Watering the Tulips
April 17, 2013
“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” – John 3:18
The Bible is full of deep, theological truths. The verse before us is not one of those. Sometimes, it’s beneficial to return to a fundamental teaching of the Scripture. Whatever truth we encounter in Theology, it must always harmonize with this elementary passage of Scripture. Simply, the believer is not condemned and the unbeliever is.
Certainly, God is the author of salvation (Jonah 2:9; Hebrews 12:2). Yet, “… it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe” (1 Corinthians 1:21). These verses are not in opposition. God saves. But, He is pleased to do that through the message of the Gospel when He grants the gift of faith (Ephesians 2:8). From our viewpoint, those that believe the Gospel are saved. Those that reject it are lost. Other Scriptures certainly teach us that it is God Who opens the heart to the Gospel (Acts 16:14). However, until that one’s heart is opened to believe “in the name of the only begotten Son of God”, he is condemned.
It’s no wonder that Jesus went about preaching to “Repent, and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15). It’s no wonder that Paul declared to the Philippian jailor, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household” (Acts 16:31). Certainly, this is what the Spirit inspired Paul to say inRomans 10:8-10 which reads, “But what does it say? ‘The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart’ (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation”. The entire Bible harmonizes with the fact that the believer is saved and the unbeliever is lost.
A regenerated individual has the Holy Spirit of God dwelling inside of him. Paul informs us that our bodies are a “temple of the Holy Spirit” after we are saved (1 Corinthians 6:19). In writing to the Ephesian saints, he says, “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory” (Ephesians 1:13). Chronologically, we are sealed with Holy Spirit after the Lord opens our heart to believe the Gospel. Do not misunderstand; there is no gap in time. These events happen simultaneously. Yet, the chronological order must be important or the Lord would have never had Paul to pen these words.
Reader, in light of the passage before us today, you must ask yourself if you believe (trust) in Christ alone. Do you believe that He is the only Way into fellowship with the Father? Our prayer is that you are saved and not condemned.
Watering the Tulips is brought to you by Sovereign Grace Baptist Church in Northport, AL. For more information, please visit www.sovereigngrace.net. “Your App to the Gospel” is available the iTunes app store as well as Google Play. Please download it today!