 5:11-13). But this life comes to us via God the Holy Spirit.

Yet there is a danger of over-thinking things and splitting hairs. John 6:63 says the Spirit gives life while 1 John 5:12 says he who has the Son has the life. There is no difference. If you have the Son you have the Spirit and if you have the Spirit you have the Son. Jesus is the life-giving Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45).

See entry for New Life.

(b) The flesh profits nothing. You can be the best person in the world and in the end it will count for nought, because flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor. 15:50). We all need to be born of the Spirit. We all need to be born again.

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