Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | November 22, 2018

“the Father who sent Me draws him” – “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me” – “This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing”

Today’s devotion comes from Luke 5:1-11.

“Now it happened that while the crowd was pressing around Him and listening to the word of God, He was standing by the lake of Gennesaret;  and He saw two boats lying at the edge of the lake;  but the fishermen had gotten out of them and were washing their nets.  And He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little way from the land.  And He sat down and began teaching the people from the boat.  When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.”  Simon answered and said, “Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but I will do as You say and let down the nets.”  When they had done this, they enclosed a great quantity of fish, and their nets began to break;  so they signaled to their partners in the other boat for them to come and help them.  And they came and filled both of the boats, so that they began to sink.  But when Simon Peter saw that, he fell down at Jesus’ feet, saying, “Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man!”  For amazement had seized him and all his companions because of the catch of fish which they had taken;  and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon.  And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not fear, from now on you will be catching men.”  When they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him.”  Luke 5:1-11.


Why are we so eager to believe that Jesus can cast out demons but so reluctant to believe that Jesus can catch men?!

In the last chapter, we read about the authority and power of Jesus to cast out demons.  In this chapter, we read about Jesus’ authority and power to catch men (“they left everything and followed Him.”), and we also read about Jesus’ authority and power to make those men able to catch other men (“And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not fear, from now on you will be catching men.”).

Other doctrine puff up alleged free-will of man as if the will of man is stronger than the will of God.

But, Reformed Doctrine recognizes what Scripture teaches about both the Almighty and Sovereign God and the weaknesses of man.  Reformed Doctrine presents true summary of Scripture in “TULIP”, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation.  The point of focus for this devotion is “Irresistible Grace”, the “I” of “TULIP”.  

Here is what the Canons of Dordt state in part about “Irresistible Grace”, the “I” of “TULIP” in the section titled “THIRD AND FOURTH HEADS OF DOCTRINE Of the Corruption of Man, His Conversion to God, and the Manner Thereof”:

Article 11.  But when God accomplishes his good pleasure in the elect, or works in them true conversion, he not only causes the gospel to be externally preached to them, and powerfully illumines their minds by his Holy Spirit, that they may rightly understand and discern the things of the Spirit of God;  but by the efficacy of the same regenerating Spirit, pervades the inmost recesses of the man;  he opens the closed, and softens the hardened heart, and circumcises that which was uncircumcised, infuses new qualities into the will, which though heretofore dead, he quickens;  from being evil, disobedient and refractory, he renders it good, obedient, and pliable;  actuates and strengthens it, that like a good tree, it may bring forth the fruits of good actions.

Article 12.  And this is the regeneration so highly celebrated in Scripture, and denominated a new creation:  a resurrection from the dead, a making alive, which God works in us without our aid.  But this is in no wise effected merely by the external preaching of the gospel, by moral suasion, or such a mode of operation, that after God has performed his part, it still remains in the power of man to be regenerated or not, to be converted, or to continue unconverted;  but it is evidently a supernatural work, most powerful, and at the same time most delightful, astonishing, mysterious, and ineffable;  not inferior in efficacy to creation, or the resurrection from the dead, as the Scripture inspired by the author of this work declares;  so that all in whose heart God works in this marvelous manner, are certainly, infallibly, and effectually regenerated, and do actually believe.  –  Whereupon the will thus renewed, is not only actuated and influenced by God, but in consequence of this influence, becomes itself active.  Wherefore also, man is himself rightly said to believe and repent, by virtue of that grace received.”

Article 14.  Faith is therefore to be considered as the gift of God, not on account of its being offered by God to man, to be accepted or rejected at his pleasure;  but because it is in reality conferred, breathed, and infused into him;  or even because God bestows the power or ability to believe, and then expects that man should by the exercise of his own free will, consent to the terms of that salvation, and actually believe in Christ;  but because he who works in man both to will and to do, and indeed all things in all, produces both the will to believe, and the act of believing also.

In briefest summary to use an analogy, God irresistibly draws His elect to Jesus that can loosely be compared to the authority and power of a fisherman to draw fish out of the sea and into his boat.  The fisherman does not coax or persuade the fish to come into the boat.  The fisherman simply uses a line or a net to pull the fish out of the sea and into his boat.  But, to some extent, a fish can resist being pulled up and into the boat and sometimes can break the line or the net or get off the hook or out of the net;  whereas, no one can resist God.

All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.”  John 6:37.

This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day.”  John 6:39.

“No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him;  and I will raise him up on the last day.”  John 6:44.


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