John 6:65 -And he said, This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.
As we all know, the debate about how it is that men are saved is a strong and often divisive one. On the one side are the Arminians, those who conclude that man is saved only after the individual man chooses God. Calvinists, on the other hand, believe the scripture to teach that man can only choose God if God gives him the ability. The ultimate question between these two groups is: Who chooses first, the man or God? (Of course, some Arminians would say that God chooses first, but he does so out of his knowledge of the man’s future decision. Such a view, however, still leaves the choice entirely up to the man.)
Now, while I do not want to spawn a long debate over a topic that people much wiser than myself have discussed for centuries, I want to point out one teaching of our Lord Jesus that, in my mind, makes this topic come into sharp focus. IN John 6:65, the Lord says that no one can come to him unless it is granted to that person by the Father. This phrase is powerful. No one—that is no human being whatsoever—can—that is has the ability—come to Jesus—that is be saved—unless it is first granted to him—that is given to him as a gift—by the Father. No human being has the ability to be saved unless their coming to Jesus is granted to them as a gift by God the Father. This concept, in my mind, puts the glory for any of our salvation right where it belongs, with our holy God who gives us not only the means of salvation, but also the desire and ability to believe in order to be saved.