FOR GOD SO LOVED...WHO? (part 13)

 

 

Returning now to the word for in John 3:16. “…the English rendering of John 3:16 begins with the word ‘for’. That means that it is the conclusion of an argument. It is the summary statement. So, we need to look at this verse in its larger context. Here is the whole passage: ‘If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man hath ascended up to Heaven, but He that came down from Heaven, even the Son of man which is in Heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God’ (Jn. 3:12-18; cf. Jn. 8:24).” One very clear and quite notable item in this passage, is that eternal life is inextricably linked to believing in Jesus: “whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life”. Believing is not the impetus, it does not cause God to give those who believe, eternal life, for salvation is a gift, not a reward, it is not that which is procurable by a man’s efforts, but only giveable by God’s grace. Salvation does not come because of man, but solely because of God. Therefore, a man’s believing is an evidence of, and not the cause for, his salvation. God is the Source of salvation, God is the cause for salvation. Contrary to the key fundamental principle of salvation by grace alone, those who believe John 3:16 teaches that God loves, and Christ died for, everyone without exception, condition salvation on a man’s ‘choice’ and not God’s choice. As we have learned from John 17:2, eternal life is something given by the Son not to those who will believe, not to those who choose Him, but to those whom the Father has chosen to give to His Son unto salvation. The true God is not accessible to the man who chooses to see Him, for the Lord Jesus states: “…neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him” (Matt. 11:27). Knowing God, having eternal life, being saved, are all gifts given by God to whomsoever He wills to receive them. A man is born again and then believes just as a man is made physically alive, and so he breathes. No one ever saw a dead person breathe, and then come to life, for his breathing is the evidence that he is alive. Just as there has never been a man who breathed and then began to be alive, there cannot be a man who believes, and is then born again, or made alive, by God. The Son gives eternal life to whomsoever the Father has given Him. Hence, all those whom the Father has given to Jesus come to Him (see Jn. 6:37). It is the will and purpose of the Lord, by grace, which dictates who is to be given eternal life, believe in Jesus, and be saved. Acts 13:48 explicitly teaches: “…and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed”. A person is first ordained to eternal life by God according to His will, purpose, grace, mercy and love, and is then, at the appointed time, given eternal life so that they will believe on Christ’s name. God’s people are chosen UNTO salvation, chosen for the purpose of being saved according to the will and grace of God. The remainder of mankind are not of His sheep, and so, do not believe. Those for whom Christ died—His sheep—will all believe in Him, for they are His sheep (see Jn.10:26; Jn. 6:37; 8:47; Acts 13:48). God’s love can never be separated from His will, and so it stands to Biblical reason that God’s love is reserved wholly and solely for those whom He has chosen in Christ unto salvation.

 

Those who are bound to, and blinded by, the lie that believing precedes life, need to be freed by the truth of God’s Word, which states that those who believe in Him do so only because they have been chosen of God. The saved have been given life, made alive, not because they have chosen Him, but because He has chosen them. They have been ordained by God to eternal life according to His will and grace, not because they have chosen life, and gained access to it by their believing. Interestingly, and quite revealingly, we note that those who are in servitude to the lie that believing precedes spiritual life, as well as other erroneous doctrines, are invariably tied to false teachings, and false gospels which promote other gods, and not the true God of the Bible. A good rule to remember is, in all things it is always God first. God’s love always precedes a man’s love for Him (see 1 Jn. 4:19), therefore, God’s grace comes before any good works can be performed, and a man’s eternal destiny is fixed by God, and not determined by what a man wills, does, or does not do. God’s grace must come first, for if it came second to anything a man could do, then salvation would not be by an act of God, it could not be by grace, but by the obedience of man. THE ONLY WAY SALVATION CAN BE A GIFT IS IF IT IS GIVEN BY GRACE, AND THE ONLY WAY SALVATION CAN BE GIVEN BY GRACE IS IF IT IS GIVEN PRIOR TO ANYTHING A MAN DOES. Just as fallen man’s destiny was fixed by his sin in Adam, so too, a heavenly destiny, fixed by the Righteousness of Christ, can only be brought about by the Sovereign grace of God. The child needs not, nay, cannot, work for the gift he will be given by his father, otherwise, it would no longer qualify as a gift. It would no longer be given because of the father’s love for the child, but will be something awarded on the basis of the child’s love for the father. A gift is given by the giver because he loves, not because, or after, he is loved. The principle of giving is love, not being loved, but loving. Love gives. Salvation is a product of God’s love, which is dispensed by His grace to whom that love is directed, and not something which can ever be “rightfully earned because of something done, or qualities shown, by man”. The love of God can only ever be freely given by Him, never coaxed from Him. “We love Him because He first loved us” (1 Jn. 4:19 cf. Gal. 2:20). A man’s love for God is solely due to God’s love for him.

 

It is more blessed to love, than to be loved. Love gives. Love needs no motivation. The love of God needs no stimulation, indeed, it cannot be stimulated, outside of the will and purpose of God. God’s love does not await a man’s deed, for then it would be a compliant love, a subordinate love, and not a precursory love. God’s love leads the way, and follows no deeds of man. Salvation is a product of God’s love, which is dispensed by His grace and given to those He has chosen to be merciful toward. Again, salvation is assured for all those to whom the love of God is directed, and is not something which can ever be “rightfully earned because of something done, or qualities shown, by man”. With God’s love comes salvation. The two cannot be separated, and, therefore, one can never have one without the other. One cannot be saved without being loved of God, and none who are loved of God can ultimately be lost. Those who are not loved of God, do not, cannot, love Him. “We love Him because HE first loved us” (1 Jn. 4:19 cf. Gal. 2:20; 1 Cor. 8:3), just says it all. The only way a man can love God, the only way a man can even desire the true God, is if God loves the man first. A man’s love for God can only be born out of God’s love for the man. God’s love for a man never comes because of a man’s loving God first. 1 John 4:19 demonstrates the Sovereignty of God, in that any affection shown toward Him, is purely because of Him, because of Who He is, and because of what He has done, not because of any goodness on the part of man. A man’s love for God can only ever be a by-product of God’s love for the man, because God’s love always comes first. The love and salvation which God shows and gives, always precede anything a man does. There are none that seek God, therefore, it is He Who seeks His sheep until He finds them (see Rom. 3:11; Ezek. 34:11,12; Lk. 15:4,5). This means that nothing a man does can predate the love of God, and, therefore, be that which motivates, and thus earns, merits, or prompts the love of God. Man’s love for God can never operate outside of, or without, God’s love for the man. There is no such thing as a man’s love for God which is independent of God’s antecedent love for the man, and, therefore, no love for God can possibly come from the will of man. It is by God’s will that a man loves Him, for it is God’s love that always comes first. Therefore, a man’s works, presumably performed out of ‘love for God’, cannot be that which draws salvation to him. Neither the love of God, or the salvation of the Lord, can rightly be said to be as a result, or consequential to, anything other than the will, purpose, grace and love of God. If God loves first then it is clear that nothing can precede the love of God. God’s love predates man, and so, there is nothing a man can do which can act “as a forerunner to, or precursor of”, what God has done, which can come before God and His love.

 

No man can choose God at any time, for God’s people have always been a chosen people. There is nothing man can do which can draw the love of God to him, or merit salvation in any way, for God’s love is “…an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee” (Jer. 31:3), saith the Lord. God’s love is from everlasting to everlasting, therefore, there is nothing which can precede it, and, therefore, have any influence upon it. Salvation is  about God drawing a man to Him by His love, and not at all by a man drawing God to him by his love. Be not deceived! God has never started to love a man after that man has done something to attract God to him! God’s love for His chosen is everlasting: it has no beginning and no end (see Jer. 31:3). God is not a respecter of persons: His election is not according to works, and, therefore, it is, and can only be, according to grace. It is not according to what a man does, but according to what God has done. SALVATION IS ACCORDING TO MERCY NOT MERIT!! God not being a respecter of persons is the absolute bulletproof evidence that proves man has done nothing, and can do nothing to make God choose him over another man who has failed to do the same. God not being a respecter of persons means that God’s election of a man is not according to anything a man is, or has done, that makes him to differ from another, but despite what he is and what he cannot do! IT IS NOT A MAN’S LOVE WHICH DRAWS HIM TO THE SAVIOR, BUT GOD’S LOVE OF THE MAN WHICH DRAWS HIM!! (see Jn. 6:44,65). Anything which is OPPOSitE to the Scriptures OPPOSES the Scriptures. The love of God, in Jesus Christ our Savior, did not appear because of any man’s works, but solely because of God’s mercy. So too, salvation does not come when a man ‘chooses’ God, but because God has already chosen him. Salvation does not come when a man loves God, but because God has already loved him. By nature, no man even seeks God, so how, pray tell, can anyone do anything to draw, or attract, God’s love. God’s love is by grace, and both are inextricably connected with salvation, and come only by His will. The fact that love comes by grace, shows conclusively that no man is worthy of that love, that there is nothing a man is, does, or can do, which can attract God’s love to him, hence “We love Him, because He first loved us” (1 Jn. 4:19 cf. Gal. 2:20). It is not man who draws God to Him, but clearly it is God who draws those He loves to Him. No matter how powerful “…a magnet can be, it can never attract non-magnetic (non-ferrous) material”. So too, the ‘good works’ and ‘obedience’ of man can never attract salvation, but only repel it, for salvation is only attracted to, and by, the magnetic pull of grace. No man, by nature, can do anything which will inspire God to save Him based on his good works. A man cannot be saved by works, salvation does not come when prompted by a work of man’s, for a man must be born again, he must be made alive, he must be made a new creature in Christ, and be clothed with Christ’s Robe of Righteousness. The chosen, saved people of God, are not among those whom the Lord Jesus will take vengeance upon, for these special ones are believers: they are new creatures who have been made to know God, and believe in the Gospel of God. Those who are in Christ have been made new creatures “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Cor. 5:17). “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, He hath covered me with the Robe of Righteousness…” (Isa. 61:10 cf. Zech. 3:4; Lk. 15:22; 2 Cor. 5:21). “It is an insult to God the Father, Who has determined that every child of His family shall be habited in the one robe of the family—the perfect spotless garment of His only begotten Son…How, then, must that man expect to be dealt with, who, in the wantonness of his resistance to God's method of salvation, shall refuse to rest solely on the Righteousness of God's own Son, or shall dream of adding thereto his own imperfect and perishable doings? The consequence can only be, that all the sanctions and severities of God's unchanging law will be let loose upon him in all their force, if he ventures either on his own merits only…or conjointly on his own and on the Saviour's…” The Lord God says: “Cursed be the man that trusteth in man…” (Jer. 17:5 cf. Jer. 17:9). “Woe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsel, but not of Me; and that cover with a covering, but not of My Spirit, that they may add sin to sin” (Isa. 30:1 cf. Deut. 29:19; Isa. 57:12). Woe be to those who try to, or believe, they have attracted the love of God to them by what they have done, that seek to cover themselves with their own righteousnesses, and are not clothed with the Robe of the Righteousness of Christ. Woe to those who seek salvation by their imperfect righteousness, or by adding their imperfect righteousness to the perfect Righteousness of Christ, for it is “by the obedience of ONE (that many) shall…be made Righteous” (Rom. 5:19). Such people only compound their sinful state.

 

The majority of professing Christians are convinced they believe that salvation is by grace, however, most fail to realise the full extent of God’s grace in salvation. One of the major issues facing those who minimize the grace of God is that a man’s believing in the Gospel of salvation by grace, is a gift given by God through His grace, and so cannot at all be something which a man can, of himself, do prior to his being made alive by God. Scripture states it is “…the grace of God that bringeth salvation…” (Titus 2:11). Of 24 Bible versions surveyed, only the New International version replaces the word bringeth with the word offers. This changing, the blatant mutilation, of what the Word of God says, suits the Arminian perversion of the true God and His Gospel best. Most are agreed that Titus 2:11 speaks of bringing salvation, and not offering it. Many labor under the misapprehension that salvation is given because a man believes, thus, whether consciously, or unconsciously, they deem salvation a reward from God for those who love and believe in Him. The problem with such thinking is that if salvation is a reward, then it can only be presented as an offer, and not a gift. The teaching that salvation is prompted by anything a man does, directly clashes with the principle of grace. The whole principle of grace is what God has done for His chosen. The whole principle of love is what God has given, by grace, to all His people. The concept of man doing anything prior to God’s grace—including the Lord’s making man alive—in order to get himself saved, merit, thereby, achieving salvation, is something which is found only in a lost man’s mind, and which belongs in the realm of unfettered fantasy. It is nowhere to be found in the pages of God’s Holy Scriptures. A man’s love for the true God can only be because of God’s love for the man. Salvation is not offered as a reward if a man will only do something, but is brought by God, through grace, as a gift to all His chosen, for they could never do anything to merit it. Salvation is by grace, and nothing else. Salvation is by God, and no one else. God does not love man because man loved God first, for no man’s love for God could ever precede God’s love for the man, seeing that, according to 1 John 4:19, a man’s love for the true God can only ever come subsequent to, and as the inevitable result of, God’s love for the man. Man is, by nature, dead in sins, without God and without hope in the world, therefore, a man’s will and love can never be antecedent to the will and love of God. Nothing can precede that which is pre-existent. Nothing can come before that which is eternal. Therefore, salvation is not an offer, for it can in no way come as a reward for anything a man has done, including his love for God, but only prior to a man’s works, will and believing, because of God’s love for him. Salvation does not come as a prize awarded to the one who has accepted its ‘offer’, for the intrinsic nature of grace demands that salvation be given before anything is done by those to whom it is bestowed, revealing that nothing can be done before grace is given. IN FACT, THE REASON WHY SALVATION IS BY GRACE IS BECAUSE IT CAN COME NO OTHER WAY. Grace is a gift, therefore, it is not given to anyone according to their doing anything. Grace does not come after, it always comes BEFORE. Saving grace does not enable a man to do, for it is by grace that one is saved. Grace is God’s will in action. Grace is the means that saves, and not the enabler which provides the potential for salvation based on what you do. A saved man is a trophy of grace. God loves man first, because no man could have ever loved God first. The fact that God’s grace precedes salvation, proves absolutely that there is nothing within the scope of man’s abilities, or capabilities, that could have ever come before grace, and thus, merited salvation in any way.

 

A reward is a response to something done, “a thing given in recognition of service, effort, or achievement”, but GRACE IS SOMETHING WHICH PRECEDES ALL WORKS. Grace is not a response, something which follows another’s act, nor is grace a sign of, or something which is given in, recognition of anything, of anyone’s personal character or conduct, for it comes only by the will of God. Grace is the sign of the will, mercy and love of God. Grace comes from no other source but God, therefore, grace gets its motivation solely from God. “People are not so pitiful in their sin and misery that God is compelled to be gracious….God’s righteous law obligates Him to bring Wrath, but nothing outside of Himself obligates or motivates Him to show His grace.” God is gracious because He wants to be: God says: (I)…will be gracious to whom I will be gracious…” (Ex. 33:19). The fountain of grace springs forth from God, and no one can make that grace come to them, for the sole motivation for grace is gained from, and within, God. Saving grace cooperates only with the will of God, for He is its sole Author. Grace comes by God reaching down, not by man reaching up. Saving grace is never motivated by the behaviour of man, but always and only, by the will of God. The Grace of God precedes all acts of man, for grace is something which cannot be won. Grace cannot come because of anything outside the will of God according to His purpose. Grace is born out of God’s will, its conception is not brought about by an act of man. Salvation does not come because of the will, act, or effort, of any man. “…it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy” (Rom. 9:16 cf. Jn. 1:13; Jas. 1:18). Salvation is something which was fixed in eternity, predetermined by God according to His will before the foundation of the world, therefore, man has no influence upon it, or God, one way or the other (see Rom. 9:11). Do what he will, think what he will and believe what he will, man is a child of predestination, foreordained by God to eternal life, or appointed by Him to His eternal Wrath (see Eph. 1:4; Acts 13:48; 1 Thess. 5:9; 1 Pet. 2:7,8). By nature, man is but a sinful creature, a child of Wrath (see Eph. 2:3), worthy only of the eternal fury of God’s Wrath in the fires of Hell (see Nah. 1:2,3; 2 Thess. 1:7-9; Rev. 19:15). God loves the unlovable. Salvation, like God’s love, cannot be purchased. Man does not procure salvation because of his love for God, but is given the gift of salvation purely because of God’s love for him. This profoundly affects the blasphemous teaching that says salvation is an offer to all, and not a gift to some.

 

Salvation as an offer demands the actions of a man before it can be obtained. Salvation as a gift waits upon nothing but the will and love of God. The crucial element in all this is the fact that if salvation were an offer it would be conditioned on an act of man rather than a supernatural act on the part of God. Seeing that God’s will, grace, love and mercy—not to mention the fact that God makes a man alive—all precede any act of man’s, all that remains is the cold hard Scriptural fact that salvation is a gift, and nothing done by man in order to gain salvation can ever prompt salvation, or result in one’s salvation. The order is not works, grace, and then salvation, but always grace first, and then salvation without works. Salvation is God’s to give, and He gives it to whomsoever He wills. This is yet further evidence of salvation not being an offer, for if salvation were merely an offer, then it would preclude God giving it to whomsoever He wills to give it. How could God give salvation to whomsoever He wanted to have it, if salvation is merely an offer receivable only by those who wanted it? Eternal life comes first, then belief. A man is made willing only in the wake of God’s willing him to be willing (see Psa. 110:3). “We love Him, because He first loved us” (1Jn. 4:19). “…as many as were ordained to eternal life believed” (Acts 13:48). The word ordained here means having been set into life, obviously by another. And so it is only by Another that any are saved. God’s people are chosen of God unto salvation whereunto they have been appointed by God. The chosen do not choose, those appointed to salvation do not assign themselves to it by what they do, for they are all predestinated, their future is predetermined by the Sovereign God. Grace can only come from a Sovereign God. This is wholly in accord with the principle of grace alone in salvation, for if salvation is an offer, then it must be conditioned on the sinner, and so belief must come first, and eternal life would be that which is earned, and not given, it would be something meritable, rather than that which can only come by the Sovereign will and grace of God. It would not be something within God’s control, conditioned on His will, something predetermined by God, but determined by man, and as many as believe would then be ordained to eternal life. Scripture declares: “…the wages of sin is death, but the GIFT of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 6:23). This Scripture does not say ‘the wages of sin is death and the wages of man’s will, or works, is eternal life’. A gift is not a reward, but an expression of love. This is precisely the principle behind grace and what John 3:16 is all about. God’s love is not some wishy-washy, aimless, purposeless emotion put on offer for those who will ‘accept’ Him. If I may use such coarse terminology, God does not prostitute Himself by making Himself available to anyone who will accept Him as long as they agree to His terms, for God has PROMISED Himself, in covenant love, to all His elect, His inheritance. God’s love is a specific, particular, elective love directed to those whom God wills to be merciful toward, and whom He has subsequently given unto His Son.

 

In light of the above Scriptures it behoves every person, who is not only honest with others, but who also has the courage to be honest with themselves, to ask themselves the very pertinent question: How does a man get to believe? How does a man get to be a believer? Whosoever believeth, but how does one believe? By choice? By free will? By their love for God? Not at all. Not only does a man love God because of God’s love for him, but it follows that a saved man also believes in the true God because of God. Believing comes only by grace, which is never without the gift of faith. These two gifts, which salvation cannot do without, are given unto those who have been appointed by the will of God through grace unto eternal life. No man can be born again by anything, but the will of God (see Jn. 1:13; Jas. 1:18). Scripture says that it is solely BY HIM that we believe: “Who by Him do believe in God…” (1 Pet. 1:21). This is all so critically pertinent to a proper understanding of what John 3:16 is really saying, and what it could not possibly be saying, which most people have overlooked. They are quick to say whosoever believeth, but fail to deal with, and understand what exactly the Word of God teaches on how a man actually gets to believe. They are quick to quote whosoever believeth, but fail miserably in addressing the two key questions concerning belief, which are: how does a man get to believe, and, what exactly is it which a man must believe, as well as the principle behind a man’s believing: God’s grace. The dysfunctional Arminian gospel insists that salvation involves an individual making his independent choice, just as in any other area of life, by his conscious decision to believe. But Scripture does not teach this at all. Yes, a man believes, yes he wants to believe, but the questions remain: how does he believe, and why does he want to believe? What suddenly changes a man from unbeliever to believer? From one who does not seek God, to one who does? What makes him differ from the man who does not believe, and has no desire to believe? Scripture attributes every part of salvation, everything to do with salvation from election to glorification, and everything in between—including repentance and believing—to Almighty God, and not any individual. The Word of God attributes the whole of salvation to the God of grace, thus revealing there is nothing for man to do, for there is nothing man can do to attain or maintain salvation. “Who BY HIM do believe in God…” (1 Pet. 1:21). After all, salvation is of the Lord, and if salvation is solely of the Lord, then it can only be solely by grace, solely by what the Lord does. Grace is God doing, and works is man doing. Salvation is exclusively the domain of God. God needs no assistance, for salvation comes only from Him, and because of Him, therefore, it cannot come from any other source either partly or wholly. Grace needs no assistance, or contribution, from works, otherwise grace would cease to be grace (see Rom. 11:6). Salvation’s ‘start button’ can only be pressed by God through the means of grace. Salvation is of the Lord, it comes from Him, and it is His to give to whomsoever He wills. Salvation is the sole domain of grace. Salvation is of the Lord, therefore, salvation is solely by grace. Salvation being only by grace clearly teaches that salvation is only of the Lord (see Jon. 2:9; Eph. 2:8). Salvation is by grace because it is only  by grace. Salvation is not at all by works because it cannot be by works, for it is only by grace. No one can reach salvation, no one can attain to salvation by what they do, for salvation belongs to grace, salvation belongs only in the realm of grace, therefore, it is only grace that can dispense it. Salvation is unreachable by the works of man, it can only be brought down by the grace of God. To trust in one’s works is to relinquish, or renounce, the grace of God. It is an abandonment of the doctrine of the grace of God, and a declaration that one's trust is in one’s own will and works. Believing that you must do is a denial of grace, it is a denial of what God has done that alone saves His people from their sins. Believe the Gospel and you will be saved. Trust only in what God has done, and you will be saved. Look to anything you do, have done, haven’t done, or plan to do, and you will not be saved (see Rom. 5:19; Gal. 6:14-16).

 

It is not man who initiates his salvation, for God is the Initiator, He is the Alpha and Omega of salvation, the Author and Finisher of the gift of saving faith (see Heb. 12:2). He is the Captain of His people’s salvation (see Heb. 2:10). Christ is the origin of a saved man’s faith, the ‘inaugurator’, as the Greek puts it. Faith is a gift which is given to whosoever God wills to be merciful toward. Saving faith does not originate within man, it does not come from him, but from God. Therefore, if salvation is solely because of, and by, what the Lord does—grace—it can in no way be conditioned on the character or conduct of the individual. There is nothing which predates what God does in the salvation of His people. Salvation looks to God, not man, to fire the starting gun. Therefore, the difference between a saved man and a lost man CANNOT be an individual’s ‘free will’ decision for God, but rather God’s Sovereign choice of the man. The purpose behind God’s love is SO THAT the man God loves will consequently, subsequently and inevitably love God. The purpose of God’s love is to save His people from their sins. God’s love determines who will be saved. It is not an aimless love, it is not a scattershot fired in the hope some will be affected and see ‘how nice God is’, but is fired with sniper-like precision at those who have been predetermined by God to be His people whom He has chosen to give unto His Son for the purpose of saving them. God’s love has a mission, it has a specific and direct purpose, and that is to save the souls of all His people. Salvation is a gift, therefore, faith, trust, believing, etc., do not originate within man, but can only be things which are given to man by God BEFORE there is any love in man for the true God. A man’s love for God can only come into existence AFTER salvation, and never before. The apostle Paul, writing to the beloved of God in Rome, called to be saints, said that the Lord: “…commendeth His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8 cf. Eph. 2:4,5). The broadening of one’s understanding of this verse occurs upon being brought into the dimensional extension to it which shows that Christ, the Lamb, “…was slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev. 13:8). From this we see that God’s love is toward His saints, and Christ’s death was for the saints of God given to Him. That God’s people were chosen before the foundation of the world, and that the Lamb was slain for them from the foundation of the world, both signify predestination as an essential part of salvation. From this we begin to see that there is nothing man has done, or can do which can attract God to him, or change the fact that Christ has died for, and God has chosen, His people from before the foundation of the world. God’s love for His people is due to His will, His purpose, His grace, His mercy, His love, and nothing else. This simply dismantles any claim that whosever believeth means that any man at any given moment can make a ‘free will’ decision for God, and that it is that ‘decision’ which makes all the difference between a man who is saved, and a man who remains lost. Deny God’s Sovereignty, and you deny the fact that salvation is only of the Lord. Deny God’s Sovereignty, and you deny God’s Gospel. Deny God’s Sovereignty, and you deny God’s grace. Deny God’s Sovereignty in ALL things—even in whosoever believeth—and you deny God. “The Lord hath prepared His Throne in the heavens; and His Kingdom ruleth over all” (Psa. 103:19).

 

Salvation is not by the will of man, not by your own will, or anyone else’s will for you, but solely by the will of God is a man born again, made alive, to believe in the Sovereign Saviour Jesus Christ. The saved man is spiritually born (again) to believe. He is created to believe only in the true God of the true and only Gospel. He is given the faith of God’s elect, and so, only believes God’s Gospel whilst rejecting all others as having any power to save anyone. “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God…” (1 Jn. 5:1). In other words, ‘whosoever believes is born of God’. Not that one believes first and is then born of God, or saved, but the one believing shows evidence that he is born of God, that he is saved. If God loves first, how can anything a man does gain him salvation? A man’s believing is the effect caused by the will, love and grace of God. “Being born again…by the Word of God…” (1 Pet. 1:23 cf. 1 Cor. 15:1,2). “…because he is born of God” (1 Jn. 3:9). Believing the Gospel of Christ is the sign that one has been born again by the will of God. It is no coincidence that those who adhere to the Arminian gospel, who say that believing is a man’s decision—born not of the Sovereign will of God, but a man’s own free will—all believe in a false gospel and are currently in a lost state. Those who believe in a false gospel have been born of corruptible seed, and not the incorruptible seed which is God’s Word, God’s Gospel. The corruptible seed produces man’s first birth, his natural birth “For whatsoever is born of the flesh is carnal and corrupt; and so the apostle has reference to the first birth, or natural generation of men, in which they are polluted and depraved”. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (Jn. 3:6). The incorruptible seed is the Word of God from which the re-born man emanates. “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God….And this is the Word which by the Gospel is preached unto you” (1 Pet. 1:23,25 cf. Isa. 40:8). “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the Gospel…By which also ye are saved…” (1 Cor. 15:1,2). 

 

So we see, that for a man to be born again he must be born of that incorruptible Seed which comes from God, and not from anything which proceeds from the man himself, or from any other human agency. The new birth is not the result of a man’s initiative, but purely and solely something which God initiates and completes. The apostle James bears this out in the following verse of Scripture: "Of HIS OWN WILL begat He us WITH THE WORD OF TRUTH..." (Jas.1:18). James here tells us that it is solely because of God’s will, not man’s, that a new creature is born and He does this through His very Word. The apostle Peter in 1 Peter 1, describes this ‘Word’ as the Word of God. James defines this same medium as the Word of Truth. The word ‘begat’ in James 1:18 is used metaphorically of spiritual birth by means of the Word of God and literally means ‘to give birth to’‘to breed forth’‘to generate’ or ‘to bring forth’, terms synonymous with a beginning, or birth. As sin is pregnant with, and brings forth, death, so, too, the Word of God brings forth eternal life in those who are born of it. The Bible states that Christ Jesus has "...abolished death, and hath brought LIFE and IMMORTALITY to light THROUGH THE GOSPEL" (2 Tim.1:10). God gives birth to His new creatures in Christ by means of His Word, the Gospel, and no other. Just as there is no other name but the name of JESUS whereby a man is saved (Acts 4:12), so, too, there is no other means but the GOSPEL of GRACE by which a man is saved. Thus we learn, that as with the natural birth of a man being something quite impossible unless it is by the means of man’s seed (sperm or semen), so, too, the spiritual birth of a man is something which, according to the Bible, is an utter impossibility unless it is by the means of God’s Seed which is His Word: the Gospel. This highlights the utter lunacy of those who insist they were saved before they even heard the only Gospel of the Lord Jesus. Christ proclaimed that the only way a man can be sanctified, that is, made holy, or set apart from other men unto God, is by way of the Word of God: "Sanctify them THROUGH Thy Truth: THY WORD IS TRUTH" (Jn. 17:17). Paul states that Christ gave Himself for the Church "That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water BY THE WORD" (Eph. 5:26). Clearly, from these two verses of Scripture we see that there is, and can be, no sanctification, no cleansing, or washing without the instrumentality of the Word of Truth. Even after this brief look at the Scriptures, the evidence is resounding: Peter says a man is born again BY the Word of God; James tells us that God has begotten us WITH the Word of Truth; Paul says in 2 Timothy that Christ has brought life and immortality THROUGH the Gospel; Paul  tells those of the church in Corinth that in Christ he had begotten them THROUGH the Gospel (see 1 Cor. 4:15); and Christ Himself tells us that those given to Him  are sanctified THROUGH the Truth. The whole work of salvation from start to finish is accomplished by means of the Word. "It was not by external ceremonies, and not by any miraculous power on the heart, but by faithful application of Truth to the heart."

 

Maintaining our focus on believing, our word study continues with the phrase “Whosoever believeth” from John 3:16. “The word ‘whosoever’ appears in John 3:15, as well as John 3:16. In both instances, it is used in regard to faith—‘whosoever believeth’. The inference, mistakenly attributed to this English phrase, is that anyone who wishes to may exert his will and freedom of choice in order to believe something about Christ.” This implies that becoming a Christian is something which is at the beck and call of men who are not spiritually dead, but who are very much alive, and who, therefore, require no spiritual regeneration. That becoming a believer is something which they can draw out of their own well, as it were, rather than it being an operation of God by grace. Many would have us believe that “Anyone who would like to can exercise his or her right and faculty to have (or not have) faith. The consequences of their faith (or lack of it) are then the result of that person’s free and unencumbered choice. But, there’s a problem. And, it’s a very big problem. The New Testament was not written in English, any less the King’s English. It was written in Greek. And, there is no Greek equivalent for the English word ‘whosoever’. That’s important. So much so that it bears repeating. THERE IS NO GREEK EQUIVALENT FOR THE ENGLISH WORD ‘WHOSOEVER’!” This, no doubt, will come as quite a substantial shock, and, hopefully, a life-changing revelation to those who have been wrongly taught that the very foundation of God’s love is that ‘whosoever will may believe’. The word ‘whosoever’ is also not in the original text of John 3:15 where the English has it: “That whosoever believeth in Him…” Nor does it appear in John 4:13 which says “…Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again”, or in John 4:14 “But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst…”, or in any of the other six verses in John’s Gospel which bear the English translation whosoever. The original has it “That every the one believing into Him” (Jn. 3:15); “every the one drinking” (Jn. 4:13),  and “who yet ever may be drinking” (Jn. 4:14). Other examples from the Gospel of John are, “every the one doing” (Jn. 8:34); “Every the one living and believing into Me” (Jn. 11:26), and “Every the one believing into Me” (Jn. 12:46). “The text in John 3:16 is often rendered, ‘that whosoever believes shall have everlasting life’. Appeal is made to the ‘whosoever’ and not commonly to ‘whosoever believes’. The Gospel is certainly a ‘whosoever believes’ Gospel, but there is a more important note to make on this word than stressing the obvious fact that the ‘whosoever’ is linked with ‘belief’. John 3:16 in the Greek is fully quoted concerning the ‘whosoever believes’ idea, ‘Outwj ga.r hvga,phsen o` qeo.j to.n ko,smon( wste to.n ui`o.n to.n monogenh/ e;dwken) ina pa/j o` pisteu,wn eivj auvto.n mh. avpo,lhtai avllV e;ch| zwh.n aivw,nionÅ’ The word for ‘whosoever’ is a verb which is a participle. It is the present active nominative masculine singular verb which determines our English rendering ‘whosoever believes’. The problem here is the word ‘whosoever’. There is no word ‘whosoever’ in the Greek text. Literally the section reads ‘the believing ones into Him’. ‘God so loved the world that the ones who believed into Christ may not perish but have everlasting life’.” Obviously, the ‘believing ones’ are those whom the Lord loves. “Oftentimes (quite mistakenly, and to the detriment of the meaning intended by God), Pelagian and Arminian advocates stress the word ‘whosoever’ where the word DOES NOT EVEN EXIST! The Gospel here is directed to those who believe, and to no more. Even if we were to take liberty in rendering the English as ‘whosoever believes’, it still ends up meaning the same thing: that those believing—whosoever they may be—are the ones actually saved.”

 

Interestingly, Romans 10:11, also does not contain the term whosoever in the original, but uses the phrase every the one believing, which is precisely the same phrase found in the original Greek of John 3:16. The passage from Romans 10 reveals the Biblical interpretation of the term whosoever: “For the Scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him. For whosoever (the Jew or the Greek) shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Rom. 10:11-13). The word translated whosoever does not signify that any who will can believe, but simply, be it Jew or Gentile, those who believe shall be saved. Whosoever, gives no one any Biblical license to go about claiming it supports the man-made theory that salvation is up to a man’s choice, a man’s will, for its usage clearly shows that the writer’s intention was to highlight the fact that whether a man is a Jew, or a Gentile, either one, believing, shall be saved. “The word ‘whosoever’ just designates individual people and its definition is defined by its usage.” The meaning is perhaps made even clearer by the fact that those who do not believe, be they Jew, or Greek, will not be saved. The passage does not mean that if a person does ‘this’ then ‘that’ will happen, but simply that those who do this, or will do this, are the saved no matter if they be Jew or Gentile. It is a declaration that those who believe will be saved, and should in no way be construed as an offer that any by their own free-will can accept. Whosoever believeth is also found in Acts 10:43 where the phrase is linked to the remission of sins. “…through His name whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins”. Again, the original Greek has it every the one believing, and is a simple proclamation that whether it be Jew or Gentile whoever it is that believes in Christ shall receive remission of sins, for they that believe show that He has died for them, and that they have been given the Faith of Life, the Faith of God’s elect. To take the word whosoever and try to build upon it a structure which it was never meant to support, is to attempt to make the Scriptures mean what their Author never intended to say. In light of the context of this verse, it is clear that the word whosoever is inextricably connected to the Jew or the Greek, and that is all it is referring to.

 

Further light is shed on the usage of the word whosoever when we view it in the context of the following verse: “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; (i.e.,) to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Rom. 1:16 cf. Rom. 10:4). The original Greek has it: “Every the one believing on Him”. When the emphasis here is placed on the word every, we see that it fits the context perfectly, in that, be they Jew or Gentile, EVERY one who believes, EVERY one who trusts in Jesus as Saviour, shall be saved, even Gentiles. Here we see the unmistakeable definition of the word transcribed whosoever in other passages of Scripture, as Jew and Gentile. Its contextual meaning is the Jew and the Greek. The message from the Scriptures is: ‘whosoever they be, whether Jew or Gentile, everyone who believes shall be saved’. Whether it be a Jew, or Greek, who believes on Him, there is no difference whatsoever (see Rom. 10:12). Significantly, it must be noted, as the verses which follow in Romans 10 show, none can call upon Him whom He has not called: “God is faithful, by Whom ye were called unto the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Cor.1:9). Acts 2:21 does say, “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved”, (Greek: everyone who ever should be on calling the name), however, Romans 10 points out: “How then shall they call on Him in Whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the Gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the Gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Rom. 10:14-17). Acts chapter 2 also states very clearly: “For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call” (Acts 2:39 cf. Gal. 4:28; 1 Jn. 2:25); as well as, “…the Lord added to the Church daily such as should be saved” (Acts 2:47), which is just another way of saying: “…as many as were ordained to eternal life believed” (Acts 13:48). “…and these were such whom God had chosen to salvation by Jesus Christ, and whom He had redeemed by His precious blood, and who were now regenerated and sanctified by the Spirit of God, and so should certainly be saved.” Peter was here addressing his words to “…devout men out of every nation under Heaven” (Acts 2:5 cf. 2:7-12). Salvation was not merely for those of the Jewish nation, but also for the children of God scattered throughout all nations. Salvation is not a national thing, but is international in its scope, hence the preaching of the Gospel to all nations: “But now is made manifest, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith” (Rom. 16:26).