Jesus Speaks in Syllogisms
Jesus Speaks in Syllogisms
First of all, what is a syllogism? A syllogism is a logical formula consisting of two premises and a conclusion, which follows of necessity from them. It is a combination of two judgments that necessitate a third judgment infallibly. A simple example of a syllogism is: If all humans are sinners, and all Greeks are humans, then all Greeks are sinners.
Lets begin by setting down some context. Jesus said, "I am the bread of life. Whoever COMES TO ME shall not hunger, and whoever BELIEVES In me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe" John 6:35, 36. (emphasis mine). Here, we see that Jesus uses the phrases "comes to him" and "believes in him" as synonyms. He reiterates this point in John 6:37 & 65 when he says, "No one can COME TO ME unless the Father who sent me grants it." Likewise in verse 37 Jesus says, "all the Father gives me will COME TO ME.
Furthermore, the Greek word used for "gives" in John 6:37 is "δίδωμι" (didomi), which shares the same root as the word "granted" in John 6:65, which is "δέδωκεν" (dedoken). This connection between the two verses further express the idea that Jesus is talking about the same subject and emphasizes the role of God in the process of salvation.
By combining two related concepts expressed in John 6:37 and John 6:65, Jesus explicitly teaches that a person's ability to come to him is not based on their own will or effort, but entirely on the work of God. Specifically, Jesus states that no one can believe in him unless God grants it, and all those to whom God grants it will believe. Jesus thus establishes the essential role of grace in salvation, ensuring that no one thinks anything apart from it is what saves them.
From these declarations, a syllogism can be derived to prove monergistic regeneration:
Premise 1: No one (universal negative) can come to Jesus unless it is granted (δέδωκεν) by the Father. (John 6:65)
Premise 2: All (universal positive) that the Father gives (δίδωμ) to Jesus will come to Him. (John 6:37)
Conclusion: Therefore, all people without exception that the Father gives to Jesus will come to Him (believe in Him/come to faith in Him), and only them.
Lastly, Jesus directly relates these texts to the Spirit's work of regeneration. In verse 63, just before the verses we are discussing, Jesus says, "The Spirit gives life [quickens]; the flesh counts for nothing." This statement highlights the essential role of the Holy Spirit in regenerating a person's heart and enabling them to believe in Jesus. It emphasizes that salvation is entirely the work of God, and human effort or merit plays no part in it. Therefore, the passages in John 6 support the doctrine of monergistic regeneration, which shows that a person's ability to come to Jesus is dependent solely on the grace and work of God. By recognizing this truth, individuals can come to a place of humility and dependence on God.