Problem Texts for Sovereign Grace (Part 13) - Mar 16:16Submitted by Pastor Chad Wagner on Wednesday, March 26, 2014.
For a paperback book in outline form which addresses over 150 difficult verses that Arminians use against Sovereign Grace, check out: Problem Texts for Sovereign Grace: Rooting Arminianism Out of Every Verse. For a master copy of the outline, click here: Problem Texts for Sovereign Grace 21. Mar 16:16 A. "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." (Mar 16:16) B. Is this verse teaching that belief of the gospel is a condition to get eternal life? i. Since the verse doesn't specify eternal salvation or eternal life, it could be referring to either eternal or temporal salvation, or both. ii. Therefore the question needs to be asked: "saved from what?", to determine what type of salvation is under consideration. iii. Notice that there are TWO conditions in this verse (belief AND baptism), not one, which must be met in order for someone to be saved. iv. If this verse is teaching that one must believe the gospel to acquire eternal life, then it is also teaching that one must be baptized to acquire eternal life. C. What type of salvation is under consideration in this verse? i. The verse cannot be speaking of procuring eternal salvation because the salvation it speaks of is conditioned on works (believing and being baptized), and eternal salvation is not of works (2Ti 1:9), nor is it conditional (see section II,7,A,i). ii. The verse is referring to the fact that belief and baptism evidence that a person has eternal life and shall not come into condemnation, and also that believers experience temporal salvation as a result of believing and being baptized (see section II,7,B). D. What salvation does a person experience who believes the gospel and is baptized? i. Belief and baptism are both evidences that one has been saved eternally and has eternal life (Joh 5:24; 1Pe 3:21). a. When a person believes the gospel and is baptized, he has shown that he has eternal life and will be saved from going hell on judgment day (shall not come into condemnation) (Joh 5:24 c/w Joh 5:28-29). b. Faith and baptism aren't the cause of eternal salvation, but if one believes and is baptized it can rightly be said that he shall be saved from the wrath to come (Joh 5:24; Rom 5:9-10). ii. They who believe the gospel and are baptized are also saved from: a. being ignorant of God's righteousness (Rom 10:1-4). b. doing good works to establish their own righteousness (Rom 10:1-4). c. a wicked and untoward generation (Act 2:38-40). d. lies and bondage (Joh 8:31-32). e. fear of death (Heb 2:14-15). iii. They who believe the gospel and are baptized are also saved to: a. rest from their work of trying to save themselves (Heb 4:1-10 c/w Mat 11:28-30). b. the knowledge and assurance that they have eternal life (Joh 5:24; 2Ti 1:10). c. membership in a local church (Act 2:41 c/w 1Co 12:13) which brings fellowship (Act 2:42), peace and joy (Rom 14:17), and edification and stability (Eph 4:11-14). E. Is this verse stating that a person who doesn't believe the gospel will be damned to hell for eternity because of it? i. This verse can be applied to both eternal and temporal damnation. ii. To be damned doesn't always mean to be condemned to hell. a. Damned ppl..- 1. a. Condemned, judicially sentenced. b. Condemned ppl. - 1. a. Pronounced to be at fault or guilty; lying under condemnation. iii. Since the verse is not teaching that eternal salvation is caused by belief and baptism, then it stands to reason that it is not teaching that eternal damnation is solely caused by unbelief (though unbelief, like any other sin, must be punished eternally if not paid for by the blood of Christ). iv. Since belief and baptism evidence that a person shall be saved on judgment day (shall not come into condemnation (Joh 5:24)), unbelief evidences that a person will be damned on judgment day. v. Since the salvation which is caused by belief is temporal salvation, it stands to reason that the damnation which is caused by unbelief is temporal damnation. F. Unbelief is an evidence that a person is eternally damned, but it is not a guarantee of such. i. Unbelief is an evidence of eternal damnation. a. To the unbelieving nothing is pure (Tit 1:15) b. Jesus is coming back to take vengeance and punish eternally them who obey not the gospel (2Th 1:7-9). c. Unbelievers, along with other sinners, will have their part in the lake of fire (Rev 21:8). d. Just as those who do good show the evidence of eternal life, those that do evil show the evidence of eternal damnation (Rom 2:6-9; Joh 5:28-29). ii. Unbelief is not a guarantee of eternal damnation though. a. The apostles at times didn't believe (Mat 17:20). 1. The apostles didn't even believe eyewitnesses of Jesus' resurrection (Mar 16:14). 2. Peter even denied that he knew Jesus thrice (Mar 14:66-71). 3. Despite their unbelief, the apostles had eternal life (Mat 19:27-29). b. There are even people who are enemies of the gospel, but beloved of God according to election (Rom 11:28-29). c. Even if God's elect don't believe the gospel, God still remains faithful and will not deny Himself and His purpose to save them (2Ti 2:13; Rom 3:3). d. Though there are some of God's elect who don't believe the gospel, we don't know if we are of them, so we better believe and submit if we are to have the assurance we are saved (2Pe 1:10). G. What temporal damnation does a person experience who doesn't believe the gospel? i. Chastisement from God (Heb 12:6). ii. Being left in ignorance and deception. iii. No comfort from God (Pro 1:24-29). iv. Being turned over to one's own devices (Pro 1:30-32). v. Being judged for other sins which stem from not believing in and submitting to Jesus Christ. vi. Physical death (Heb 3:17-19). For a master copy of the outline, click here: Problem Texts for Sovereign Grace