Unbelief Arraigned and Condemned
John 3:18
He that believes on him is not condemned: but he that believes not is condemned already…


1. A denying of the truth of the gospel.

2. A doubting or wavering uncertainty of mind about the truths of the gospel.

3. When, though a person may be convinced in his mind, by rational arguments, that the Bible is the Word of God, he does not fall in with the great design of the Scriptures by receiving Christ, and resting upon Him alone for salvation as He is there presented and discovered.


1. The devil has a great hand in it.

2. Ignorance.

3. Pride.

4. A pretended humility and self-denial is another great bar in the way of believing, to many; they thrust away Christ and the mercy of God from them, under a pretence that they are not fit for it.

5. A secret jealousy, as if God were not in good earnest with us, when He offers Christ and His salvation to us in the gospel.


1. Prove that the sentence is passed against the unbeliever. "He that believes not in the Son shall not see life" (John 3:36).

2. The unbeliever is condemned already.

(1) In the court of the law, as a covenant by which he is seeking to be justified and saved: "There is one that accuseth you, even Moses" Romans 3:19).

(2) The unbeliever is already condemned in the gospel court. The sentence passed against him in the court of the law is aggravated and heightened by his contempt of gospel grace (Hebrews 2:3; Hebrews 10:28, 29).

(3) The unbeliever is condemned already in the court of his own conscience.

(4) The unbeliever is already condemned in the court of the Church; or, may I call it, in the ministerial court.

(5) The unbeliever is condemned in the court of the great God. "Consider this, ye that forget God" (Psalm 1:22).

3. A few qualities of this sentence of condemnation passed against the unbelieving sinner.

(1)  A most mature and deliberate sentence.

(2)  A most righteous sentence.

(3)  A most awful and terrible sentence.

(4)  An irrevocable sentence.


1. See hence a very sufficient reason why ministers of the gospel do so much urge the necessity of faith.

2. See hence the miserable and mournful condition of the generality of gospel hearers; they are a company of condemned men, under sentence of death.

3. How ill-grounded the joy and triumph of a Christless, unbelieving sinner!

4. See hence how fitly the gospel is called a joyful sound (Psalm 89:15).

5. It is every man's duty and interest to examine and try whether be be under this heavy sentence or not.

(Pulpit Assistant.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

WEB: He who believes in him is not judged. He who doesn't believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God.

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