John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
Argument: Did Christ by His death take away the sin of all men without exception? If He did, all men without exception shall be saved. The world here cannot mean all who are in the world.
Vs. 29 is a generic statement about the sin bearing work of Christ, not a definition of the word world. Earlier in the chapter (vss. 7-13) John defines the limitation as to who in the world would have their sins taken away.
7The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.
8He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
9That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
10He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
11He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
12But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
13Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
Jesus lights every man that comes into the world that they might believe(subjunctive mood indicating that they will not definitely believe v.7). This thought is developed by refering to the extent of Christ’s rejection: the world rejected him in general, and then even those who were supposed to show Him to the world rejected Him. It is then set in contrast to those who would receive Him. Of all the ones who witnessed His light, those who received Him were given the power [authority] to become the children of God.
John’s statement is intended to show the difference between the scope of the sacrifice of a lamb intended for Israel and the sacrifice of Christ which was intended for the world. It is not to show a distinction between the un-elect of the world and the elect of the world. To maintain parity, the sacrifice in the Temple would have only been for part of Israel in order to claim that Christ’s sacrifice was only for part of the world. The sacrifice was for all of Israel, but had special relevance only for “the comers thereunto.”
1For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.