Friday, 7 March 2008

Does the word "World" mean "World"

It's interesting in talking about the subject of salvation, atonement and election with Christians about what "World" in John 3:16-17 means.
Joh 3:14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,
Joh 3:15 that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.[5]
Joh 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,[6] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Joh 3:17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
Joh 3:18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.[7]
A.W Pink and John Gill though perhaps more leaning towards Hyper Calvinist are examples of those promoting this idea.
The Persic version reads "men": but not every man in the world is here meant, or all the individuals of human nature; for all are not the objects of God's special love,...
Meaning that "World" does not mean as in all in the world, rather it means representations of every tongue, race and position in society that God choses to be saved and that Christ did not die for the whole world.

I'm glad to say that one of the worlds most respected and known reformed preachers D.A Carson disagrees with that stance. In his book The Difficult Doctrine of Gods Love he writes on page 18.
I know that some try to take kosmos ('World') here to refer to the elect. But that really will not do. All the evidence of the usage of the word in John's Gospel is against the suggestion.
I find this encouraging that some reformists do agree that Christ died for every single person who lived, lives and is yet to come. This is the Gospel, that Christ died for all, yet only those who believe will appropriate His blessing of eternal life.

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