Whosoever Believeth

Posted by on Apr 8, 2012

Whosoever Believeth

“Whosoever Believeth”

MP3 Version: “Whosoever Believeth
Scripture Text: John 3:16

By Pastor Mike Withem
First Baptist Church
Ranson, West Virginia

Introduction:

A. Over and over again the Bible admonishes sinners to “believe” in Jesus.
1. Just in the verses that Bro. Mike read a moment ago, THREE times sinners were admonished to believe in Jesus.
2. John 3:15, “That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.”
3. John 3:16, “…that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
4. John 3:18, “He that believeth on him is not condemned:”
5. And this is just in the verses that Bro. Mike read a moment ago.
6. In fact, I’m told that in John’s Gospel alone, at least NINETY times you find the word “believe.”
7. And so, over and over again the Bible admonishes sinners to “believe” in Jesus.

B. But WHAT does it mean to “believe” in Jesus?
1. Well, it means more than just believing in the INTELLECTUAL sense.
2. In fact, most people believe in Jesus in the intellectual sense; they believe…
-that He was a real person,
-that He claimed to the Son of God,
-that He died on a cruel Roman cross.
3. In other words, they believe in Him in the same sense that they believe in George Washington, or Abraham Lincoln, or any other well know historical figure.

C. However, to “believe” in Jesus in the BIBLICAL sense means something entirely different.
1. The Greek word that is translated “believeth” in John 3:16 is the word “pisteuo,” and what that word means is “to have FAITH in” or “to TRUST in” or “to RELY upon.”
2. Now with that in mind, to “believe” in Jesus means to put our faith (trust) in Him, as well as the sacrifice that He made for us on the cross, to make us fit (worthy) of heaven.
3. You see, because of our sin, we cannot, in and of ourselves, be worthy of heaven.
4. However, when we put our faith in Christ, we become worthy “in Him.”
5. Notice what the Bible says in Phil. 3:9, “And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:”
6. And so, to believe in Jesus means to put all of our trust in Him and the sacrifice that He made for us on the cross, to make us fit (worthy) of heaven.

D. Did you notice that I said “ALL of our trust”?
1. I meet a lot of people who tell me that they believe in Jesus, yet they are clearly trusting in other things as well to help get them to heaven.
2. Things like their good works, their baptism or their church affiliation.
3. They will tell you that they are trusting Jesus, yet at the same time they have a “BACK-UP PLAN,” just in case Jesus is not enough.
4. Listen, that’s NOT believing in Jesus.
5. To believe in Jesus means to put ALL of your trust in Him, to trust Him ONLY, to make Him your ONLY hope for heaven.
6. I promise you, this morning, on the authority of the Word of God, if you put your faith in Christ, you WON’T need a back-up plan!

E. Now, this morning, I want us to answer this question, “What happens when a lost sinner believes in Jesus?” May I say, first of all, when a lost sinner believes in Jesus…

I. He Is Saved!

A. I love that word “saved,” don’t you?
1. By the way, it is a Biblical term.
2. For example, Jesus said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved.”
3. And do you remember what Paul told the Philippian jailor in Acts 16:31? He said, “…Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.”
4. Then, my all time favorite has to be Rom. 10:13, which says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
5. And so, the word “saved” is a Biblical term.

B. But this raises a question, “If believing (trusting) in Jesus results in a person being saved, from WHAT exactly is he saved?
1. First and foremost, he is saved from the PENALTY of sin.
2. The Bible says in Rom. 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death;”
3. Now you’ve got to understand something about this word “death.”
4. When the Bible says that “the wages of sin is death,” it is NOT talking about physical death, but rather spiritual death.
5. It is talking about what the Bible refers to as “the second death.”
6. Notice what the Bible says in Rev. 21:8, “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

C. And so, the moment a lost sinner believes in Jesus, he is saved from the penalty of sin, which means that his eternal destiny is changed.
1. One moment he is lost and on his way to hell.
2. The next moment, after believing in Jesus, he is saved and on his way to heaven.

D. And so, when a lost sinner believes in Jesus, He is saved. Notice also, that when a lost sinner believes in Jesus,…

II. He Is Born Again.

A. Do you remember the conversation that Jesus had with Nicodemus in the first part of John 3?
1. We are told that he came to Jesus by night, and he said, “Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.” (John 3:2)
2. It was then that Jesus said to him, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)
3. Nicodemus, of course, didn’t have a clue what Jesus was talking about.
4. He said, “How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?” (John 3:4)
5. Jesus then explained to him that he wasn’t talking about being born again physically, but rather spiritually.
6. He said, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John 3:6)

B. What does it mean to be “born again”?
1. It simply means to be born in a spiritual sense, or to be made alive in one’s spirit.
2. You see, before a man is saved, he is DEAD spiritually.
3. He has a spirit within him, but his spirit is dead (without any life whatsoever).
4. The Bible says in Eph. 2:1, “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;”
5. Paul put it like this in Col. 2:13, “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;”
6. And so, before a man is saved, he is DEAD spiritually.
7. However, the very moment that he believes (trusts) in Jesus, he is born again (his spirit is made alive)!

C. By the way, this is when a person becomes a child of God, because when he is born again, he is born into the family of God!
1. The Bible says in John 1:12, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:”
2. Paul put it like this in Gal. 3:26, “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.”
3. And so, when a person believes in Jesus and is born again, he becomes a member of God’s family.

D. Now some people would have us to believe that everyone is a child of God, whether they have been saved or not.
1. This, of course, is not true.
2. In fact, the Bible tells us that those who have not been saved, at least in a spiritual sense, are children of the DEVIL, not children of God.
3. Do you remember what Jesus told a group of unsaved Jews in John 8:44? He said, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.”

E. And so, when a lost sinner believes in Jesus, he is not only saved, he is also born again.
1. But we are not done yet.
2. When a lost sinner believes in Jesus,…

III. He Is Justified.

A. The Bible says in Rom. 5:1, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:”
1. Paul put it like this in Gal. 2:16, “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ,”
2. What does it mean to be “justified”?
3. It means at least two things.
4. First of all, it means to be declared INNOCENT.
5. (Illus.- Suppose you are on trial for some crime. The prosecution will present their case, then your attorney will present your case, then a jury will render a verdict, either guilty or not guilty. To be justified means to be declared “not guilty” in the sight of God!)
6. But someone says, “Wait a minute! I AM guilty. I have sinned against God. I have broken His laws. I have violated His commandments.”
7. Of course you have! We ALL have!
8. However, even though that is true, those who trust in Jesus are declared innocent (NOT GUILTY)!

B. However, to be justified means something else.
1. Not only does it mean to be declared innocent, it also means to be declared RIGHTEOUS!
2. Notice what the Bible says in 2 Cor. 5:21, “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
3. (Illus.- Someone asked me once, “How good do I have to be in order to go to heaven?” I said, “You have to be perfect.” They said, “Well, I guess I’ll never make it to heaven.” I then explained to them that while they can never be perfect, in and of themselves, if they will trust Jesus, God will give them His perfect righteousness, and on the basis of that righteousness, they WILL make it to heaven.)
4. If you will stop and think about it, that’s a pretty good deal.
5. God takes our sin and gives us His righteousness!
6. You won’t find a bargain like that anywhere else!

Conclusion:

A. What happens the moment a lost sinner trusts Jesus?
1. He is SAVED (from the penalty of sin, which is death).
2. He is BORN AGAIN (receives new life from above).
3. He is JUSTIFIED (declared both innocent and righteous in the sight of God).

B. Now let me ask you a question.
1. When you consider this, why would anyone not want to trust Jesus as their Savior?
2. How about you, friend?
3. Have you trusted Jesus?
4. Remember what I said earlier, you haven’t truly trusted Jesus unless you have made Him your ONLY hope of heaven.
5. If you have a “back-up” plan, you aren’t there yet.
6. If you will trust Jesus, this morning, you won’t need a “back-up” plan.

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