1 John 5:19
And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in wickedness.
I. HOW TRUE BELIEVERS ARE OF GOD.
1. By creation; and so all things are of God (Romans 11:36). Thus the devils themselves are of God as their Creator, and so is the world. But this is not the being of God here meant.
2. By generation, as a son is of the father.
3. The work of regeneration is held forth under a double notion, showing the regenerate to be of God.
(1) It is a being begotten of God (ver. 18). God Himself is the Father of the new creature: it is of no lower original (James 1:18; 1 Peter 1:23, 25).
(2) It is a being born of God (ver. 18). By His Spirit alone the new creature is formed in all its parts, and brought forth into the new world of grace (John 3:5).
II. HOW BELIEVERS, AS THEY ARE OF GOD, REGENERATE PERSONS, ARE SEPARATED FROM THE WORLD LYING IN WICKEDNESS.
(1) Not in respect of place (1 Corinthians 5:9, 10).
(2) Not in respect of gathering them into pure unmixed societies for worship. There are no such visible Church societies in the world (Matthew 13:28-30).
2. But positively, the regenerate as such are separated from the world —
(1) In respect of their being broken off from that corrupt mass, and become a part of a new lump. They are become members of Christ's mystical body, of the invisible Church, a distinct though invisible society.
(2) Their being delivered from under the power of the god of this world, viz., Satan (Acts 26:18).
(3) Their having a Spirit, even the Spirit of God dwelling in them, which the world have not (Romans 8:9; Jude 1:19).
(4) Their having a disposition, and cast of heart and soul, opposite to that of the world; so that they are as much separated from the world as enemies are one from another (Genesis 3:15). From this doctrine we may learn the following things.
1. This speaks the dignity of believers. They are the truly honourable ones, as being of God; they are the excellent of the earth.
2. It speaks the privilege of believers. Everyone will care and provide for his own: be sure God will then take special concern about believers (Matthew 6:31, 32).
3. It speaks the duty of believers. Carry yourselves as becomes your dignity and privilege, as those that are of God.
4. It shows the self-deceit of unbelievers, pretenders to a saving interest in God, while in the meantime they are lying together with the world in wickedness.
(T. Boston, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.