Gentle and Lowly: Discussion of Chapter 6 — I Will Never Cast Out

Hi @Interested_In_Book_Studies,

In Chapter 6 we take a close look at John 6:37, “Whoever comes to me I will never cast out.”

Ortlund points us to John Bunyan’s book, Come and Welcome to Jesus Christ, which is a book length treatise on John 6:37.

Quoting Bunyan, we read:

They that are coming to Jesus Christ, are often times heartily afraid that Jesus Christ will not receive them.

I wonder, are you afraid that Jesus is tired of you? Can’t be bothered to forgive you…again? Disappointed and upset? Angry? Dismissive and ready to leave? He’s headed for the door…

But Bunyan argues:

But I am a great sinner, say you.
“I will in no wise cast out,” says Christ.
But I am an old sinner, say you.
“I will in no wise cast out,” says Christ.
But I am a hard-hearted sinner, say you.
“I will in no wise cast out,” says Christ.
But I am a backsliding sinner, say you.
“I will in no wise cast out,” says Christ.
But I have served Satan all my days, say you.
“I will in no wise cast out,” says Christ.
But I have sinned against light, say you.
“I will in no wise cast out,” says Christ.
But I have sinned against mercy, say you.
“I will in no wise cast out,” says Christ.
But I have no good thing to bring with me, say you.
“I will in no wise cast out,” says Christ.

What, you might be wondering, does the strange phrase “in no wise” mean? Ortlund has you covered:

We no longer use the expression “in no wise,” but it was a seventeenth-century English way of capturing the emphatic negative of the Greek of John 6:37. The text literally reads, “the one coming to me I will not—not—cast out.” Sometimes, as here, Greek uses two negatives piled on top of each other for literary forcefulness. “I will most certainly never, ever cast out.” It is this emphatic negation that Christ will ever cast us out that Bunyan calls “this great and strange expression.”

There’s a great deal more to consider in the chapter. I hope you have a copy and are savoring its wisdom and refreshment for your soul!

As I consider the heart of Jesus, it stands in such contrast to the fickleness of our culture.

We experience people ‘ghosting’ us. We see ‘cancel culture’ in action. Divorce is an apparently casual consideration. Social media mobs erupt in outrage (sometimes for understandable reasons).

It seems that people and relationships are becoming “disposable.” I wonder how this might affect our sense of security in Christ?

Discussion Questions:

  1. What arguments do you have for why Christ might reject you?
  2. What comfort is to know that Christ will never reject those who come to him?
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Thanks for expounding on this topic, @CarsonWeitnauer!

It moved me to tears just to be reminded how awfully sinful I am yet how wonderfully welcoming Christ is. Ever guarding myself lest I make the grace of God a license to sin, but ever disappointed in myself that I fall so short of His holiness. I’m sure glad He clothed me with His righteousness that I might be acceptable in God’s presence.

Indeed, I will be singing of the mercies of the Lord forever. Sorry to those who would be hearing as I am no singer. Who cares? God welcomes the rushing wind, the rustling leaves, the flowing rivers, the roaring seas, the clap of thunder, the cooing of a child as worship. How much more the joyful praise of a redeemed sinner!

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  1. What arguments do you have for why Christ might reject you?

I have many reasons Christ could use to reject me, let me count the ways. But, his promises trump all arguments for rejection in favor of never casting me out. Thank God for the promise.

  1. What comfort is to know that Christ will never reject those who come to him?

The comfort and promise gives us all reasons to live, to share, to start over, to be rejuvenated, to drive our own discipleship and other to be disciples, and mostly to have abundance in life with the assurance of his presence everlasting.

It was a great chapter and a foundational message many need to hear.

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I do not argue that Christ might reject me very much anymore. I have a few decades of depravity to review that prove that he does not reject me. I unsuccessfully “tried” very hard to get him to reject me. Alas :wink:, he never pushed me away. I almost regret writing this because I know that some people will read my testimony and think that I have it made, but I do not have it made. I learned not to compare myself to others. I hope that nobody compares themselves to me. I am not a charming example.

That Christ will never (οὐ μὴ [ou mē]–that Greek double-negative) reject any of his followers has comforted me beyond anything else that I use to bring myself comfort. He has always been there for me and welcomed me into his presence. I frequently tell people that I am a sinner saved by grace, and I mean it. Jesus has brought me through some pretty dark valleys! (Fortunately I never seriously considered it.)

I appreciated John Bunyan’s application of the emphatic nature of the negative term in the verse. I highlighted the list of excuses for Jesus to reject us because they crystallized how significant Jesus’s promise is. How deep Scripture is! I expect to think twice whenever I start to develop these excuses.

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I do not believe that you have much to worry about in your eternal body :notes:!

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Thanks for reminding me that, @blbossard :slightly_smiling_face:
I forgot about the total overhaul my body would be undergoing in the resurrection.
Makes me appreciate more how great a faith Fanny Crosby had, readily anticipating her sight and to meet her Savior first of all.

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Greetings to all,
I have no arguments as to why Christ might reject me. He gave his life to rescue mine. His love for me is beyond fully knowing in this life. He declares me righteous in his eyes.

I take great comfort in knowing that Christ will never reject me. Romans, chapter 8, is so rich in detailing this security. It begins with this statement: “Therefore there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.” The chapter ends with telling us that NOTHING can separate a disciple of Christ from the love of God. Add to this that several verses declare disciples to be righteous in our Father’s eyes because our faith in Jesus makes us so. Therefore, I live my life focusing on the fact I am forgiven, my righteousness, and that I am flawless in my Father’s eyes. That may sound presumptuous, but is it? No, because if one digs into the original meaning of several bible verses concerning the shed blood of Jesus, it is continuously washing my sins away; It is a continuous, ongoing action! Other verses declare that our sins and lawless deeds He will remember no more. I live in a state of forgiveness. I no longer see myself as a sinner saved by grace, but as a Saint who occasionally sins. When I do sin, I have an advocate before the Father who is continuously making intersession for me. Jesus is my defense attorney. By focusing on God’s incredible love for me I am moved to love Father, Son & Holy Spirit deeply, resulting in an abhorrence of sin. My deepest desire is to honor Jesus in all I do, and to share his great love for others wherever I go.

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What if someone rejects Him? Not someone who was never a believer but someone
“in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt. 7 For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. 8 But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned.” Hebrew 6:4-8. I may be way off on this and I am willing to be humbled. I have heard this passage be argue for believes and for those who were never truly believers. Jesus said blasphemy of the Holy Spirit was the unforgivable sin. I imagine this statement in Hebrews being the definition of blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. I could never fully reject my Lord after all that has been done for me and how He has changed my life. I would never spit on the cross or demean the blood of my life but if someone truly rejected Jesus after becoming a Christian would Jesus honor that choice or force Him in to heaven with Him. Has this ever happened? I don’t know cause I can not imagine it happening but just a thought.
There is no argument though for why Christ would reject me. Except maybe in my head but His love has shown He will not reject me.

Like others on here I tested these waters many times, yet He did not tarry to bring me home. Now I tremble at the thought of testing Him even with the knowledge of His steadfast love. I wish not to hammer the nails in further. But Jesus is now in the Holy of holies interceding for me when i do mess up. Thank you Father for my high priest Jesus.

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Discussion Questions:

  1. What arguments do you have for why Christ might reject you?

  2. I have been a Christian for 48 years. Though my mind and my mouth say that Christ knows my sinful heart yet chooses to love and forgive me, my will and pride fight against it. Afraid to let go in front of Him, to be vulnerable enough to let go of my self-defense and receive His unconditional love, mercy and grace. I am somehow afraid I will fall into laziness. But I’m there already anyway and am not diligent enough in my pursuit of Him. It’s a mess.It is a strange combination of self-love and self-loathing.

As I reread the question and then reread my answer, I see that I am not answering the question. These are arguments why ‘I’ reject myself. The question is what argument do I have for why ‘Christ’ might reject me.
From what I read in the Scriptures, as long as I come to Him, He will NOT cast me out for any reason. All that is required is to come to Him. That act in itself demonstrates, humility and acknowledgment of my need for Him.
Wow. There is no argument from Him.

  1. What comfort is it to know that Christ will never reject those who come to Him?

It’s all I have to cling onto to. He has told me over and over, ‘Just Come’. For me, it’s like continual, every day, just keep coming to Him.
That’s where I and know where I can find a refuge from the assault of trying and failing and accusations. Peace…

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