It doesn’t take much thought to realize that no one knows more about salvation than would the Savior, and His words in John 6 are illuminating. Specifically, verses 35–40 are in view here.
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.” Verse 35, NASB
Jesus declares Himself to be that which can eternally nourish mankind. When we come to Christ in faith, we partake of His life, and we never more shall lack that life. It is imparted to us, eternally. We shall not hunger and we shall never thirst, for we shall have been given life, eternal & blessed.
“But I said to you, that you have seen Me, and yet do not believe. 37All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. Verses 36, 37, NASB
Jesus is talking to unbelievers — those who desired more ordinary bread (v. 23) as opposed to those who desired the Living Bread — and He comes straight out and tells them, (paraphrased) “You have seen Me, the power and authority that I have. Yet you have not believed in Me. Anyone who the Father does give to Me will come to Me, and I’ll not turn them away or cast them out.”
We see immediately the sovereignty involved in salvation. The Father brings people to the Christ, and it is they who will be received by Him.
No amount of “I’m a good person, so I’m going to Heaven” is going to cut it. There’ll be none in Heaven claiming they are there because of a good family, a good life, or a good church. No, those who are received into Heaven are personally invited there by the Father, with their admission being paid by Jesus Christ. Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to Your name be the glory!
“For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39And 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. Verses 38, 39, NASB
Seemingly anticipating the objection of the Jewish audience, Jesus proceeds to link His ministry with the ultimate will of the Father in Heaven. In paraphrase: “The Father wants me here, and so I have come down from Heaven accordingly. And this is His desire: those who He gives to Me will never be lost — how could they be, when I have a hold of them?! When it’s all said and done, I will raise them up to be with Me!”
Oh and what wondrous love it is! We saw in previous verses that not only will Jesus definitely receive all those the Father gives to Him, but also that everyone the Father chooses will come to Christ. He’ll become their desire, and He will not cast them away.
But Jesus doesn’t stop with the blessing, for here we find another ineffably precious promise: It is God’s will that none of Christ’s people should be lost! They will be risen up with Christ when the time is fulfilled! For the true believer in Christ, there is now no condemnation nor any risk of ultimately falling away from Him! You have Jesus’ word on it!
“For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him, may have eternal life; and I Myself will raise him up on the last day. Verse 40, NASB
Up to this point, salvation according to Jesus has been very God-centric:
The Father chooses who will be brought to Jesus.
The Father brings them to Jesus.
Jesus accepts them.
Jesus keeps them.
Jesus will raise them up at the end.
But Jesus shifts paradigms in verse 40. Suddenly, man’s responsibility is in view. Suddenly, we have an answer to the question, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30, KJV).
Do you want to know how to be saved? Do you want to be assured that at the last time, Jesus will raise you up?
Believe. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31, KJV).
That is the one & only way of salvation. You cannot be saved by trusting in your own goodness. You cannot be saved by trusting in your family, your race, your church, your baptism, or the fish on your car.
You see, everything we do to please God is nothing more than filthy rags. We cannot please God. We are simply too sinful.
That is the marvel of salvation. It isn’t about us. It is all about Jesus. He is Wonderful. For those the Father has given to Him, He has taken up Himself their sin, and the Father stands ready to count Jesus’ righteousness as theirs.
And you will have eternal life.
You may ask, “If it’s all up to the Father — if those who are saved are only those who He gives to Christ — why bother believing?” Your belief is a testament to your election. Many will actively choose to disbelieve in Jesus for salvation — a great deal will continue to trust their own righteousness in whatever forms it may take. I urge you not to be among that crowd. Partake of the Living Bread; drink of the Living Water. Believe in Jesus Christ.
Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Your name be the glory forever and ever. Amen.