Monday, September 10, 2007
COMING TO CHRIST
Holy Scriptures contain many exhortations and invitations regarding coming to Christ for salvation (e.g. Isaiah 45:22; 55:1; Matthew 11:28; John 7:37; Revelation 22:17). Here is Christ's doctrine on this subject in John 6.
I. "NO ONE CAN COME TO ME UNLESS THE FATHER WHO SENT ME DRAWS HIM" (v.44).
Here is a denial of the heresy of man's free will. Man is unable to come to Christ because he is "dead in trespasses and sins" (Ephesians 2:1). He is prevented from coming to Christ by virtue of being in "the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will" (2 Timothy 2:26; Ephesians 2:2). He is unwilling to come to Christ because, as Christ said, "You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do" (John 8:44). We are all therefore by nature "slaves of sin" (John 8:34; Romans 6:17,20), unable and unwilling to either seek God (Romans 3:11) or come to Christ (John 5:40).
II. "ALL THAT THE FATHER GIVES ME WILL COME TO ME" (v.37a).
Here is an affirmation of the doctrine of election to salvation: Those whom Christ calls "All the Father gives Me" are those whom the Father chose in Christ to salvation before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:3-5). Here is an affirmation of the doctrine of effectual call: Christ declares all His elect "will come to Me," acknowledging that they will be sanctified by the Spirit, believe the truth, be called by the gospel, and obtain His glory (2 Thessalonians 2:13; John 10:27). The elect will come to Christ!
III. "NO ONE CAN COME TO ME UNLESS IT HAS BEEN GRANTED TO HIM BY MY FATHER" (v.65).
Every aspect of coming to Christ has been freely performed by the one coming, but graciously granted by God. God's chosen people are unable and unwilling to come to God in their natural condition, but "Your people shall be volunteers in the day of Your power" (Psalm 110:3). God opens the heart so that it may voluntarily heed the gospel (Acts 16:14) God grants the faith with which the gospel is believed (Ephesians 2:8; Acts 18:27; Philippians 1:29), and the repentance with which the heart is turned from Satan to Himself (Acts 5:31; 11:18; 2 Timothy 2:25).
This doctrine of Jesus Christ so offended some of His disciples that they would no longer follow Him (vv.60-66).
Will you receive it?
Have you truly come to Christ?
By Daniel Parks