• 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