You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.
I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.
Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.
Traditionally, Christianity has defined sin in a way that made it easy to blame structural problems on individual people; in the process of doing so, it has emphasized the redeemed individual over the redeemed world.
This reaches its height in the view that you can replace “the world” in John 3:16 with your own name, as seen in this devotional on becoming a Christian among other places.
But John 3:16 doesn’t actually allow for this. The Greek word generally translated as “the world” is kosmos, and it means more or less the same thing that the word cosmos means in English.
John 3:16 doesn’t say that you, individually, are what God loves (which isn’t to say that he doesn’t). It says that God’s love is for the entirety of creation. Changing it to refer to an individual person inverts the verse, changes it from a message on the brokenness and ultimate redemption of creation to a message on the sinfulness and hopeful redemption of the individual; it changes from a Christ who saves the world to a Christ who encourages us to abandon the world in favor of salvation.