Tuesday, May 21, 2013

God loves the kosmos

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." - John 3:16

Please read your Bible correctly - this love is the love of God expressed in Him giving the greatest possible gift, the gift of His only begotten Son. Is this describing a lesser universal love? Does He have a greater love than this for the elect? Not only so, but the verse says "so", meaning "in this way" - this way God loved the "kosmos", that He gave His Son for the salvation of all who believe (that is, His sheep, those given by the Father, the elect).

Secondly, the very context: spoken at night in secret, to just one person. But significantly spoken to a Jew still thinking in Old Testament terms who thought the love of God was restricted to the Jews. Christ shows that God loves the whole world, every tongue, tribe, and nation, and so gave His Son for the salvation of all who believe. Not the descendants of Abraham therefore, and not merely the believing descendents of Abraham.

Thirdly, there is not one place in Scripture where "world" can be shown to mean "every single person throughout all history". In almost cases it very obviously cannot mean this: http://www.cprf.co.uk/articles/allmeansall.htm

Fourthly, where therefore does your definition of "world" come from? Is it from the context? Is it from the use of the word elsewhere in Scripture? Or is it simply your reading into the text your own pre-conceived ideas (or someone else's)?

Furthermore, in ransoming the elect, God saves the kosmos. By preserving a remnant saved from every tongue, tribe, and nation, God saves the entire world (Rev. 5:9). Did God need to save every animal and every human to save the kosmos through the Flood of Noah? No, rather, the destruction of the wicked was necessary for the salvation of the world.

Concerning the salvation of the kosmos, which God loves (the salvation of which rests on the salvation of the elect) the Scriptures say this:

"For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body." Romans 8:18-23.

The whole creation is included in God's everlasting covenant of grace:
"And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth." - Gen. 9:12-17.

The inheritance of the saints, is the new heavens and the new earth, renewed by God, as we are being, and will be - through fire. This kosmos was created for man to dwell in fellowship with God. But through the work and person of Christ, heaven and earth are united, and we who have borne the image of the earthy shall also bear the image of the heavenly, being equipped in the resurrection with a spiritual body by the last Adam: so that then the tabernacle of God will be with men, the final fulfillment and goal of the covenant will be realised and enjoyed forever.

"And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful." - Rev. 21:1-5.

See the problem is, people know sound-bites and superficial verses without understanding context, and without learning how the Bible fits together in glorious theology. And so they exude this confidence in their views, which doesn't stand contextual, theological scrutiny.

Our first principle must be that Scripture alone interprets Scripture, because it is God's Word, not ours. We must not let our own ideas run ahead.

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