18 “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.
because he has not believed
“Believe” occurs three times in this verse. The reason for a person’s eternal condemnation is failure to believe on the One God sent to save the world. The person who does not believe in God’s solution for sin will end in spiritual and eternal death.
in the name
The “name” is a Hebrew way of indicating a person. The name of the Son is the trust-producing power that will save a soul.
of the only begotten Son of God.
All salvation revolves around faith in Christ. He is the object of saving faith. God’s only Son is the only way to be saved.
There is no other way to escape eternal death and separation from God except by believing in Jesus’ death for our sins.
A person faces self-incurred judgment if he does not believe in what Christ did for him. If a person turns away from the truth, there is no option but for him to enter God’s judgment.
Remember that Jesus was talking to a self-righteous Pharisee when God said that the one who does not believe is “condemned already.” There is no condemnation for those who believe in Christ (Ro 8:1). Those not in Christ are “already” condemned. God is not in the business of placing the world on trial. In His mind, they have already been tried and condemned. People need to be saved from their status as convicted sinners.
A person who thinks Bach music is rubbish does not reflect on Bach but on himself. The person who dismisses Christ does not reflect on who Jesus is but on himself who makes a judgment about Him.
God, by sending His Son to save the world, resolved the judgment issue. Those who believe will never face judgment. In God’s eyes believers do not need judgment because His Son was already judged for them. Christians will never face judgment, hell, or any other system of justice from God because Jesus paid it all, all to Him we owe.