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JOHN 3:16 - FOR GOD SO LOVES THE WHOLE HUMAN RACE

Discussion in 'Calvinism & Arminianism Debate' started by Saved-By-Grace, Aug 17, 2017.

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  1. Saved-By-Grace

    Saved-By-Grace Well-Known Member

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    “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” (3:16-17)

    The main purpose of the study, is to see what Jesus Christ means when He says, “for God so loved the world”. Are we to take these words in their natural meaning, which was so understood for the first three and a half centuries of the Church, and by the leading Greek lexical works, “the whole human race”; or, as some suppose, who claim to follow the teachings of John Calvin, that Jesus here means only “the elect”? I say “natural meaning”, because this is how the Church, till the time of St Augustine in the 4th century, understood Jesus to mean, and apart from the “Calvinists”, is how the rest of Christendom also understand the Jesus’ words. In fact, John Calvin’s own comments on this verse, are very clear to those who are open to the truth, that he could not have believed that Jesus’ use of “world” here, was in any way limited to “the elect”. Here is what Calvin says:

    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” (emphasis mine)

    Now, almost all who read these words of Calvin, will have no doubt in their minds, that he could not have understood the passage in John, to meaning anything, but applicable to “the entire human race”, which is very clear from the “universalistic” language that he employs. I say, “almost all”, because there are some “Calvinists”, who are more interested in preserving their “theology”, than accepting that their own “leader” proves that they are wrong! This reminds me of a Reformed Pastor I used to know some 20 years ago, whose wife was translating some of Calvin’s commentaries from French into English. He told me that what they had seen from the original of Calvin’s works, had convinced them that Calvin never believed in or taught “limited atonement”. However, he was not changing this position on this doctrine, because others like, Owen and Gill still taught it! This speaks volumes about rejecting Biblical Truth, and holding on to one’s “theology”, even when proven to be wrong! There are still many who will argue that Calvin did not really mean what he so very plainly says in his comments on John 3:16, and will keep on twisting the words to suit their theological bias. This is very sad, as these people are meant to be followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, and accept the Teachings of the Holy Bible!

    But, let us not stop at Calvin’s comments on John 3:16. Here his own words on John 1:29;

    Who taketh away the sin of the world. He uses the word sin in the singular number, for any kind of iniquity; as if he had said, that every kind of unrighteousness which alienates men from God is taken away by Christ. And when he says, the sin Of The World, he extends this favor indiscriminately to the whole human race; that the Jews might not think that he had been sent to them alone. But hence we infer that the whole world is involved in the same condemnation; and that as all men without exception are guilty of unrighteousness before God, they need to be reconciled to him. John the Baptist, therefore, by speaking generally of the sin of the world, intended to impress upon us the conviction of our own misery, and to exhort us to seek the remedy. Now our duty is, to embrace the benefit which is offered to all, that each of us may be convinced that there is nothing to hinder him from obtaining reconciliation in Christ, provided that he comes to him by the guidance of faith.”

    Then we have Romans 5:18;

    “He makes this favor common to all, because it is propounded to all, and not because it is in reality extended to all; for though Christ suffered for the sins of the whole world, and is offered through God's benignity indiscriminately to all, yet all do not receive him”

    Here Calvin clearly says that Christ’s suffering for “the whole world” is “offered…to ALL”, but the “ALL” of the “human race” do not receive this gift from the Lord. Nothing could be plainer of the Universal Atonement as taught by Calvin.

    Commenting on Mark 14:24, where Jesus says that His death is a “ransom for many”. Calvin says:

    Which is shed for many. By the word many he means not a part of the world only, but the whole human race

    If, as the “Calvinists” teach, that they get their “limited atonement” from John Calvin, then they are clearly deluded! Here is a text that Jesus says that He died for “many”, and yet, you would have expected Calvin to have said, “only for a part”. But in fact, he says that it does not mean this, but Jesus’ words mean, “the whole human race”! I expect there are still those who will hold on to their lies about this doctrine and what Calvin actually taught.

    Let us put John 3:16 in to its context, and see if this can indeed be used for the “elect only”. In verses 16 and 17, we find the word "kosmos" used four times, which, as we shall see, when taken together, shall tell us the true meaning of " kosmos " in verse 16.

    In verse 17 John says: "For God sent not His Son into the world...", where "kosmos " would no doubt refer to the" earth", as a place. He then goes on to say: "to condemn the world...", which cannot only refer to "the elect", and not to the entire human race. Or else, we must conclude that the rest of mankind (non-elect), will not be judged! What John is here saying, is, that at His first coming, Jesus did not come as the Judge of mankind, but as its Saviour. When He shall come the second time, it will not be to save people from their sins ( as it will be too late), but to Judge the world in righteousness. But, to limit "kosmos" to the elect only, would teach that it was only them whom Christ is coming to Judge! He will "condemn" the world, but not yet. We then read: "but that the world through Him might be saved". Again, if we are to limit "kosmos" to the elect, this part of the text goes against the teaching, that the elect can never lose their salvation. Here, we have the Greek word "sothe" (saved), which is in the subjunctive mood (might), and not the indicative. The former mood is used to describe something that conditional; whereas, the latter is definite, which would read "shall". This part of the text, when applied to the entire world, teaches, that, the world will not be saved (no universal salvation), but might (because there is universal atonement), if they meet the condition, and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, which is further taught in verse eighteen.

    Let us finally look at the lexical evidence on the use of “kosmos” used in John 3:16.

    J H Thayer:

    “the inhabitants of the earth, men, the human race. Jn. i.10, 29, iii.16sq”

    W F Arndt and F W Gingrich:

    of all mankind, but especially of believers as objects of God’s love”

    J Parkhurst:

    “the world, i.e., the whole race of mankind, both believers and unbelievers, both good and bad.”

    E Robinson:

    “the world for the inhabitants of the earth, men, mankind. John.1.29, 3:16”

    Hermann Cremer:

    “It denotes the ordered entirety of God’s creation, humanity itself”

    The NIV Theological Dictionary of New Testament Words:

    “in Jn. kosmos almost always denotes the world of humans, esp. the world of sinful humanity that opposes God, resists the redeeming work of the Son, does not believe in Him”

    G Kittel and G Friedrich:

    “All the meanings of kosmos come together in the usage of the Fourth Gospel. Not just the Prologue uses kosmos for the world in the sense of the universe

    W E Vine:

    “the human race, mankind

    A T Robertson:

    The world (ton kosmon). The whole cosmos of men, including Gentiles, the whole human race. This universal aspect of God's love appears also in 2Co 5:19; Rom 5:8”

    M Vincent:

    “The sum-total of humanity in the world; the human race


    et gloria Dei est
     
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  2. MennoSota

    MennoSota Well-Known Member
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    Copy and paste much?

    Only those whom God chooses in this world will believe.
    Therefore God loved the world. Those who believe are saved. God chooses people in the world who will believe and be saved. Thus the God is the sole determiner of who are saved.
     
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  3. Saved-By-Grace

    Saved-By-Grace Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I wrote this in Word and then pasted it here! care to deal with the facts as I have given, rather than give some theology?
     
  4. MennoSota

    MennoSota Well-Known Member
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    No, I don't care to read a tome of copied and pasted nonsense. State your point succinctly. It's not hard.
     
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  5. Saved-By-Grace

    Saved-By-Grace Well-Known Member

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    Simply put, no Calvinist can refute what I have said, because it is what John Calvin himself believed and taught, and therefore it is hard for someone who claims to get their "theology" from Calvin on limited atonement, when he never himself believed it! I have also given the lexical evidence for the use of "kosmos" in John 3:16, which again shows beyond any doubt that the word cannot ever here mean "the elect", as some would have us believe. These, my friend are facts that must be refuted by those who disagree. I wait for this to be done. Yours is a cop out
     
  6. TCassidy

    TCassidy Administrator
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    So what? Jean Cauvin did not invent the doctrine of Particular Redemption. You can find it in the bible (if you look). You can also find it in the writings of the ECFs, (if you look).
     
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  7. Saved-By-Grace

    Saved-By-Grace Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your input. care to deal with what I have said on the Gospel in a nutshell, John 3:16, where it is beyond any doubt to an honest person, that Jesus Himself teaches "universal redemption". the lexical evidence that shows that "kosmos" means "the whole human race", shows that any attempt to restrict this to "the elect", is nothing more than personal theology, and has no basis on what the Holy Bible actually teaches. I believe that this one passage destroys the teaching of "Particular Redemption", which is no more than a man-made fantasy"
     
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  8. MennoSota

    MennoSota Well-Known Member
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    What did you say?
    Bullet points. No more than five.
     
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  9. Saved-By-Grace

    Saved-By-Grace Well-Known Member

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    Every word that it in the OP is mine, and my personal research. Its up to you to respond, or not. I have stated the facts as I see to be true, if you can disprove any of it, then I am very much open to learning and correction.
     
  10. Saved-By-Grace

    Saved-By-Grace Well-Known Member

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    It seems that you cannot answer what I say, because it challenges what you believe, and you really don't have an answer!
     
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  11. MennoSota

    MennoSota Well-Known Member
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    I answered the first time. Speak to my original answer or summarize the tome you wrote.
     
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  12. Saved-By-Grace

    Saved-By-Grace Well-Known Member

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    why not deal with all of what I have said, as all is very relevant.
     
  13. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member
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    There are those that would rather argue about the formate of sentence structures and length of posts rather than substance.

    I considered the OP well thought out. I looked at following posts for meat and meaning. And was disappointed.

    It is troubling that, rather than point by point rebutal of the statements, the responses have been frothy- and of very little value.

    Just to clarify my own position is similar to the OP as has been shown on other threads and posts.
     
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  14. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member
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    Limited atonement as taught by the typical Calvinist (who cling to the Dutch teaching and whom the English separatists thought were dangerously enticing their families into liberalism) is not supportable, neither by the early church until Augustine, nor by Calvin, nor by Scripture scholarship.

    Is that not a summery of the OP?
     
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  15. Saved-By-Grace

    Saved-By-Grace Well-Known Member

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    that is because those who hold that the Bible teaches a "limited atonement" cannot justify their position from the Bible itself, and when their position is exposed as being unbiblical, the resort to silly comments. Their own "leader" John Calvin refutes their "theology" as he never taught this doctrine. In fact Jesus Who speaks the words in John 3:16, Himself says that His own death is for "the whole of mankind".
     
  16. MennoSota

    MennoSota Well-Known Member
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    Because I have other things to do. This is a discussion forums, not a dissertation. Shorten it up or chunk your thoughts. I don't have time to read all you wrote.
     
  17. MennoSota

    MennoSota Well-Known Member
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    Limited atonement is biblical, which I pointed out in my first response. Thanks for posting.
     
  18. Saved-By-Grace

    Saved-By-Grace Well-Known Member

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    This is a discussion forum, and that it exactly what I am doing. My OP is not that long, and because of the depth of the subject, cannot really be shortened. I usually would have written twice the length, and I like to be through in what I say, and deal with important issues like the Atonement of Jesus Christ and its extent, with great detail
     
  19. Saved-By-Grace

    Saved-By-Grace Well-Known Member

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    says you! and yet I have shown from Jesus' own words in John 3:16, that His own death extends to the "whole human race". leaving aside your theology, you cannot but agree that Jesus says exactly this. I cannot see from the language used, any other alternative to "universal Atonement". If you can, then please share this with us.
     
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  20. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member
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    Right, and end of discussion?

    Do you take atonement and salvation as interchangeable and with no use of them being separate? Of course you do. You are persuaded by men to do so, for the Scriptures do not hold that view.

    Did the once a year atonement at the temple/tabernacle automatically save all the people in the land? For it is clear that ALL the people were included in the atonement, even the strangers and foreigners. What right then did God bring judgments upon them?

    Did the once for all time blood shed by Christ automatically save all the people in the world? For it is clear that John specifically included the whole world in his statements. Then why are unbelievers condemned?

    I submit that only historical misuse have placed the two (atonement and salvation) as synonymous, and in fact they are not.

    Scripture did not place a limit on the atonement - the Dutch did.

    Scripture did not place a limit on the blood shed - the so called reformers did.

    Centuries of wrong thinking has embedded its way into such a hold that some would scoff at the truth, but thankfully you do not.

    Atonement does not mean automatic salvation.

    What is the single factor John points to in John 3 as the determining factor of salvation?

    Is it not belief?

    Do you know I have actually read that John should read like the word "world" should be "the select ones?"

    I challenge the scholarship on this board to make John's statement of the awesome expression of God's ultimate display of His love for His creation read that it was only done for a very small tiny group of select few!
     
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