In the whole business of salvation, from first to last, the least commixture of works is inadmissible, and the doctrine that teaches the contrary, in the lightest form, should be unequivocally condemned. Those Scriptures, therefore, which indicate the connection existing between faith and salvation, cannot be justly interpreted as enjoining a duty. In the words, "He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned;" Mark 16:16; we have, simply, a most important instruction, given to all whom it may concern, of what shall be to believers and unbelievers. By this, to use a favourite expression of the apostle John, we know who will be saved, and who will not.
Substantially, the same interpretation is to be given to the words, "He that believeth on him is not condemned; but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed on the name of the only begotten Son of God." John 3:18. We learn here that every one who with the heart believes in Christ unto righteousness is passed from a state of condemnation, and that he who does not, is already condemned. If the conjunction (oti) "because," which connects the concluding parts of this sentence, creates a difficulty in any man's mind, let him compare this occurrence of the word in its relation to the verb believe here with that which is found in John 16:27. Nothing more can be needed to set any understanding at rest; and it is unnecessary to pursue this part of the subject any further.