We saw yesterday in John Six that before a sinner can come to Jesus in saving faith he must be one of those given to Christ by the Father . Once given, coming, believing, and being raised on the last day are certain because they ultimately depend on God.
A second prerequisite is seen in v. 44: No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. This thought is repeated in v. 65 and refers to the process of regeneration wherein the dead sinner is made alive in Christ and his heart is opened to respond to the gospel call. Faith does not precede the new birth inasmuch as a dead person is incapable of responding to any outside stimuli. He must be made alive before he has the ability to believe. Nor does Scripture teach the erroneous doctrine of prevenient grace, whereby God grants to all the ability to either receive or reject the gospel.
Now here is where it gets interesting. In v. 45 we read: It is written in the prophets: “And they shall all be taught of God.” Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me. This rounds out the three prerequisites to coming to Jesus in faith: (1) One must be given to Christ by the Father; (2) One must be drawn to Christ by the Father; (3) One must hear and learn from the Father.
This third prerequisite is highly instructive when we think that faith involves not only knowledge of Christ, but also assent to the truth and trust in the person of Christ. But how does one get the knowledge that Christ is real and that the gospel is true? When our oldest daughter was little she asked me once how I knew Jesus was real and that he came back to life after his death. Many ask this same question, and assume that because we cannot prove the truth of the gospel scientifically, we cannot know it for certain. This would be the case were it not that God Himself imparts the information and conviction of its truth revelationally in the process of regeneration. This is what it means when it says that those who come to Christ have heard and learned from the Father.
A practical application is that you cannot argue someone into faith by providing evidences and rational proofs. Such an evidential approach presupposes that man in the unregenrate state somehow has the ability through rational investigation to come to the knowledge Christ. Better yet to encourage the sinner to get on his knees and beg God to open his heart and mind to the truth.
God bless you richly as you ponder and apply these precious truths from the lips of the Savior.