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Problem Texts for Sovereign Grace (Part 22) - Act 2:38; Act 3:19

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For a paperback book in outline form which addresses over 150 difficult verses that Arminians use against Sovereign Grace, check out: Problem Texts for Sovereign Grace: Rooting Arminianism Out of Every Verse.

For a master copy of the outline, click here: Problem Texts for Sovereign Grace

49. Joh 11:25-26
A. "Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 26) And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?" (Joh 11:25-26)
B. Does this verse teach that believing in Jesus is a condition which needs to be met for one to acquire eternal life?
C. Like many other verses (ex: Joh 3:16; Joh 3:36; Joh 5:24; Joh 6:47, etc), these verses show that belief in Jesus is the evidence, not the cause of eternal life (See Joh 5:24 - Section III, 41).
D. Observe the tenses of the verbs:
i. believeth (v. 25) - present tense
ii. were dead (v. 25) - past tense
iii. shall he live (v. 25) - future tense
iv. liveth (v. 26) - present tense
v. believeth (v. 26) - present tense
vi. shall never die (v. 26) - future tense
E. These verses don't say that a spiritually dead person can believe and as a result live forever.
i. They simple say that people who believe presently were dead in the past and they shall never die in the future.
ii. Joh 5:24 plainly states that passing from death unto life precedes belief (heareth and believeth are both present tense; is passed is present perfect tense) (See Joh 5:24 - Section III, 41).
iii. Those that believe have (not get) everlasting life (Joh 3:36); if they didn't, the gospel would be foolishness to them and they couldn't believe (1Co 1:18).
F. Notice the order of the words in verse 26: liveth and believeth.
G. The word order further supports the fact that eternal life precedes belief (Joh 5:24) (See Joh 5:24 - Section III, 41).

50. Joh 12:32
A. "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." (Joh 12:32)
B. Did Jesus mean that He would draw the entire human race to Himself when he was crucified when He said all men?
C. All men doesn't always mean the entire human race without exception (example: Joh 3:26) (see section II,11,A), so the context will have to be analyzed to determine who is referred to by all men.
D. Some have the idea that draw means to coax, woo, or lure, but that is not the case.
i. Draw v. - 1. a. trans. To cause (anything) to move toward oneself by the application of force; to pull.
ii. Therefore those whom Jesus drew to Himself were caused to come to him, not coaxed.
iii. Therefore whoever the all men were who were drawn to Christ WERE DRAWN, not offered to be drawn.
iv. Does everyone come to Christ? No. (Joh 5:40; Mat 25:41)
v. Therefore the all men whom Jesus would draw unto Himself were a portion of the human race.
E. So who are the all men whom Jesus would draw unto Himself when He was crucified?
i. He tells us in Joh 6:37-39: all that the Father gave Him (the elect).
ii. The all men were as many as the Father had given him (Joh 17:2).
iii. The all men whom Jesus would draw were those whom the Father had drawn (Joh 6:44).
iv. The all men whom Jesus would draw were men out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation whom Jesus redeemed (Rev 5:9).
v. Redeem v. - 1. trans. To buy back (a thing formerly possessed); to make payment for (a thing held or claimed by another). b. To regain, recover (an immaterial thing). c. To regain or recover by force.
F. Rather than proving universal redemption, John 12:32 proves limited atonement.

51. Joh 12:36
A. "While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them." (Joh 12:36)
B. Is Jesus here teaching that if a person believes in Him he will become a child of light?
C. Jesus is the Light of the world (Joh 9:5).
D. Christians are also the light of the world (Mat 5:14-16).
i. By believing in Christ (the light) men show that they have eternal life which is light (Joh 3:36 c/w Joh 1:9) (See Joh 1:9 - Section III, 33).
ii. The gospel doesn't give eternal life, but it rather brings it to light (2Ti 1:10).
iii. When God's children believe in the light they show that they are the children of light (Joh 12:36).
a. Notice that Jesus didn't say that they become children of light, but be children of light (act like it).
b. When someone says "just be yourself", they are not trying to get you to bring yourself into existence.
iv. Those who believe in Christ will not abide in darkness (Joh 8:12; Joh 12:46).
v. Those who have been lightened by Christ should walk as children of light, or in other words be the children of light (Eph 5:8).
vi. God's children should believe in Christ and follow Him so that they can "be (not become) blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world" (Phi 2:15).
E. Sadly, the people whom Jesus was speaking to did not believe (Joh 12:37).
F. They were some whose eyes and hearts God had blinded to prevent them from believing and being converted (Joh 12:38-41) (See Mat 13:11-15 - Section III, 10).

52. Joh 12:46
A. "I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness." (Joh 12:46).
B. (See Joh 12:36 - Section III, 51)

53. Joh 15:1-8
A. "2) Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. 6) If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned." (Joh 15:2,6)
B. (See Luk 3:9 - Section III, 23, D, iv)

54. Joh 20:31
A. "But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name." (Joh 20:31)
B. Does this verse teach that men get eternal life by believing in Jesus?
i. The verse doesn't say that believing ye might get, acquire, or procure eternal life, but that believing ye might have life through his name.
ii. This verse, like many others examined in this outline, shows that belief is the evidence of eternal life, not the cause of it (See Joh 5:24 - Section III, 41).
C. It is through Jesus that we were given eternal life (1Jo 5:11; Rom 5:18; Rom 6:23).
i. It is through Jesus, not our belief, that we got eternal life (Joh 10:28).
ii. It is through His name that we are saved (Act 4:12 c/w Joh 14:6).
D. A person can know that they have eternal life by believing in Jesus.
i. This is why John wrote his gospel and his epistles: so God's elect can know that they have eternal life (1Jo 5:13; Joh 20:31).
ii. God's children are exhorted to lay hold on eternal life (1Ti 6:12; 1Ti 6:19).
iii. Timothy, an ordained minister, was obviously not being exhorted to get eternal life, but to lay hold on (have) it (1Ti 6:12).
E. Jesus came and died for the sins of His people so that they might have life (eternal salvation), and that they might it more abundantly (temporal salvation) (Joh 10:10).
i. The eternal life was given to Jesus' sheep (Joh 10:28; 2Ti 1:9).
ii. The abundant life is brought to light by the gospel (2Ti 1:10) and is accessed through believe in Jesus (Rom 5:2).
iii. The abundant life is the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory which the elect may also obtain (2Ti 2:10).
iv. In this sense, we may have life through belief in Jesus.
F. "...believers have their spiritual and eternal life through Christ; their life of grace, of justification on him, of sanctification from him, and communion with him; the support and maintenance of their spiritual life, and all the comforts of it: and also their life of glory, or eternal life, they have through, or in his name; it lies in his person, it comes to them through him as the procuring cause of it; it is for his sake bestowed upon them, yea, it is in his hands to give it, and who does give it to all that believe: not that believing is the cause of their enjoyment of this life, or is their title to it, which is the name, person, blood, and righteousness of Christ; but faith is the way and means in which they enjoy it; and therefore these signs are written by the evangelist for the encouragement of this faith in Christ, which is of such use in the enjoyment of life, in, through, and from him." (John Gill, John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible)

For a master copy of the outline, click here: Problem Texts for Sovereign Grace