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Sovereign Grace Church - You must be “drawn” - by J.C. Ryle

the unsearchable riches of Christ...


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Aug 06, 2017
Preacher: J.C. Ryle
Passage: John 6:44 & Jeremiah 31:3

You must be “drawn”

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.

(JOHN 6:44) Read JEREMIAH 31:3

The general lesson of [this verse]…is one of vast importance. Our Lord lays down the great principle,—“That no man whatsoever can come to Christ by faith, and really believe in Him, unless God the Father draws him so to come, and inclines his will to believe.” The nature of man since the fall is so corrupt and depraved, that even when Christ is made known and preached to him, he will not come to Him and believe in Him without the special grace of God inclining his will, and giving him a disposition to come. Moral suasion [persuasion] and advice alone will not bring him. He must be “drawn.”

This is no doubt a very humbling truth, and one which in every age has called forth the hatred and opposition of man. The favorite notion of man is that he can do what he likes, repent or not repent, believe or not believe, come to Christ or not come,—entirely at his own discretion. In fact man likes to think that his salvation is in his own power. Such notions are flatly contradictory to the text before us. The words of our Lord here are clear and unmistakeable, and cannot be explained away.

When our Lord says, “No man can come unto me,” we must carefully remember that it is moral inability and not physical inability that He speaks of. We are not to suppose that any man can have a sincere and hearty wish to come to Christ, and yet be prevented by some mysterious impotence. The impotence lies in man’s will. He cannot come because he will not come.—There is an Old Testament sentence which throws much light on the expression before us. It is said of Joseph’s brethren, that “they hated him, and COULD NOT speak peaceably unto him” (GENESIS 37:4). Any one must see at a glance what this “could not” means. They “could not” because they would not.

When our Lord says, “Except the Father draw him,” we must not suppose that the “drawing” means such a violent drawing, as the drawing of a prisoner to a jail, or of an ox to the slaughterhouse, a “drawing” in short against a man’s will. It is a drawing which the Father effects through the man’s own will, by creating a new principle within him. By the unseen agency of the Holy Spirit, He works on the man’s heart, without the man himself owing it at the time, inclines him to think, induces him to feel, shows him his sinfulness, and so leads him at length to Christ. Every one that comes to Christ is so drawn. (Read PSALM 110:3)

An excerpt from “Expository Thoughts on the Gospels; for Family and Private Use: St. John”

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