16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
“That” expresses purpose that serves as the means. God’s love and His gift tally to attain the means by which He wanted to save man. God actually provided the means of salvation—belief in the person and the work of His beloved Son.
God gives every person universally the option of freedom to believe. This promise includes anyone, no matter how much he has sinned or is alienated to God.
believes in Him
God gives every person the option of choice to believe in His provision of salvation. John used “believe” four times in verses 16-18. As far as the Bible is concerned, there are only two kinds of people—those who believe and those who do not.
Belief in Christ consists in accepting something, not doing something.
God included everyone in His redemptive plan. Salvation requires the choice to believe. However, it is not faith that saves us but the object of our faith, the One who died for our sins. Belief in Christ’s death to pay for our sins is the only condition for salvation. This is why this gospel uses the term for “to believe” 98 times.
Those who believe in Him receive spiritual birth (Jn 3:3, 5), eternal life (Jn 3:15-16), and salvation (Jn 3:17).
Have you come to the place where you believe God’s means of salvation? Do you believe that God’s gift of sacrificing Jesus for your sins will save you?
Hi what does it mean when someone just gives mental assent to the gospel instead of having true saving faith? Is mental assent just agreeing to the facts of the gospel without taking it to heart or without committment? Mark 1:15 Repent and believe the gospel. ( believe -strongs # 4100: to entrust espec. one’s spiritual well-
being to Christ–believe, commit (to trust) , put in trust with.) Is committment to follow Christ needed for saving faith. Is saving faith simply trusting in and relying on the the finished work of the cross for the forgiveness of ones sins? Should counting the cost to follow Jesus be presented in the gospel for salvation? Is discipleship optional concernong salvation? Thank you
Scott, a semantic domain lexicon by Louw-Nida says that it is dangerous to place emphasis on the trust factor without the belief aspect: “In rendering πιστεύω and πίστις it would be wrong to select a term which would mean merely ‘reliance’ or ‘dependency’ or even ‘confidence,’ for there should also be a significant measure of ‘belief,’ since real trust, confidence, and reliance can only be placed in someone who is believed to have the qualities attributed to such a person.” You may want to look at my tract here: https://versebyversecommentary.com/articles/doctrine/how-to-become-a-christian-2/
Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: based on semantic domains (electronic ed. of the 2nd edition., Vol. 1, p. 376). New York: United Bible Societies.
Scott, I notice that I did not answer your other questions. It is important to note that μετανοέω (repent) in Mark 1:15 does not mean turn from your sins; the Greek word means to change your thinking or attitude. It comes from two words meta (change) and noew (to think). Thus, the idea is to change one’s thinking about the gospel of the kingdom in this case. The word μετανοέω (change attitude) is never used for turning from sin.
To add commitment to follow Christ to salvation is to add a human condition to salvation, which is a work. The book of Galatians argues strongly against that idea. Thus, discipleship is subsequent to salvation. The argument of James is faith works. Faith always precedes works.
You may want to look at this brief study on the single condition for salvation (which is faith): https://versebyversecommentary.com/articles/doctrine/the-single-condition-for-salvation/
Than you for answering!!! Im noticing so many false gospels being presented as faith plus something-ie.. — committment or faith plus turning from sin. I was asking your opinion based on the Lordship salvationists requirements for salvation because they believe faith plus committment is needed for salvation but they preach faith alone. Hypocrisy!! Reformed callvanistic teachers add requirements to salvation and define repentance as turning from sin as you mentioned up above. I wanted you opinion because alot of ministrie’s salvation requirements are faith plus committment or faith plus turning from sin or faith plus making Jesus lord. They see no difference between salvation and discipleship and that is why they will include counting the cost to follow Jesus in their gospel presentation. What is really strange is that these reformed calvanist’s believe that you are regenerated before you come to faith so that is why they say you can turn from your sins and make Jesus Lord when your get saved. Accordingly you have no free will to choose salvation according to these false teachers. Weird! If your regenerated before you believe then you dont need faith to be saved because your already saved. I believe that Lordship Salvationists present a false gospel and that most reformed calvanist preach it. I also believe that reformed calvanism (tulip) is heresy. Reliance on the finished work of the cross alone for the forgiveness of ones sins is all that is needed for salvation. This website is a blessing – goodday.
Scott, you may want to look at the studies on John 6:44 and following here: https://versebyversecommentary.com/john/john-644/ and the studies of John 16:8 and following regarding your last blog: https://versebyversecommentary.com/john/john-168/
Ok. Your notes say that salvation has 2 sides; mans role and God’s role. Are you saying that mans role is to believe the gospel but even that is a gift from God giving someone the ability to recieve the truth. And God’s role is giving a believer divine enablement to believe? A reformed Calvinist believes that man has no free will to choose and that would mean that God has created men and women(unbelievers) to just to damn them to hell because they weren’t not one of the elect. Do you believe this is biblical? I dont believe that view is biblical was my point.
Pertaining to salvation– does’nt regeneration and faith happen simultaneously? One reformed Calvinist( one of R.C. Sproul’s pastors) says that one can be regenerated as a child and not come til faith until many years later. This doesn’t seem biblical? If were regenerated before faith then wouldn’t that nullify Ephesians 2:8-9. Im pretty new to reformed/ calvanistic theology– fyi. I think that both John Calvin and Martin Luther believed in baptismal regeneration but not 100% sure. Also I heard that John Calvin murdered people who dis-agreed with his theology( thats here say -i dont know for sure). So With that being said almost every reformed Calvinist teaches Lordship salvation which is adding commitment and or turning from sin or make Jesus lord plus faith in order to be saved. Their definition of repentance pertaining to salvation is turning from sin. They do not believe that a true christian can be carnal. They have a 20 point fruit checklist to see if your truly saved. They teach that you have to continue in good works until you die as proof of genuine conversion.
Their focus is on what man does or doesnt do instead of what Jesus did and completed on the cross. In actuality they are taking Jesus off the cross and putting themselves up their in His place with their theology. Most reformed calvanists teach a false works based gospel and their theology stems from men that might of been false teachers so immediately im on guard to not listen to anything that they say or teach. Anyways sorry for the rant.
Scott, yes faith and regeneration are simultaneous. I have never heard that Calvin believed in baptismal regeneration nor that he murdered people. Those rumors sound very suspicious to me.
Ok. Yeah i seen some of these accusations about John Calvin
on a discernment website. I shouldn’t of repeated hear say but instead i should of done my own research before opening my mouth. For that i apologize and i dont want to be gossiping or slandering someone so I will do my own research for myself. Once again I greatly appreciate you taking the time to respond. Have a great day
Hi Grant, this will be my last post about John Calvin. I pray that whoever reads this copy and paste posting would not be wavered in there faith!! This article explains the pre- post accusations of John Calvin; actually the issue was over infant baptism. Im only posting this article because it is from a well respected and reputable discernment ministry website called The Berean Call and from author Dave Hunt( “What Love Is This” is a book he wrote critiquing calvanism (tulip)’). Please delete this posting if you find it will be a stumbling block to anyone’s faith to any potential readers!! Thank you
Published on thebereancall.org (https://www.thebereancall.org)
question and answer
Question: In the Dec ’05 issue of TBC there is an important, if not intentional, misrepresentation of fact which merits rectification. The statement that John Calvin taught that Infant Baptism saves betrays a regrettable ignorance of Calvin’s beliefs. Here is what he really taught, quoting from the Institutes of the Christian Religion. Commenting on 1 Peter:3:21
…, Calvin declares, “For he [Peter] did not mean to intimate that our ablution and salvation  are perfected by water, or that water possesses in itself the virtue of purifying, regenerating, and renewing: nor does he mean that it is the cause of salvation , but only that the knowledge and certainty of such gifts are perceived in this sacrament,” Vol. 2, page 513. Again: “We acknowledge, therefore, that at that time [speaking of one baptized as an infant] baptism profited us nothing, since in us the offered promise [of forgiveness of sin which baptism signifies] lay neglected. Now when, by the grace of God, we begin to repent, we accuse our blindness and hardness of heart of having been so long ungrateful for his great goodness” (Vol. 2, p. 522).
From these statements, it is made obvious that although John Calvin practiced infant baptism, as did John Wesley [et al.], he can no more be justly accused of teaching baptismal regeneration than they….Let me close with a final quote from Calvin’s Institutes: “For what is a sacrament received without faith, but most certain destruction to the church? For seeing that nothing is to be expected beyond the promise, and the promise no less denounces wrath to the unbeliever than offers grace to the believer, it is an error to suppose that anything is conferred by the sacraments than is offered by the word of God and obtained by true faith. From this another thing follows—viz., that assurance of salvation  does not depend on participation in the sacraments, as if justification existed in it. This, which is treasured up in Christ alone, we know to be communicated, not less by the preaching of the gospel than by the seal of the sacrament, and may be completely enjoyed without this seal” (Vol. 2, p. 501). For the sake of manly fairness and Christian honesty, I request you publish this clarification of our Protestant, Reformed position.
Response: In his Institutes, Calvin contradicted himself, and you have only quoted him selectively. Your first quote comes close to a denial of what I said, which was, “If all one believes is that infant baptism saves, as Calvin taught…one is certainly not saved. If a person believes that he was saved through infant baptism, how is it possible for him, without relinquishing that false belief, to truly be saved by believing the gospel? He has no need of the true gospel, having already been forgiven his sins and made a child of God through infant baptism….” Your second (p. 522) only says that infants don’t understand the value of baptism, not that it has no value.
Your third quote merely says that salvation  is possible by believing the gospel without the sacraments, not that baptism cannot or does not save. Now let me quote Calvin: “…at whatever time we are baptised, we are washed and purified once for the whole life…we must…recall our baptism…so as to feel certain and secure of the remission of sins…it wipes and washes away all our defilements” (IV: xv, 3). Again: “God in baptism promises the remission of sins, and will undoubtedly perform what he has promised to all believers. That promise was offered to us in baptism, let us therefore embrace it in faith” (IV: xxv, 17). And, “We have…a similar promise given to the fathers in circumcision, similar to that which is given to us in baptism…the forgiveness of sins and the mortification of the flesh….We deny…that…the power of God cannot regenerate infants….Let God, then, be demanded why he ordered circumcision to be performed on the bodies of infants…by baptism we are ingrafted into the body of Christ (1 Cor xii.13). [Therefore] infants…are to be baptised…” (IV: xv, 22; xvi, 3, 4, 8, 10, 17-32). I give these quotes in What Love Is This? on pp. 41, 388, 430, among others, and I hold Calvin to these statements. This is a Catholic  dogma, yet it was carried over into many “reformed” churches and remains there today.
Furthermore, Calvin never tells of the moment that he renounced the false gospel of Catholicism  and believed the true gospel. He extols the sacraments, says they can be performed only by the clergy (including Roman Catholic ), and accepts infant baptism by a Catholic  priest as efficacious. If he ever renounced Catholicism ’s false gospel, when did this occur? And how could he have, considering that he banned from Geneva(1537) and persecuted the Anabaptists who, though raised Catholics, believed the biblical gospel and as a result were born again and baptized as believers?
The fact that Calvin was only baptized once—as an infant—and that he persecuted as heretics those who were baptized as believers, contradicts entirely what you think the quotations you cite mean. Moreover, one of the two charges (brought to the court by Calvin himself) for which Servetus was burned at the stake was his rejection of infant baptism for salvation . Calvin goes into great detail justifying this charge against Servetus and repeatedly scorning Servetus for rejecting the efficacy of infant baptism for salvation . Please read again pages 79-85 of What Love Is This? where I cover the subject thoroughly.