Universalists and Arminians hijack terms in the Bible to substantiate their heresies. They love the term “world” because most Christians are too lazy to study the etymology of kosmos, in order to avoid wrong interpretations. This is especially true for John 3:16. They make “all” inclusive of everyone, everywhere. In doing this, they pervert the Gospel of grace, which reveals the exclusivity to Christianity.
The term I would like to deliver from the wiles of the heretics, today, is the pronoun “us” In the same way that other pronouns can be employed to distort the message and meaning, “us” is very common in the New Testament. The reason is that the epistles are written either to a Christian or to a church (group of Christians). The Apostle Paul may be writing to Timothy or Titus, but “us” still refers to a plurality of Christians.
This is actually the point I will be making here…”us” is the common meaning for the New Testament authors referring to the church. Simply put, as a rule for interpretation, “us” refers to the church, not the world. In following this rule, we must be conscious of exceptions, clearly revealed by context. What must be rejected is the false teacher, grouping the church and the world together with the pronoun “us.” The content for such a common pronoun is too much to include here, but I have selected some of the most recognizable Bible verses to prove the point that “us” is the church and not the world.
Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world (Jn 4:42; 1 Jn 4:14), the world that God made (Heb 1:2) and loved (Jn 3:16), and whose sins Jesus propitiated (1 Jn 2:2), in reconciling this world to Himself (2 Cor 5:19). Jesus came into the world to save sinners (1 Tim 1:15), and He is believed on in the world (1 Tim 3:16), by the poor of this world (Jas 2:5), who suffer in this world (1 Pet 5:9), yet overcome it by faith (1 Jn 5:4–5). That is “us” believers. As the saying goes, “Christians are in the world, but not of the world.”
God made known to us the mystery of His will (Eph 1:9), and yet the world did not know Him (Jn 1:10), when the God of Israel sent His only begotten Son to visit us (Lk 1:68). God raised up the horn of salvation for us (Lk 1:69), and He saved us (Tit 3:5). For He rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son (Col 1:13). In this, God rescued us from this present evil age (Gal 1:4). It is Jesus who recuses us from the wrath to come (1 Thess 1:10).
Christ died for us (Rom 5:8). He laid down His life for us (1 Jn 3:16), so that He might bring us to God (1 Pet 3:18). It is Him who loved us and released us from our sins by His blood (Rev 1:5).
Christ also redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become curse for us (Gal 3:13). He saved us and called us with a holy calling (2 Tim 1:9). Christ set us free (Gal 5:1), and He now appears in the presence of God for us (Heb 9:24). Just as Christ also accepted us, for the glory of God (Rom 15:7), it is God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor 15:57) and who always leads us in triumph in Christ (2 Cor 2:14).
Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God (2 Cor 1:21). He made us alive together with Christ (Eph 2:5). In His kindness toward us in Christ (2:7), God the Father has blessed us with every spiritual blessing (Eph 1:3). This was His own purpose and grace, which He granted to us in Christ Jesus from eternity (2 Tim 1:9), when He predestined us to adoption as sons (Eph 1:5).
Now the Holy Spirit, whom He richly poured out upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior (Tit 3:5–6), has caused us to be born again (1 Pet 1:3), sealing us who have been baptized into Christ (Rom 6:3), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him (Eph 2:6). For this reason, the love of Christ controls us (2 Cor 5:14), and it is God who made us adequate as servants (2 Cor 3:6).
It is the God of peace who equips you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight (Heb 13:21), for the Lord has established peace for us, having performed all our works (Is 26:12), which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them (Eph 2:10). The kindness of the Lord is upon us, to confirm for us the work of our hands (Ps 90:17).
So we claim that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding (1 Jn 5:20), and to each one of us this grace was given (Eph 4:7), to understand the Word of God, which also is at work in you who believe (1 Thess 2:13) that God did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, freely giving us all things (Rom 8:32).
So, God demonstrated His love toward us (Rom 5:8) and nothing can separate us from the love of God (Rom 8:39). Christian, Christ Jesus loved you and gave Himself up for us (Eph 5:2). Jesus Christ, who died for us (1 Thess 5:10) is Him who called us by His own glory (2 Pet 1:3), and in His divine power has granted us everything (2 Pet 1:3), including the truth, which remains in us and will be in us, forever (2 Jn 1:2).
Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God (1 Cor 1:30), and who also intercedes for us (Rom 8:34) has committed to us the Word of reconciliation (2 Cor 5:19) that God has not destined us for wrath (1 Thess 5:9), but it is He who loved us and has given us eternal comfort (2 Thess 2:16). Our faith is Him who gave Himself for our sins (Gal 1:4), which is credited to us as righteousness (Rom 4:24), being the same faith as Abraham, the Father of us all (Rom 4:16), that is…the church.
Spokane Valley, Washington
January 2, 2021