• When John identifies Jesus as “the Logos,” is he referring to the Logos in Greek philosophy? Question and Answer

    John 1:1

    I think John is writing intentionally to communicate with Jews and Gentiles. Therefore, he knows that as he begins his gospel and says, “In the beginning,” all the Jews will sit up and think, “We’re back in Genesis.” Then he’ll surprise them because he’s taking them back before the beginning of Genesis. Then, when he says Jesus was the Logos, he’s going to capture the attention of at least well-educated Gentiles who know something about logos philosophy in the ancient world. So, I think John is intentionally drawing both groups to himself. The Jews know that it was the Word … View Resource

  • Is it biblical to say “God loves the sinner, but hates the sin?” Question and Answer

    John 1:12

    Yes, it is biblical in the sense that we are sinners, that we have sinned, that we do sin, and that God loves us and hates our sin. The way this question is framed is the way it has often been used both in evangelism tactics and in order to paint a picture of God, who God is, and God’s love that is ultimately not biblical. So, as many hear that phrase, “God loves the sinner but hates the sin,” the reason that’s not entirely appropriate is because it’s not just the sin that God sends to hell. God sends … View Resource

  • Which comes first in the ordo salutis (order of salvation)—faith or regeneration? Question and Answer

    John 3:3-5

    I think first of all of what Jesus said in John chapter 3, when he said to Nicodemus that unless you’re born from above—which is regeneration—you’ll neither be able to see or enter the kingdom of God (John 3:3-5). And we enter the kingdom of God through faith. So in that conversation, I think it’s very clear that in order to come to faith, first of all, God has to give us a new heart. And that is really what John had said in the prologue to the gospel as well, that those who came to believe in Him were … View Resource

  • What do you think of decisional regeneration? Question and Answer

    John 3:6-8

    LAWSON: I think the idea of decisional regeneration has produced many false converts. I have lived through churches like that, I have been an associate pastor through churches like that, and I have inherited churches like that. I don’t know a lot of things, but I do know the answer to this one: it produces false converts. “Repeat this prayer after me: ‘I—I, am a sinner—am a sinner. I confess my sin—I confess my sin. Jesus died for me—Jesus died for me. I will never doubt this again—I will never doubt this again. Amen—Amen.’ Never doubt that again. I’ll sign … View Resource

  • Does God love the wicked the same way He loves the elect? Question and Answer

    John 3:16

    When the Bible says, “God so loved the world” (John 3:16), it doesn’t say that He loved everybody in the world equally. This text is pointing to the world, the generic cosmos. God loved this fallen world enough to send His only begotten Son into this world to save believers. It doesn’t say that He sent His Son into the world to save everybody in the world, but rather to save those who would put their faith in Him. In theology, we distinguish among three different kinds of God’s love. First of all, there is the benevolent love of God. … View Resource

  • Should we tell unbelievers that God loves them? Question and Answer

    John 3:16

    Well, it’s true. God loves the world, and we have that message, but that’s not the whole message. If you say what the old Campus Crusade said, “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life,” that’s not accurate. Actually, there’s currently a terrible plan for your life and destiny. Yes, we are to express that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son (John 3:16). Goddoes love. He actually is the Savior. Paul says, “He’s the savior of all men, especially those who believe” (1 Tim. 4:10). There is a sense in … View Resource

  • How do I know I am truly a Christian when I constantly struggle with sin? Question and Answer

    John 3:36

    One thing I would recommend is to read 1 John. In many ways, 1 John was written exactly for this question of assurance. There are a number of things we are told in 1 John, and one principle is very clear: whoever believes in the Son has eternal life. It is the object of faith that is the basis of your salvation, not the extent of your faith, not the intensity of your faith, and not the sincerity of your faith. It is faith in Jesus Christ that saves, not the faith itself. First John is going to point to … View Resource

  • In John 4:23, what does it mean to worship God “in spirit”? Question and Answer

    John 4:23

    In the context of John 4:23, it probably does mean worshiping in the power of the Holy Spirit. It would take a long time to explain fully what that means, but Jesus is looking forward to the fulfillment of His work. He is speaking to the woman at the well in John 4. He says, “The time is coming when you will no longer worship on this mountain, nor will you worship on the mountain of God” (John 4:21). He’s saying that the internationalization of the people of God, which happens on the day of Pentecost, means that place becomes … View Resource

  • How can we defend the doctrine of sola Scriptura using Scripture? Question and Answer

    John 7:16

    So often it’s been said that if you argue from the Bible to the infallibility of Scripture, or the inerrancy of the Bible, or the inspiration of Scripture, then you’re caught in the bonds of a vicious circle. We know that circular reasoning is an informal fallacy, which invalidates an argument. If you reason from Scripture this way and say, “The Bible claims to be the Word of God since it is the Word of God,” then the claim that it is the Word of God must be an unassailable truth. That would be traveling in the worst of all … View Resource

  • What did Jesus mean when He said, “I am the resurrection”? Question and Answer

    John 11:25

    It means that He, in His resurrection, is the firstborn of many brethren (Rom. 8:29). It means that the power of the resurrection is found in Him. He says, “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25), and then in the Book of Revelation He appears and says, “I am the one who was dead and now I’m alive” (Rev. 1:18). It means that He communicates the power of resurrected life to all of those who are His, and because He rose from the dead, we will as well (1 Cor. 15:20). This transcript is … View Resource

  • Why did Jesus weep at the death of Lazarus? Question and Answer

    John 11:32-35

    Jesus wept at the death of Lazarus because He was moved with compassion. He was, basically, in all points tempted like as we are. He feels what we feel. We have not a High Priest who cannot be touched with our infirmities (Heb. 4:15). He was weeping with those who weep. He wasn’t weeping because of the end of Lazarus, because the end of Lazarus was going to be resurrection. He was weeping because of the sorrow of Mary and Martha. This is the empathy, the sympathy, the tenderness, the kindness of Christ manifesting itself in that setting. … View Resource

  • How were people saved in the Old Testament? Question and Answer

    John 14:6

    LAWSON: There is only one way of salvation. It is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. There is not one way to be saved in the Old Testament and a different way to be saved in the New Testament. That would be two different gospels. There wasn’t one way for the Jew to be saved, and now a different way for the gentile to be saved. That would be two roads to heaven. There’s only one road to heaven. Jesus said: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father … View Resource

  • Is there a prayer that God cannot hear or answer? Question and Answer

    John 14:13-14

    There is a prayer that God will not hear or answer, and that is a prayer that’s inconsistent with His will or His purpose or His plan. The prayers that are going to be answered are the prayers that are prayed consistent with the name of Christ, as John 14 says, “If you ask anything in My name, the Father hears and the Father responds.” That is why we encourage everybody to pray according to the will of God. You don’t really want to pray against the will of God. Rather, you want to find yourself lined up with the … View Resource

  • How do we obey the moral law without being moralistic? Question and Answer

    John 14:15

    We obey the moral law, first of all, by understanding what it’s for, and there are various ways of putting this. For all my life I have been interested in the game of golf. Golf is played according to rules. I have never met a golfer who has said to me, “Let me move my golf ball nearer the hole,” and I said, “That’s fine,” because the game ceases to work when you don’t play it according to the rules. Take the Ten Commandments, for example: the moral law. The moral law given in Exodus 20 is a written form … View Resource