Q: Why are you complicating things? Can’t you just read it and accept what it says? ‘the world’ means ‘the world.’ How hard is that? Or how about this: Believe in the Son and you will have Eternal life. Belief comes first, then Life/Regeneration. See? Not that hard. Read John 20:31.
One of our main goals as students of Scriptures isn’t to complicate things but to clarify through the careful handling of God’s word faithfully. When Christ says “This [is] My body,” you might not take that literally but the Catholics do. And if you think the word [is] is not a big deal, you’ll find out when you have a discussion with them. Men of the past have fought over one single letter, the letter ‘i’: homoousios vs homo[i]ousios in defending the Deity of Christ (think about that for a moment). Scriptures is of divine origin, and it’s to be handled as such—carefully and diligently studied. And that takes a lot of work, which is one of the reasons why your pastor or elder who [labor in the word and doctrine] is to be counted worthy of double honour (1 Timothy 5:17).
The Sadducees rejected the resurrection of the dead because they failed to notice what God said to Moses: “I [am]” (present tense) “the God of Abraham…” He did not say “I [was]” (past tense). This is a prime example of what can happen to us when we don’t pay close attention. Paul makes a distinction between “seed” (singular) and “seeds” (plural) in Galatians 3:16 when he says, “He does not say, ‘And to seeds,’ as of many, but as of one, ‘And to your Seed,’ who is Christ.” There are plenty more Scriptures that can be shown to prove my point, but all this is to say: We’re not out to complicate things, but to carefully and rightly divide the word of truth with precision, by God’s grace.