John 8:23-24 – But He said to them, “You are from below, I am from above. You are of this world, I am not of this world. Therefore, I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe Who I am, you shall die in your sins.”
Jesus came to take away the sin of the world – which in effect, is the sin of each individual man. Paul said in Romans 5:12 that sin entered into the world by one man, Adam; and we know Jesus was revealed to bear away our sin (1 John 3:5). Jesus was manifested to destroy, or undo, the works of the devil (1 John 3:8).
Those who refuse to believe in Jesus remain the captives of this world, ‘kosmos’. The opposite of this is spoken by Jesus of his disciples in John 17:14 and 16, “They are not of this world, even as I am not of this world.” When one is born from above by the Spirit, they become Spirit (John 3:6) – instead of a person of the flesh. As one born from above, they are not of this world. This message is also emphasized by Paul in Romans 8:9, “You are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit.” This message of having escaped from the world through believing on Jesus is also emphasized by Peter as in 2 Peter 1:3-4, “so that through these you might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”
The word ‘kosmos’ obviously extends beyond just a reference to the universe – it also refers to the society of man. Jesus came to give life to the world that was bound with death (John 6:33, 51). He came to take the sin away from the world held under sin’s power (John 1:29; 1 John 5:19) and to give light to a world in darkness (John 1:5, 9). Only by faith in Jesus can one overcome the world (1 John 5:4-5; Galatians 2:20; 1 Corinthians 1:30).
Pastor Mark Spitsbergen