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Epistle of James

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Jesus Christ is the best gift God could ever give.

God so loved the sinful, lost, depraved world that He gave His very best.

Can you imagine what it would be like to reject what God considers to be His greatest gift?

The purpose of God giving His gift was to save men, not condemn them.

“God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes on Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16, NIV).

Who will be saved? Only those who believe on Christ will be saved.

What about those who will not believe? The Bible tells us Christ died for men.  But that does not automatically bring salvation to anyone. No person is saved unless he or she believes on Christ. To refuse God’s good gift is to be judged already.

Who is already judged? “Whoever does not believe stands condemned already because He has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son” (v. 18, NIV). Those who do not believe on Jesus Christ are already judged.

God’s purpose was not to judge the world, even though it was worthy of judgment and condemnation (Rom. 3:10-11; Isa. 53:6). Every one of us stands condemned before God’s judgment because we are guilty. We have broken His law. We have rejected the light He has given us.

Man is already condemned because of his sin. We are already under God’s wrath. The emphasis in verse 18 is on the continuing state of unbelief that results in a continuing state of condemnation for the unbeliever.

The person who refuses to believe is already under God’s wrath. Have you believed in Jesus, or have you refused to believe and are still in the category of one who stands condemned by God?

In strong contrast John 3:18 says, “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (NASB).

There are really only two choices. Have you believed on Jesus Christ? Do you believe that you are a sinner, condemned and under the judgment of God? Do you believe that Jesus Christ is God’s gift of salvation and that He died for you? Have you asked Him to be your Savior?

The only other choice is to do nothing. And if you choose to do nothing you remain under judgment. “Whoever does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” “Whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”

Let's not fail to comprehend or stress an important biblical truth that salvation is for all who believe on Christ Jesus, but condemnation and judgment is on all who do not believe on Him. The consequences of that judgment depends upon each individual's relationship with Christ Jesus (John 3:16-21; 5:24).

Who will be the judge? God has committed all judgment to Christ (5:22, 27). He goes on to speak of Christ as judging (5:30; 8:16, 26) or not judging (8:15, 16; 12:47), and of His word as judging men (12:48). His judgment is just (5:30) and it is true (8:16).

We are already under condemnation because we are sinners. Sin has ruined us. Moreover, John 3:19 tells us we are condemned because we actually prefer sin to the light of God’s righteousness in Jesus Christ. “Light” has come in the person of Jesus Christ, but men and women have turned from it. The bottom line is we really do not want what God wants for us until the Holy Spirit regenerates our heart.

What men and women do with Christ Jesus now determines what will happen when they stand before Him on judgment day.

Because sinful man would prefer spiritual darkness, if you love the light, it is only because God’s regenerating Spirit is working in your heart. You can come out of darkness into the light today if you will respond to the Holy Spirit’s illuminating power and presence. To everyone who believes on Christ, the Word of God says, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). 


Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006

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Abide in Christ

Christ in Old Testament

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(c) 2006  Message by Wil Pounds. Anyone is free to use this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold under any circumstances whatsoever without the author's written consent.

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