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What does it mean that man cannot come to Christ unless the Father draws Him?


John 6:44

ESV - 44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.

Clarify Share Report Asked July 01 2013 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.

Shea S. Michael Houdmann Supporter Got Questions Ministries
The clearest verse on God's drawing to salvation is John 6:44 where Jesus declares that "no one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day." The...

July 01 2013 13 responses Vote Up Share Report

Raccoo Bob Johnson Layperson. Self Educated Theologically - see full bio
Jn 6:44 - Let's see what it means: “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.” Let’s parse it slowly

1. "No one can come to Me.”. Who can come? "No One". Can anyone come if they are smarter than someone else? No, it says "No One. 

2. What does "can" mean? It means ability or permission. I used to ask: "Can I go to the bathroom?". Mom’s response, in order to teach me, was “No, but you may go.” It has to do with ability or permission.

Summary so far: No One had the ability or permission to come to Jesus.

3. There is a condition to meet. That's what "unless" means... So No one has the ability or permission to come to Jesus UNLESS - - a condition is met. What is the condition that has to be met? The text says: "unless The Father draws him." So what does the Father do to give us the ability or permission to come to Jesus? He has to "draw" us. So, what does "draw” mean?

"Draw" here is the Greek word "helko". Strongs dictionary defines that word as "to drag". What does drag mean, in english? Of course, it means to force. It does not mean to allure. Or woo.

When we draw water from a well does it have a choice? No. When a horse draws a plow, does the plow have a choice? No. When a picture is drawn does it have a say in the matter? 

So, it is INCORRECT to say that God allures or woos or entices. We don't allure water from a well. 

Do we go to the edge of the well and say: Here water, water? It would be good for you to come! Do we try to convince water to come? Do we have to preach to the water more convincingly and then the water comes? No.

Does water come from some wells and not other wells? Yes, because, any water that comes is drawn (forced, dragged) from a well on purpose. If it is not drawn, it does not come. If it is drawn it does come (Jn 6:37) The water is either siphoned or dragged out to the well with a bucket.

By now you are probably saying that "draw" sometimes does mean to entice. You might say "Aren't we "drawn" to another person if they are pleasant? You are right. In English, draw has two meanings. It does mean to entice, allure, or woo. 

But the Bible was not written in English. Our translations have it wrong. Most of our English translations are biased and incorrect. That is why doctrine should not usually be done from a translation but from the original Greek. 
Again, the Greek root word, "helko" from the actual, Biblical, inspired text, means to drag, or coerce. See Strongs dictionary of Biblical words. #1670
Jesus even repeats Himself to make the point again in Jn 6:65 "And he said, “This is why I told you that no one CAN come to me UNLESS it is GRANTED him by the Father." Again there is the "No One Can", again there is the condition, "unless". Again, the Father has to do something first. Again there is the word that emphasizes, permission/ability. That word is “grant”. That is reinforced by Paul in the case of Lydia (Acts 16:14). She didn't pay attention and then open her own heart to the message. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention, and she was converted.

Coincidentally, in acts 16:19, the same root (Strongs #1670) is used and, guess what? The English is translated as "dragged", when Paul and Silas were dragged into the marketplace. In fact they were seized and dragged. It's the same root word.

It is the same in Jn 18:10; Jn 21:6, 11, Acts 21:30; and James 2:6 - In EACH CASE THE WORD IS TRANSLATED AS "TO DRAG".

Some translations, instead of "draw" even have "unless the Father BRINGS" or even "unless the Father gives the desire to come to Me."

Where does that leave us when a verse like John 12:32 says "I will draw all men unto myself"?

The "all" are only the Christians. I'm running out of room but check out what "all" really means in Rom 5:18. If all means “all” then that verse says everyone is saved. The same is true for 2 Cor 5:14-15, and 1 Cor 15:22.

April 30 2015 14 responses Vote Up Share Report

Andy  3 photo Andy Mangus I am a Christian since October 1979 & devoted truth seeker.
My answer is one that is of my profound testimony of the very night I got saved back in 1979. God was definitely 'drawing me' to place my faith and trust IN HIM that very night! He was profoundly calling me "to come unto Him", believing IN His son Jesus Christ and placing my unbounded faith that He would save my very soul. I was overwhelmed by my guilty, sinful and contrite heart so much so that I almost began to weep! The very events that took place to cause me to be at that Christian music concert was truly remarkable. It was truly by the love and the drawing of His Holy Spirit that 'grabbed' ahold of my arrogant and sinful soul to definitively change and redirect my life and spirit for eternity! I was one "of His LOST SHEEP"! GOD redeemed me unto His Kingdom; into His Eternally saved Family that very night!

My life was truly transformed and put "on His path of Righteousness" that very night!

God does draw us "unto Him" by His countenance and "His still small voice that speaks deeply into your very soul!" That was/is my testimony of that very night back in 1979!

"Praise God that He provided a Savior'! And, His name is Jesus Christ"!


September 10 2017 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Donald Woody Musician/Producer
The capacity for man to even think about God is so small that if it were measured how often we would do on our own self initiative it would be minicule for sure. Any time we have a thought about God it is at His prompting through Holy Spirit. 

It is not us just happening to one day think "I am going to think about God today." The Holy Spirit is behind every thought that enters our mind about GOD and we should not take it lightly but pursue it being wholly tethered to scripture to make sure all things are true, We need to do this because the enemy talks to us too! It what we are hearing lines up with scripture then we know it is from God; anything else can be dismissed.

April 06 2014 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini James Kraft 74 year old retired pipeline worker
John 6:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. First Timothy 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

Belief is not a work. We all have faith in different things. I believe the chair I am siting in will not fail. If God is not willing that any should perish, and that Christ died for the sins of the whole world, (First John 2:2) Then I believe it is mans free will to accept or reject the savior. 

I also believe that in Ephesians 1:13 we are not regenerated by the Holy Spirit until we believe the gospel. In whom ye also trusted, after ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; (First Corinthians 15:1-4) In whom also (AFTER) ye believed, ye were sealed by that Holy Spirit of promise.

But also once we accept the savior it is done. It can never be changed. Their are many verses that tell us once we have believed on Jesus as he only way to be saved, we are a child of God forever. John 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them gave He power, to become the children of God, even to them that believe on His name.

First John 5:13 These things have I written unto you, that believe on the name of the Son of God, that ye may know ye have eternal life.

Once we have trusted Jesus as our savior, it is now out of our hands. He is the one who keeps us saved through the Spirit of God that lives in us. It is the Spirit in us that says I will never leave you or forsake you. It is the Spirit that says John 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

So, I believe a man has a free will to accept or reject the savior as the only way of salvation, but once we accept the truth of the gospel we are sealed by the Holy Spirit and can never be cast out. John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me, will come to me, and ALL that come to me, I will in no wise cast out. 

Once we have believed we are saved forever. It is eternal life and does no longer depend on us but on Him who saved us by grace. 

Romans 11:6 says, It is all grace, (what Jesus did for us) not works, (what we do or do not do) (we can not save ourselves by anything we do), if it was by works, (what we do) then it is no longer grace, and if by grace it is no longer works. It can not be both. So it is all grace, what Jesus did for us when we believe the gospel of our salvation.

John 3:16 tells us it is whosoever believeth. For God so loved the world, (everybody) that He sent His only begotten Son, (Jesus) that WHOSOEVER, (anybody) that BELIEVETH, (trust in) will not perish, but have everlasting life. How long is everlasting? Forever and ever and ever.

We did nothing to save ourselves except to believe. Belief is not a work. Faith comes from hearing, hearing from the word of God. We are saved and given eternal life the minute we believe the gospel. That Christ died for our sins, according to the scriptures, that He was buried and rose again on the third day, according to the scriptures. First Corinthians 15:1-4 

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the GIFT of God is eternal life. It is a free gift when we believe on the name of the Son of God as the only way to be saved. That is the narrow way. There is only one way and that is through faith in Christ alone without any works so we have nothing to boast in because we did nothing for it. Jesus paid our sin debt in full and His blood sacrifice cleanses us from all sin. And we all sin, because none of us are perfect. First John 1:8

Salvation is a free gift of God, and that is the only way we can accept it, but it is our free will to accept it but only once. Once we have accepted it we are a child of God forever and that cannot be changed. We have eternal life because we have believed the gospel of our salvation.

It is important to know what we are saved from. Hell. We can not possibly to hell because all of our sins have been paid for. We are counted righteous before God.

November 16 2017 4 responses Vote Up Share Report

Data Pastor Shafer
Verse 44
1. [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.] 
New Testament prophecy in John (Jn. 6:44-45, being fulfilled and will be completely fulfilled in the resurrection of the righteous, 1Th. 4:16; 1Cor. 15:23,51-58). 

2. [draw him] No man is able to come to God except by God's Word through the Holy Spirit and his own conscience, both of which are God-given (Jn. 6:45; 16:7-11; Rom. 2:12-16). 

Verse 45
1. [And they shall be all taught of God] (Jn. 6:45; Isa. 54:13; Jer. 31:34). 

2. [heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me] 
This is how men are drawn by God. He uses agents to preach His Word (Rom. 10:11-17; 2Cor. 1:17-24) and the Holy Spirit to convict of sin (Jn. 16:7-11). 
Man's conscience then condemns or sanctions his own action as right or wrong according to the light received (Rom. 2:12-16; 2Cor. 2:15-17; 1Jn. 1:7). 

God draws or allures but never drags or uses force. 

Verse 46
1. [seen] Greek: horao (GSN-), meaning here to comprehend fully or understand with the mind; to see truth fully.
It is used in this sense in many places (Jn. 8:38; 14:9; 15:24; 1Jn. 3:6). 

Verse 47
1. [believeth on me] This expresses an act and a continued process. It could not be that one act of faith and no more will save the soul (Lk. 8:13; 1Tim. 1:19; 4:1; 5:8,12; 6:12,21; 2Tim. 2:11-13; Heb. 3:6, 12-14; 4:11; 10:23-38; Jude 1:5; Rev. 2:13). 
The faith that saves is an ever-present active one; it cannot cease and still produce results. Even God has faith in all He does (Rom. 4:17; 1Cor. 13:13). 
Believers live by the faith of the Son of God and must always live by faith (Rom. 1:17; Gal. 2:20; Heb. 10:23-38).

April 29 2015 15 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini David Disciple
If your name is written in Heaven, just as the disciples were, you will be drawn as a net is drawn to the shore. The net cannot stop itself from being drawn back to shore. You cannot stop the salvation of God if you are predestined to be saved; you will be drawn to Jesus and you WILL be saved because your name is already written in the Book of Life, and you have a heart that God can and will work with, and Romans 8:29 makes that abundantly clear. 

God does not predestine anyone to go to the lake of fire, but our own heart and free will according to our own heart determines where we go. God will not draw someone who will resist Him and whose heart He cannot use, because that would mean that God is forceful to save someone. He wishes all people to be saved, but not all will be saved.

Everyone is conceived in sin, and there are some, like Pharaoh, whose heart was hard from before birth and unwilling to bend, so God hardened him more for His purpose to show His wrath on the unbelieving. So, according to Pharaoh's own hardness, Pharaoh was predestined to wrath and the lake of fire.

Those whose hearts God can use, because of their free will that they will repent and believe, are the predestined to salvation, and this is the calling.
"Many are called, but few are chosen".

Our hearts and free will from before birth determine whether we are predestined to salvation or not.

God draws those and saves those whom He already knows will repent and believe the gospel according to their own free will!

The disciples who left Jesus in John 6:66 did not believe Jesus was and is the Bread of Life, and were only following Him to see miracles and hear His teachings; they were not drawn to Jesus to gain eternal life through belief in Him, and that is why they turned away from following Him.

Many hear the teachings of Jesus and some even see His miracles, but when it comes to believing in Him for eternal life, this is where the condition of their heart is revealed, and they stumble and turn away, and so it is today.

July 05 2021 1 response Vote Up Share Report

My picture Jack Gutknecht ABC/DTS graduate, guitar music ministry Baptist church
People do not come to Christ strictly on their own initiative; the Father draws them. We people just do not have the capacity. The Father Himself sovereignly draws us to Jesus. NIVSB One person I know of, C.S. Lewis, was dragged into the Kingdom, as he says, kicking and screaming. Lewis once described God as the Hound of Heaven. By that phrase he meant that God doggedly pursued him and would not let go. Lewis came into Christian faith, in his own words, “kicking and screaming” as God’s faithful pursuit won out in his life.

Titus 3:5 says "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost." Our "works of righteousness" are "as filthy rags" to God.

None can believe in Jesus without God's help. LASB Jesus said, "...no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him" (John 6:65)

"Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn thee" (Jr 31:3).

Hosea 11:4a says, "I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love:."

July 06 2021 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Richard Stoehrer
What I don't see in any comment is mention of God's mercy, which I think is vital in understanding this. The fact is that Christ came to die for everyone the whole world. The problem is that we are all evil and not one of us seeks God, NOT ONE! Therefore since WE ALL are God-haters and not one seeks Him, he must come to us and "drag us"! 

He desires everyone to be saved, but the fact is that we would ALL turn it down since not one seeks God. He shows mercy to some. He shows mercy to His chosen/elect. It's mercy. Nothing we did deserving. If no one seeks God then His judgment is just on the guilty, but He shows mercy to some. 

If 10 people all walk into court and all have committed murder, the judge sentences 5 to life, and to 5 he shows mercy on them, his judgement is just. They all deserved life, but as the judge he has the ability to grant mercy to some. The lifers have nothing to say because they committed the crime and got a just sentence. And the ones shown mercy are grateful for grace. And with God he does it for his glory, not because of anything we did, good or bad.

June 22 2022 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini John Appelt
John 6:44 is used by some to say that God draws people to be saved. They say that this must happen because according to Ephesians 2:1, no one is able to come to Christ because all are dead in trespasses and sins. Then, God the Father gives them to Jesus to be saved. But this takes the verses out of context and distorts the truth.

In the sixth chapter of John, it clearly states how Jesus personally guarantees that anyone who believes on Him has eternal life, John 6:40, 47. It is evident that one has to have the ability to respond, or Jesus has deceived everyone by making such an offer. Coming to and believing on Him are decisions each person has to individually make, and this is the will of God, John 6:40. This implies that some are not willing to believe in Jesus, John 5:40.

Jesus used metaphors of being the bread of life, John 6:35, that came down from heaven, and that eating His flesh and drinking His blood were symbolic of receiving Him, believing and abiding in Him, John 6:53-57. Eating and drinking to satisfy hunger and thirst are voluntary acts of the will. The sense is clear that no one is forced to believe but that each person must choose to receive Christ and to continue to receive words of spiritual life to have a fruitful, abundant life.

The word “draw” can mean to haul, drag or strongly pull as in John 18:10, 21:6, 11, Acts 16:19, 21:30, James 2:6. But the sense of John 6:44 is not this, but a metaphor for persuading as to win over. In the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament, “draw” appears as a metaphor in II Samuel 22:17, Psalm 119:131, and Song of Solomon 1:4. 

God the Father draws or woos people to His Son. This drawing is by hearing and learning from the Father, I Peter 1:23, James 1:18, who grants them to come to Jesus, John 6:44-45, 65. The trouble was that the people had not believed in God or His Word. If they had not believed the Father, they would not believe in the Son. 

John 12:32-33 also says that by His death, Jesus draws all people to Himself. His death is the drawing influence or attraction that causes people to desire to be saved. All are drawn but not all receive or accept Christ.

God the Father also entrusts believers to His Son to be His disciples, John 17:6. Of those Jesus will lose none of them, John 6:39, 10:28, 17:12. Jesus reveals the disciples are granted to Him by the Father, John 6:65. They are the same persons that were drawn by the Father and had come to Jesus, John 6:44.

John 6:44 does not teach election unto eternal life, but the working of the Father to bring people to His Son. From those who were saved were those chosen and given to Jesus for discipleship as the twelve disciples.

September 16 2022 1 response Vote Up Share Report

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