For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.

—John 6:40 NIV (emphasis mine)

Does the bold text above refer to:

A. all the elect who have lived since the creation of Adam?
B. all the elect who have lived since Jesus's time. This theory would mean that no elect lived prior to Jesus's time?

If A is true, then there is a question, how is it that Adam looks to Jesus and believes in Jesus while Jesus had not yet lived?

If B is true, what is God's plan for everyone who lived before Jesus time?

Is there a third explanation I haven't thought of?

Why I propose like A and B, because I read from the internet like this : Reformed theology, also known as Calvinism, teaches that Jesus only bore the sins of the elect

And assuming that I'm not wrong, the process for the elect something like this :
1. there is an info about Jesus story
2. the elect regenerated
3. the elect hear that story about Jesus
4. from that knowledge - the elect look to Jesus
5. and the elect believe in Jesus

I don't understand, what does it mean of this article if it's not talking about the doctrine of election ?

The careful reader, however, will note that 6:40 follows 6:35-39. Hence, if the flow of thought means anything, we already have the identity of those who will come, behold, and believe, established in these preceding verses. Remembering that Jesus is explaining the unbelief of those who have seen Him work miracles, we have the identification of those who do come to Christ as those who are given to the Son by the Father (6:37); the same ones who will be infallibly raised up by the Son as per the Father’s will (6:38-39). We have already been told in 6:37 that those the Father gives to the Son come to the Son: coming is active. Believers believe. Saving faith is a gift of God, given to His elect people.

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    You gotta stop posting these false dichotomies! Seriously! This is a bad question format. – curiousdannii Nov 16 '17 at 0:58
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    Your question is based on completely faulty logic. John 6:40 says everyone who looks and believes has eternal life. It says nothing anyone who doesn't fit those two criteria. You can't infer anything about people who lived before Jesus from this verse. – curiousdannii Nov 16 '17 at 1:00
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    @Zenon And almost every single time, people have gone "yes it's something else." This is a bad, unfruitful question format. karma seems to have heard second hand of some idea about RT and then makes up two possible interpretations and asks which is correct. That's not how you ask a good question. – curiousdannii Nov 16 '17 at 2:56
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    Where does it say, either in scripture or reformed theology, that Adam was saved? This seems to be an assumption on your part. A citation would be useful. – Mick Nov 16 '17 at 3:42
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    @karma Which Reformed Theology authors have you been reading recently? It would help your questions immensely if you could provide quotes to some of them. – curiousdannii Nov 16 '17 at 3:45

John Calvin himself wrote in his commentary of the Bible, pertaining to John chapter 6, verse 40 (emphasis mine):

He uses the words, see and believe, in contrast with what he had formerly said; for he had reproached the Jews with not believing, even though they saw, (verse 36.) But now, speaking of the sons of God, with the feeling which they have of the power of God in Christ, he joins the obedience of faith. Moreover, these words show that faith proceeds from the knowledge of Christ; not that it desires anything beyond the simple word of God, but because, if we trust in Christ, we must perceive what he is, and what he brings to us.

Calvin is saying here that Jesus’s words should be seen in the context of the overall passage. He is speaking of the Jews at the present time, in contrast to those who had seen yet not believed. He isn’t making such a broad statement about all human history like A or B. In short:

C. The Jews have seen. Those who believe as a result of their seeing will be saved; those who have seen and don’t believe won’t be saved.

This question and its answers may lend some assistance in understanding how people prior to Jesus were saved, but the above commentary sums up the Reformed interpretation of John 6:40.

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    @curiousdannii Clarified. I’ll add in some more explanation when I get home – Zenon Nov 16 '17 at 1:32
  • Zenon, thank you for the answer. Jesus said that is His Father's will. Am I correct to think like this : "His Father's Will on that present time" as Calvin said that [Jesus is speaking of the Jews at the present time]. But from the Calvin's quote : [faith proceeds from the knowledge of Chris] ... to me this still raise a question : how is that Adam able to have faith if faith proceeds from the knowledge of Chris ? – karma Nov 16 '17 at 3:33
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    @karma That would be a separate question, which has already been answered in the question I linked to. If there isn’t a Calvinist perspective in the answers for that question, you can ask your new question in a new post. – Zenon Nov 16 '17 at 3:36
  • Zenon, there something came in my mind.... to have Calvin consistent .... then I think when he said [faith proceeds from the knowledge of Chris] maybe Calvin meant it's also apply starting from that present time. Calvin never meant something like this [Abel's faith proceeds from the knowledge of Jesus]. I will go to the link and read it. Thank you, zenon. – karma Nov 16 '17 at 3:49
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    @karma Again, as mentioned in my answer, neither A nor B is true. C is. Jesus isn’t trying to talk about Adam or Abel or anyone from the past, or about you or me or anyone from the future; he is speaking about the Jews in his present time. – Zenon Nov 16 '17 at 6:24

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