Question:I recently purchased one of TBC's devotional calendars, Apples of Gold. I was very concerned by the commentary on John:12:32. The paragraph above the verse asked, "Is it the Holy Spirit or the Father who draws us?" In John:12:32, Jesus plainly said, "I, if I be lifted up...will draw all men unto me." To change the meaning of this verse this way borders on blasphemy. Frankly, I am very displeased and would like an explanation from you.
Response: The comment on the calendar for that day says: "Is it the Holy Spirit or the Father who draws us? It is possible that any disagreement lies in semantics. God is a Spirit, declares the scripture (Jn:4:24) and He is also holy (Ps:22:3). Therefore, we might be splitting hairs to argue that the Father draws us and the Holy Spirit never does. Indeed, as fallible humans we would have great difficulty in trying to fully compartmentalize the functions of the Godhead!"
John:12:32 then follows below by itself, not as though the comment above were explaining it but as the verse for the day.
Yes, John:12:32 says that Christ draws all men. But Christ also said, "No man can come to me, except the Father which sent me draw him" (Jn:6:44). Thus, we can neither say that only Christ draws sinners to Himself or that only the Father does so. Obviously, it is both. Jesus said, "I and my Father are one" (Jn:10:30).
What about the Holy Spirit? Surely there is no schism in the Godhead. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one. Neither acts independently of the others. That would be impossible. What one does, all do in unison. Yet there seem to be different functions within the Godhead. The Trinity is a mystery that we cannot fully fathom.
I don't see that the "meaning of the verse [has been] changed." If I misunderstand your objection, please explain further.