God so loved the world

Scripture speaks generously of God’s love.

 “God so loved the World that He gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). 

Yet “Whom?” or “What?” does “world” include? 

Should we understand “God so loved the world” as a Creator’s love for all people, or only a redeemer’s love for His chosen ones?

“I know that some try to take 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.”

World in John does not so much refer to bigness as to badness. In John’s vocabulary, world is primarily the moral order in willful and culpable rebellion against God.  In John 3:16, God’s love in sending the Lord Jesus is to be admired not because it is extended to so big a thing as the world, but to so bad a thing; not to so many people, as to such wicked people.”

“Nevertheless elsewhere John can speak of “the whole world” (1John 2:2), thus bringing bigness and badness together. More importantly, in Johannine theology the disciples themselves once belonged to the world but were drawn out of it (e.g., John 15:19). On this axis, God’s love for the world cannot be collapsed into his love for the elect” (D.A. Carson, The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God).

See also: God’s sovereign election and human responsibility

About Wisdomforlife

Just another worker in God's field.
This entry was posted in Doctrine of election, Elect, Glorify God, God, God's Heart, God's Love, Love, Predestination, Questioning God, Seeking God and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s