I wrote a paper for my last class of my undergrad degree on TULIP in the book of John. For the next several weeks I will be posting small sections of this paper. Each day of the week, I will post one portion of each doctrine in their respective order. I hope this sample from the introduction will prove to be true for these blog posts and each and every one of our hearts:
The burden of this paper is to show these doctrines from the Bible. If it cannot be shown, it should not be believed. But o how clear it is! For the purpose of this paper, the focus will be on the Gospel of John. Every page of the Bible testifies to the sovereign grace of God. This narrow focus will allow the reader to see the heavy volume of texts in just one book of the Bible that proves the Reformed tradition. The Reformed tradition should be known as one that loves the Bible. More than that, the Reformed tradition is rich in doxology. The purpose of this paper is far from simple persuasion. The aim is worship. Bad theology dishonors God and hurts people, to quote John Piper. In fact, the theme of this paper is drawn from the book of John itself. Hear the Word of the Lord:
“but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
(John 20:31 ESV)
This paper is written so that you will believe and have life in Christ’s name. God is glorified in the gladness of His people in Him. Man’s satisfaction, indeed His joy will only increase the more he knows the God of His salvation and knows Him as He has revealed Himself. So may we now, together, behold the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ with an unveiled face (2 Cor 3:18).
Unconditional Election (1)
“We begin again in John 4. Jesus is talking to the woman at the well about the water that never ceases to satisfy, that is, Christ Himself. Christ is explaining that there is coming a sign when Jew and Gentile will worship God for a common salvation by grace through faith in Christ. “True worshippers,” Jesus says will worship God “in spirit and in truth.” Then John writes a critical three-letter word: “for.” These worshippers will come, “for” God is seeking such people to worship him (v.23). For this reason people with come forth. It is the seeking of God that will create worshippers. Notice that God is not seeking people who worship Him. If that were the case then He would search in vain. God is seeking those to worship Him. God stands as the reason people will worship Him. God is seeking a people for Himself.
John 5:21 is the next verse to consider. Jesus is saying that He does nothing of His own accord but only what the Father shows Him (v.19). There is here this interconnectedness between the first and second person of the Trinity. God is supremely satisfied in the Son and shows Him all that He does (v.20). Verse 21 says that God raised the dead and gives life. Christ says in the same way He too gives life. We must establish what it means here that God “raises the dead.” Clearly God raised those physically dead to physical life (Luke 7:11-17, 2 Kings 4, John 11, etc.). Context, however, demands the giving of spiritual if, not physical. Christ goes on to talk about judgment (v.22), which is obviously not the antitheist to physical life. Moreover, belief is in view here. Verse 24 says that all who believe have eternal life. Eternal life is contrasted with spiritual death.
It is Jesus who gives life to whomever He will (v.21). Verse 21 reads: “For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will.” The decision is Jesus’. Whoever has spiritual life has it because of God’s good will and pleasure. What accounts for some receiving it and not others? It is purely due to the grace of God, finding absolutely no outside motivation. God’s election separates the alive and the dead.”