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Featured John 3:16-18

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by SavedByGrace, Jan 24, 2021.

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  1. SavedByGrace

    SavedByGrace Well-Known Member

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    For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

    Some would have us believe, that the Greek word, “kosmos”, which is rendered “world” in all English versions of the Bible, should take on a limited, special sense of the world. It is assumed, that, because there are instances in Scripture, where “kosmos” is used in the sense, where the entire world is not intended (and I will not deny that this is indeed true), that this warrants this limited use in our present text. Is this a valid argument? The present context will prove beyond any doubt, that this is not only not the case, but, if anyone would press this limited meaning here, to apply only to the “elect”, then it causes them problems.

    Firstly, it might be shown, that there is not a single Greek lexicon that I know of, that says that “kosmos” here has a meaning that does not mean the “whole world” (that is, “everyone without exception).

    J H Thayer

    the inhabitants of the earth, the human race” (Lexicon, p.357)

    W Ardnt & F Gingrich

    the world as mankind…of all mankind, but especially of believers, as the objects of God’s love” (Lexicon, p.447)

    Edward Robinson

    the world for the inhabitants of the earth, men mankind” (Lexicon, p.440)

    John Parkhurst

    The world, i.e. the whole race of mankind, both believers and unbelievers, both good and bad” (Lexicon, p.336)

    S T Bloomfield

    “the world for its inhabitants, mankind” (Greek Lexicon, p. 227)

    G Kittle and G Friedrich

    “The cosmos is the universe (Jn.3:16-17, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, One Vol. Ed., p. 464)

    W E Vine

    “the human race, mankind” (Expository Dictionary, p. 685)

    Are we to assume that all of the above lexicons are wrong in the meanings that they give for “kosmos”? There is no doubt to the honest mind, that the use of “kosmos” here can only mean “the whole human race”. To make it mean something less, is a distortion of the facts!

    In our immediate context, “kosmos” is used four times, once in verse 16, and three times in verse 17. If we were to limit its use in verse 16, to refer only to the “elect”, then we must carry on this use in the following verse also. Where we read:

    “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved”

    Let is substitute the word “world” in each of these cases with “elect”, and see how it reads.

    “For God did not send His Son into the elect to condemn the elect, but that the elect through Him might be saved”

    If, as it is argued by some, that Christ only came to save the “elect”, then why would any mention ever be made about Him coming to “condemn”, or “judge” the “elect”? These words have no meaning at all, if they are meant to be for the “elect” only. There would not be any reference made to any judgement or condemnation of the “elect”, as this is something that is not at all even a possibility. John 5: 24 says:

    "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life”

    The believer is said not to come into any “judgment”, or “condemnation”, as they have “passed from death into life”, which has already said to have taken place, when the sinner trusted in Jesus for their salvation.

    Further, in verse 17 we read, that “the elect might be saved through Him” Here we have the Greek “sothe” (might be saved), which is in the subjunctive mood, which is used to denote “possibility”, in that it is not something “certain”. It is true, that as in verses 15 and 16, where the word apoletai (KJV “should not perish) is used, it is with the “hina” clause, which, though in the subjunctive mood, is yet in both cases “certain”, because in each case the negative “me” (me_apoletai) is used. This will then render the clause as “shall not perish”. However, in verse 17, even though “sothe” is used with “hina” (hina sothe), there is no negative particle used as in verse 15 and 16, which would require the clause to have the meaning of “possibility”, which is correctly rendered in English as “might be saved” Does this then mean, that the salvation of the “elect” is only a “possibility”? If we are to take the words to mean “shall be saved”, then we would expect Jesus to have said: “sothese”, as in Romans 10:9, “ That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

    We should note, that in verses 15 and 16, “believes”, is in the Greek, “pisteuno”, which is the present, continuance, tense, literally, “continues to believe”.

    We can only conclude from these facts, that there is no Biblical justification for us to take “kosmos” the this passage, to mean anything other than “the sum total of the human race”, and NOT as the Calvinist would have us believe, because of their theological bias found in the heresy of “Limited Atonement”, that it only refers to the “elect”. Can any honest mind doubt that this great passage is the hope of mankind, for salvation through our Great Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ?

    John Calvin, had this to say on this verse:

    That whosoever believeth on him may not perish. It is a remarkable commendation of faith, that it frees us from everlasting destruction. For he intended expressly to state that, though we appear to have been born to death, undoubted deliverance is offered to us by the faith of Christ; and, therefore, that we ought not to fear death, which otherwise hangs over us. And he has employed the universal term whosoever, both to invite all indiscriminately to partake of life, and to cut off every excuse from unbelievers. Such is also the import of the term World, which he formerly used; for though nothing will be found in the world that is worthy of the favor of God, yet he shows himself to be reconciled to the whole world, when he invites all men without exception to the faith of Christ, which is nothing else than an entrance into life.”

    Calvin’s own language is what is not used by any “Calvinist” who believes in “Limited Atonement”. “all men without distinction” is the language that a “Calvinist” would use, so as to distort what the Bible actually teaches, yet the “Calvinists” own “leader”, John Calvin, himself believed that Jesus Christ dies for THE WHOLE WORLD, that is, EVERY HUMAN BEING!

    Robert Dabney, who was a Calvinist, has this to say on the use of “kosmos” here:

    “In Jno.iii.16, make ‘the world’ which Christ loved, to mean ‘the elect world’, and we reach the absurdity, that some of the elect may not believe, and perish…since Christ made expiation for every man” (Systematic Theology, p.525)
     
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  2. SavedByGrace

    SavedByGrace Well-Known Member

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    I have just noticed something interesting in the final clause in the Greek,

    all echē zōēn aiōnion”, where we have “echē” which is also in the subjunctive mood, and translated as “but may have life eternal”, as in verse 15.

    “may”, possible, but not certain.

    Douay-Rheims, “but may have life everlasting”

    Literal Standard Translation, “but may have continuous life”

    Weymouth, “but may have the Life of Ages” (that every one who trusts in Him may not perish)

    Young, “but may have life age-during” (that every one who is believing in him may not perish)

    Full verse in Weymouth, "For so greatly did God love the world that He gave His only Son, that every one who trusts in Him may not perish but may have the Life of Ages"

    Also, I have this from Bill Mounce on "whoever", Does John 3:16 Say "Whoever"? - Mondays with… | Zondervan Academic
     
  3. Reformed1689

    Reformed1689 Well-Known Member

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    I will note that only one of the lexicons you posted even provides the possibility definitively that it is every individual.
     
  4. SavedByGrace

    SavedByGrace Well-Known Member

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    The context itself says that Jesus means the whole human race as John Calvin himself accepts and other Reformed teachers
     
  5. Reformed1689

    Reformed1689 Well-Known Member

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    Race does not equal individual.
     
  6. SavedByGrace

    SavedByGrace Well-Known Member

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    Lets hear your definition of kosmos in this passage
     
  7. Reformed1689

    Reformed1689 Well-Known Member

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    I have already stated that it means the human race. But that does not mean every individual in that race.
     
  8. SavedByGrace

    SavedByGrace Well-Known Member

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    How do you get this? Does it mean the majority of the human race? Do you think Calvin is wrong?
     
  9. Reformed1689

    Reformed1689 Well-Known Member

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    It means he loved humans. He loved His creation. And, from all of Scripture, we know that he chose to save some of the human race for His glory, not every individual. John 3:16 does not say Christ came to save every individual. He came to save the human race.

    In Genesis, God saved the human race by saving Noah and his family alone. Not every individual. The same is true with the salvation of the human race on the cross. He saved some, not every individual.

    This is not in disagreement with what Calvin commented on John 3:16. The word race is not equivalent with every individual.

    If I say the eyes of the whole world are on a moment. That certainly can mean race, humans, but it doesn't mean every individual.
     
  10. SavedByGrace

    SavedByGrace Well-Known Member

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    So you are saying that world here refers only to the elect?
     
  11. Reformed1689

    Reformed1689 Well-Known Member

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    Is that what I said? No. I said it means the human race. But that does not translate into meaning that God sent his Son for every individual person. Not sure what is so hard to understand about that.
     
  12. SavedByGrace

    SavedByGrace Well-Known Member

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    Because what you are suggesting is not what the passage teaches. Either world means every human being ever lived or only a select few. See what Dabney says in the OP
     
  13. Reformed1689

    Reformed1689 Well-Known Member

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    How is what I am suggesting not what the passage teaches? It does not say in the passage that Christ came to potentially save every individual. It simply does not say that. Does not even mention that. It says that the ones who believe will not perish. Those are the ones he came to save.

    Because God loved humanity. STOP. Because of that love, that He loved his creation, then go to the next part. He sent His Son that the ones who believe will not perish. Stop.

    Two different things going on here.

    He saved some, not all.

    Verse 17 goes further to say that the ones who believe are not condemned (because Christ came to save them) and the ones who do not believe are condemned already.

    Christ did not come to save the ones condemned already. There were people who were chosen before the foundation of the world to be saved. Those are the ones he came for. And, by doing so, Christ saved the human race. The human race is not lost because some were saved, just as the human race was not lost in the days of Noah because some were saved.

    Do you believe God saved the human race in the days of Noah?
     
  14. SavedByGrace

    SavedByGrace Well-Known Member

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    This is your personal theology and NOT what the Bible actually says
     
  15. Reformed1689

    Reformed1689 Well-Known Member

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    You didn't answer the question.

    Did God save the human race in the days of Noah?
     
  16. SavedByGrace

    SavedByGrace Well-Known Member

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    Lets use your reasoning for a moment. How does your understanding of John 3.16 as used for only those who Jesus came to save which in your theology is the elect. In Luke 22 it is very clear that Jesus shed His blood also for Judas who was never saved. However it is clear that John 3.16 also includes Judas
     
  17. Reformed1689

    Reformed1689 Well-Known Member

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    You didn't answer the question. Did God save the human race in the days of Noah? Why are you avoiding this?
     
  18. SavedByGrace

    SavedByGrace Well-Known Member

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    He did in Noah and his family. What has this go to do with John 3.16
     
  19. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast Well-Known Member
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    Vs 15-16...speak of EVERYONE BELIEVING....not everyone ever born:Cautious:Cautious:Cautious
     
  20. Reformed1689

    Reformed1689 Well-Known Member

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    Then it is obvious you don't believe the human race has to mean every individual. I rest my case.
     
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