JOHN CHAPTER 12
I) [Jn 12:25]:
(v. 25) The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.'''
A) 'LOSING ONE'S LIFE' HERE DOES NOT HAVE ETERNAL DESTRUCTION OR PHYSICAL DEATH IN VIEW BUT OF A BELIEVER PLACING CONTROL OF HIS LIFE UNDER THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD LEADING TO KEEPING THE VALUE OF HIS LIFE FOR ETERNITY
"The man who loves his life will lose it" = Losing one's life = turning the control of one's life over to the sovereign will of God.
[Charles C. Bing states, ("The Cost of Discipleship" from the Grace Evangelical Society Journal, vol 6, Spring '93, pp. 42-43]:
"...When Jesus says 'whoever loses his life for My sake,' the sense is certainly not eternal destruction, for He says this one will then 'find it,' which is something good. Conversely, it fits well that what one may lose when he tries to save his life (preserve himself from the hardships of self-denial and cross-bearing) is life in the essential qualitative sense (i.e., experiencing God's life in this life, John 17:3), not the eternal soul. The paradox Jesus used has great meaning. What He appears to be saying is this: 'Whoever desires to preserve himself from the hardships of God's will of self-denial and cross-bearing will in fact forfeit the essential quality (- true spiritual value) of the present life he is trying to preserve. On the other hand, whoever forfeits himself to God's will of self-denial and hardships will discover the greater essential quality (spiritual value) of the present life he was willing to forfeit.' This interpretation would therefore not describe eternal salvation, but a higher quality of experience with God in this life, with implications for the eschatological life [future & eternal life]...
"and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life" =
Notice that the result of one hating ones life in this world is not that one would receive eternal life as a result of being faithful under the sovereignty of God, but that one would keep the value of what one did in one's life in this world under the sovereignty of God which value would be saved for eternal life. Believers must be in view here for no one can be qualified to be under the direction of the sovereignty of God until one is saved.
II) [Jn 12:32-33]:
(v. 32) "If I be lifted up, I will draw all unto Me (John 12:32-33).
(v. 33) He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die."
A) ALL MANKIND IS ALSO DRAWN TO GOD IN A NUMBER OF WAYS BUT NOT ALL WILL RESPOND
1) ALL MEN ARE DRAWN BY CHRIST WHEN HE WAS LIFTED UP BUT NOT ALL WILL RESPOND
Here in this passage, it is evident our Lord said that He will draw all men, Greek "pantas" Str 3956 = all, (i.e., everyone whoever lived to Him with a view of His death on the cross for the sins of the whole world, (Jn 3:14-18; 1 Jn 2:2).
The all in this passage is not restricted and therefore is universal, the same as it is in Romans 10:13 and Jn 2:24:
a) [Ro 10:13]:
'''For, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."
"Everyone" = "pas" Str 3956 = all, everyone - not just all types of men, same root word as in Jn 6:44.
b) [Jn 2:24]:
"But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all men."
"All" = "pantas" Str 3956 = all, everyone - not just types of men, identical word as in Jn 6:44.
For example, Judas was surely drawn to Christ in a very intense way, yet he rejected Him. That is why his guilt is so great. The nation of Israel was consistently drawn to trust in a coming Messiah and repent in that light, yet she consistently failed except for a remnant who believed. Jesus said that the guilt of those in Chorazin and Bethsaida would be greater than that of those from ancient Tyre and Sidon because they had rejected greater light (Luke 10:13-16). Indeed, Jesus indicted the whole generation for rejecting One greater than Solomon and Jonah (Luke 11:29-32).
All men indeed are drawn to Christ and Him crucified. So all men have available to them the full benefit of what He did on the cross. But Scripture elsewhere indicates that not all men will respond, (Mt 7:13-14).
2) ALL MEN ARE DRAWN BY THE HOLY SPIRIT TO CONVICTION OF SIN AND JUDGMENT AND THE NEED FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS BUT FEW RESPOND
a) [Jn 16:8-11]:
(v. 8) "When He [the Holy Spirit, vv. 7-8)] comes, He will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment:
(v. 9) in regard to sin, because men do not believe in Me;
(v. 10) in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see Me no longer;
(v. 11) and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned."
Note that Jesus said that as a result of unbelief in Him and our Lord's ascension to the Father and the defeat of the Devil, the Holy Spirit would come to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment. This implies that men can be convicted of sin, the need for righteousness and of judgment to come. Man is thus held accountable for his unbelief in Jesus Christ especially as to His message of convicting men of sin, the need for righteousness and a coming judgment.
3) ALL MANKIND IS DRAWN BY CREATION AND THE ORDER IN WHICH IT EXISTS TO BELIEVE IN THE CREATOR, BUT FEW WILL RESPOND
a) [Compare Ro 1:18-23]:
(v. 18) "The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness,
(v. 19) since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.
(v. 20) For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse."
[Notice that the creation of the world gives clear and plain evidence of Who God is. Hence creation draws all mankind to God, but few respond]
b) [Compare Acts 17:24-27]:
(v. 24) "The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands.
(v. 25) And He is not served by human hands, as if He needed anything, because He Himself gives all men life and breath and everything else.
(v. 26) From one man He made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.
(v. 27) God did this so that men would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us."
[Notice that the order in which creation exists, especially God's determination of the times set for man and the exact places where they should live give clear evidence of Who God is so that all men may be drawn to their Creator and seek Him. This implies that man can understand Who God is and seek Him. But few do.]
4) GOD PROVIDES THE GIFT OF FAITH FOR THOSE THAT CHOOSE TO TRUST ALONE IN HIS SON ALONE UNTO ETERNAL LIFE
a) [Compare Phil 1:29]:
"For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for Him."
[Notice that God has granted to believers not only to believe on Jesus Christ but also to suffer for Him. The context has in view God's exclusive granting of faith in Christ and suffering to believers. These two grants are portrayed as exclusive to believers in light of a number of things:
i) Since unbelievers can do nothing to please God, then God's grant of suffering is exclusive to those who believe;
and since believing is paralleled with suffering in this verse, then God's grant of faith is also exclusive to those who believe.
ii) If one could come to faith in Christ without God's grant to believe on His Son then God's gift of faith would be meaningless.
III) [Jn 12:37-40]:
(v. 37) '''Even after Jesus had done all these miraculous signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him.
(v. 38) This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet: "Lord, who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?"
(v. 39) For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere:
(v. 40) "He has blinded their eyes and deadened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn--and I would heal them." '''
A) INDIVIDUALS WHO WOULD NOT BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST GOD MADE IT SO THEY COULD NOT BELIEVE
[BKC, op. cit., pp. 319-320]:
"12:37. John from the beginning of his Gospel (1:11) had sounded the theme of national unbelief. John now explained tht in spite of all Jesus' miraculous sings (sEmeia), they still would not belive in Him. Their unbelief was irrational, as sin always is.
12:38. The Jews' national, irrational unbelief had been predicted by Isaiah the prophet. The clearest Old Testament passage concerning the suffering Servant (Isa 53:1-12) began by stating that Israel would not perceive God's revelation in and through the Servant. Who has believed our message and seen His arm...revealed? implies that only a few have believed (quoting Isa 53:1).
12:39-40. Then John again quoted from Isaiah (6:10) to explain that the nation as a whole was unable to believe. Because they constantly rejected God's revelation, He had punished them with judicial blindness and deadened... hearts. People in Jesus' day, like those in Isaiah's day, refused to believe. They 'would not believe' (John 12:37); therefore they could not believe (v. 39). Similar illustrations of God's punishing of persistent sin by hardening are common (Ex 9:12; Rom 1:24, 26, 28; 2 Thes 2:8-12).'''