I have been preaching through the Gospel of John for the last couple months. In God’s providence we’ve made it all the way to John 3:16 in time for our Christmas musical and dramatic presentation. As I was preparing for this week’s Christmas sermon, I stumbled upon this quote from DA Carson’s commentary on John.
Even so, God’s love is to be admired not because the world is so big and includes so many people, but because the world is so bad: that is the customary connotation of kosmos. The world is so wicked that John elsewhere forbids Christians to love it or anything in it (1 John 2:15-17). There is no contradiction between this prohibition and the fact that God does love it. Christians are not to love the world with the selfish love of participation; God loves the world with the self-less, costly love of redemption (pg. 205).
Certainly God’s live is both expansive and deep, but may we never forget that it was directed towards us who were wicked, hostile, and alienated.