SINNERS TAUGHT BY THE FATHER
By Curtis Pugh
By Curtis Pugh
If you are the average church-goer, it is highly probable that you have never heard our subject preached nor our text expounded. Our text is not a difficult one nor a long one. It consists of only two verses – words spoken by the Lord Jesus Himself. Consider thoughtfully, please these words: “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me,” (John 6:44-45). Here the Lord Jesus cites the writings of the Old Testament prophet Isaiah who wrote, “And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children,” (Isaiah 54:13).
Many professing Christians believe that the Holy Spirit teaches or illumines the minds of those who have believed in Christ. While we do not deny that, our text quoted above does not have to do with those who have already believed in the Lord Jesus Christ. These verses, to the consternation of many, clearly state that there is a teaching work or a drawing work that the Father does in certain people prior to their coming in faith to Christ. Now if my last sentence does not sit well with you, you are not alone. The majority of professing Christians think that they came in a saving way to Christ without any previous work of God in their hearts and lives. Because of this, their confidence is in themselves or in their obedience or their praying a prayer or making a decision or being baptized, etc. If this is the case, we fear that their faith is not in Christ, but is in their own works. Let me provide an example of the popularity of this self confidence scheme of salvation. In a brief doctrinal conversation with a certain missionary Baptist preacher, both he and I perceived that we were approaching salvation from different viewpoints. I had stayed with Bible terms knowing that certain theological words were actually buzz words that would cause him to think me an heretic of the worst sort. Finally he exclaimed: “Oh! You believe the Spirit has to work first!” He held to the view that men are able to come to Christ apart from Divine intervention. Of course our conversation was abruptly at an end.
But let us look at our text. We will number five things clearly stated in Christ's words here: (1) No man can (has the ability) to come savingly to Christ in himself. The word “can” means to have the ability. (2) The Father must draw him if he is to come. (“Draw” is the same Greek word used in John 18:10 of Peter drawing his sword and in Acts 21:30 of Paul being dragged out of the city. This word means, of course, that a superior power acts upon a thing to move it from one place to another.) (3) This drawing work of the Father is not merely an attempt to draw a sinner to Christ as some would have us think. We know this of a certainty because those that are drawn by the Father are promised by Christ that He will resurrect them in a blessed resurrection. Christ will not resurrect those whom God only tried to draw to Christ. Besides that, when did you ever read in the Bible about God trying to do anything? God does not try! He does as He pleases! (4) The Lord Jesus cites the Old Testament, quoting from it on this matter. He has clearly stated that there is a teaching or drawing work performed by the Father. It seems that He anticipated the reaction of the average religious person. He anticipated that they would think themselves able to come to Him in a saving way if they wanted to do so. They would argue with His words just as men do today: nevertheless He said, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him.” Such an idea is repulsive to self confident sinners. Therefore He not only spake Himself, but bolstered His words in the minds of His hearers by showing them that this was written in the Scriptures before He spoke these words. (5) In a grand finale, as it were, the Lord Jesus announced that everyone whom the Father teaches will come in a saving way to Him. This is a glorious fact! Because of the Savior's words in this place we can be confident that all those in whom the Father has chosen to work – to draw or to teach – all those individuals will come to Christ. Salvation is assured not as a result of the preacher's persuasive preaching ability. Nor is salvation sure because of the will of man, but because of the sovereign God who works in the lost sinner to bring him to Christ. The Bible is clear in John 1:13 that those who are born again of the Spirit are “...born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God,” (John 1:13). Rejoice! The Almighty Sovereign who is able to do all things well is able to save whom He has purposed to save! Away with all confidence in the flesh and in the will of man. Our confidence is in the will of God! Give glory to God! All in whom He works in drawing and teaching do in fact come to Christ. Apart from this work no man has the ability to come in a saving way to Christ. Rejoice! “...He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ,” (Philippians 1:6). Your salvation is not dependent upon you, but rather upon Him who doeth all things well!
Grace Bible Baptist Church
26080 Wax Road
Denham Springs, LA 70726