Mark 16:16 Commentary - Whedon's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments
16. He that believeth Accepts the good news as the ground of his action. And is baptized Baptized in the true spirit of the ordinance. For the external baptism by water is a public profession that the baptism by spirit has taken place. It is a professional outward consecration indicating an inward consecration of soul and body to the blessed Trinity. It is an emblematical regeneration figuring a real and spiritual regeneration. It is a figurative washing away of the sin, correspondent to the real washing away of sin. It is an external entering into the kingdom of heaven, correspondent to the real entering by regeneration into the spiritual kingdom of heaven. It is the being born of water, figuring the being born of spirit. Hence he who believes and is baptized really and truly shall be saved. Saved The condition of perseverance in belief and consecration is of course implied in order to salvation. To believe once secures not our salvation, any more than to disbelieve once will secure our damnation. Saved from all those evils which the true man, who would do his duty to himself and to his God, desires to escape. Hence, as Christianity brings ample evidence of affording such a salvation, every true man who desires holiness, and earnestly wishes to escape from sin and its consequences, will accept Christianity. The Gospel, therefore, presents itself as an alternative, and a test of conduct, character, and destiny. Affinity for it will produce belief in it and faith upon it. It is an infallible test. It tests and discriminates rightly. All who ought to be saved believe it, and all who believe it ought to be saved. Hence we see the folly of those cavillers who object that it is unreasonable for Christianity to make belief a condition of salvation. Shall be damned To reject Christianity is to reject the method of becoming right, of attaining to ultimate purity, holiness, and heaven. Hence those who reject it are left to sin. They are left to be punished for all their sins. And they are pre-eminently punishable for that one great sin, the rejection of the way of holiness through the Redeemer.
Those who object that it is wrong to punish men for believing that they ought to reject Christ, might perhaps as well object to punishing a thief who believed it best for him to steal, or a murderer who in his malignity believed that it is best for him to assassinate his victim. The wrong belief in all these cases arises from the wilful indulgence of a wrongful heart. Damned Condemned, in opposition to being saved. If salvation means deliverance from sin, guilt, and hell, damnation means surrendry to sin, guilt, and hell. Whatever is the curse of the law, that Jesus saves from on our faith. Whatever is the curse of the law, to that damnation consigns us upon our disbelief. If the curse of the law be, as some think, temporary, and coming to an end, then he who suffers it to the end is not saved by Christ. If, therefore, damnation terminate by its own limitation, and any shall become happy after suffering it to the end, they become happy without salvation and without redemption. Theirs is a final heaven in which no glory is offered to Christ for his redemption or to God for his grace. Of such a heaven holy Scripture knows nothing.
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Whedon's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments
Daniel D. Whedon (1808-1885) was a prominent university professor, theologian, and author. He served as Professor of Ancient Languages at Wesleyan University in Connecticut; as Professor of Rhetoric at the University of Michigan; and as editor of the Methodist Quarterly Review from 1856 to1884. He authored numerous books including Commentary on the New Testament (New York: Carlton & Porter, 1860); Commentary on the Old Testament (New York: Nelson & Phillips, 1873); What is Arminianism? (Toronto: W. Briggs, 1879); and Essays, Reviews, and Discourses (New York: Phillips & Hunt, 1887).