(Article for publication week of 11-28- AD 2013)
“Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and everyone that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of Him” (I John 5:1).
As we continue our study of the doctrine of saving faith, we notice again that big word “whosoever.” As we wrote last week, “whosoever” is big enough and inclusive enough to include you if you will repent of your sins and trust in Christ alone for your eternal salvation. My Lord has commissioned me to preach the gospel to every rational creature that I can get to listen. And so I declare the truth of the Bible to you that whosoever believes in the Lord Jesus Christ, as my text says, is born of God, and to be born of God is to be saved. Now dear reader, you have no excuse to reject the gospel message as long as the Bible says “whosoever believes.” And you have no reason to despair of being saved, as long as it is written, “whosoever.” Don’t you just love this word “whosoever”? Why, it tells me that I am one of the “whosoever’, and though my sins are as black as the hinges on hell’s doorpost, I may come to Christ and be saved. And it tells us as a church that we may preach the gospel to the whole world, and invite sinners everywhere and in every condition to come to Christ. That is a wide-open gospel, and I rejoice to believe it and declare it to all who will listen.
Now, some of you who read the Narrow Way regularly, and know that your humble columnist is a High Calvinist, may wonder how it is that we forcefully declare the doctrine of unconditional election, and also invite the whole world to come to Christ. Well, I will tell you what Charles Spurgeon said. There is a large banner over the door of salvation, and it is written upon it,” whosever will may come.” And that is all a poor lost sinner needs to know. After a sinner has entered into salvation, he may look back and see written on the backside of that large banner, “elected and predestinated”! As we pointed out from Acts 13:48 recently, every elect person will come to faith in Christ, and as sure as a sinner puts his trust in Christ, he may be assured that he was ordained to salvation from before the foundation of the world.
And notice here in I John 5:1 that same truth. For our text says that whosoever believes in the Christ of the Bible “is” born of God. Don’t you see, the new birth precedes a sinner believing in Christ. Our text tells us why some sinners will believe and others will not. It is because of regenerating grace. It is no surprise to God when a sinner comes to faith in Christ, for He sends His Blessed Holy Spirit with all His quickening powers into the heart of every heir of promise chosen in Christ from before the foundation of the world. Every chosen one for whom Christ died will be effectually called to saving faith in Christ. “There is a period known to God, when all His sheep redeemed by blood, Shall quit the hateful ways of sin, turn to the fold and enter in” (John Kent, Gadsby’s Hymnal #76).
I invite all of you my dear readers to quit the ways of sin, and believe in Christ today to the salvation your poor soul. May the Holy Spirit draw you to Christ, for whosoever believes in Him is saved and born again.