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44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.


44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him;

No one has the ability to come to Christ independently because all are totally depraved in reference to God (not in reference to other men). Total depravity creates spiritual disinterest to the claims of Christ.

People are born blind to spiritual things, so they do not have the capacity to come to God without God’s initiative in pulling them to Himself. This is a humbling notion to mankind. Salvation is not entirely within the capacity of man. Thus, man never by himself comes to God. God must first invade his assumptions about what is true. Then the individual must determine whether God’s initiative on his soul is real.

Biblically the onus is on God to get the attention of those who are lost. He does this by personally pulling people toward Himself, by attracting them to what He values. Unless God takes the initiative in salvation, no one can be saved. No one can believe in Jesus of his own accord.

Drawing is an act of God whereby He works in the soul by conviction that Jesus is the Savior of the world (Jn 12:32). The idea of drawing is God’s influence on the person. The Father draws people to Himself and Jesus will draw “all men” without exception (Jn 12:32).

Those who “come” to Jesus do so because the Father “draws” them, and for no other reason (Jn 3:27; 6:65). They are the Father’s gift to Jesus. The Galilean Jews could not “come” to Jesus other than by being drawn to Him by the Father.

This drawing precedes faith. God works by His own means, His own plan. The drawing does not occur only before faith but in it. This drawing occurs when man abandons his own worldview and then allows God to speak to him. It hangs on the free human volition of man. Those who hear and learn from the Father come to Jesus (Mt 16:17; Ac 16:13-14).


Man is spiritually incapable to decide for Christ on his own.


Man has a vested interest in not embracing Christ as Savior—our sin nature and acts of sin keep us from it. Since people are totally depraved compared to God, they need God’s stimulus to wake them up to the reality of Christ.

People like to think that they can come to God strictly of their own volition. No one can come to a true knowledge of who Jesus is without the Father drawing him or her. The total depravity of man keeps him from coming to God independently of divine drawing.

It is true that people cannot come to Christ strictly of their own volition, because they are dead in their sins (Eph 2:1; Co 2:13). In our own natural self, we are hostile to God and are His enemies (Ro 5:10; 8:7). We are spiritually blind to the gospel (2 Co 4:4). We cannot come independently to God; there must be a divine side, a divine drawing.

So long as man remains content with his own ability and does not think he needs God’s intervention for his salvation, he cannot believe. Only the Father can move him to this decision.

God always first acts on our behalf to win us to Himself. Man does not seek God on his own initiative (Ro 3:11). Human response always follows God’s initial action. Man is spiritually dead and cannot come to God on his own (Eph 2:1ff).

We come to God primarily through His influence upon our will. He overcomes our spiritual blindness and rebellion. He does this by His efficacious grace. No one can come to Christ “except it were given him of the Father” (Jn 6:65).