What’s the most inclusive word in the Bible? I’d suggest to you that few are more inclusive than WHOEVER. We frequently use that word in exclusive everyday ways:
- “Whoever reaches the finish line first gets a blue ribbon.”
- “Whoever makes the most sales this quarter gets a bonus.”
In exclusive contexts, many are invited to participate, but only one will be rewarded. On the other hand, we also regularly use the same word in very inclusive ways:
- “Whoever uses their manners while company is over for dinner gets a piece of candy.”
- “Whoever brings a coupon to the amusement park gets a discount.”
In inclusive contexts, many are invited to participate and each person who meets the expectations of the speaker will be rewarded.
What’s the “hinge” word in each of those sentences? WHOEVER.
The same point could be illustrated from all over God’s written communication to mankind. He has clearly expressed his expectations for us, many times using the straightforward word WHOEVER. Few examples are more succinct and powerful than the New Testament letter of 1 John. Did you know that John uses the WHOEVER line of reasoning more than twenty times in the span of just five chapters? Check the majority of the examples out for yourself here.
We love to focus on the gracious promises of God. Let’s just make sure we pay careful attention to the WHOEVER that forms the logical foundation of those promises.
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