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1 John 4:5: They Are From the World

1 John 4:5
[5] They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. (ESV)

In the previous verse the Apostle John reminds us that we are children of God.  We belong to him, and his Holy Spirit dwells within us. Now he refers to those who are very different from us. They are "from the world." This can be confusing for us. What is John referring to when he describes people who are "from the world." Aren't we all from the world? Below is some definitions for "the world."

"According to Strong's Concordance, it means, "An apt and harmonious arrangement or constitution, order, government. The inhabitants of the earth, men, the human race. The ungodly multitude; the whole mass of men alienated from God, and therefore hostile to the cause of Christ. World affairs, the aggregate of things earthly. The whole circle of earthly goods, endowments riches, advantages, pleasures, etc., which although hollow and frail and fleeting, stir desire, seduce from God and are obstacles to the cause of Christ."

According to E.W. Bullinger's A Critical Lexicon and Concordance to the English and Greek New Testament, it additionally means, "Thus kosmos denotes the order of the world, the ordered universe, the ordered entirety of God's creation, but considered as separated from God. The abode of humanity. That order of things in which humanity moves, or of which man is the center."

According to Vines Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, it additionally means, "in alienation from and opposition to God."

According to Vincent's Word Studies of the New Testament, kosmos means, "The order of things which is alienated from God, as manifested in and by the human race: humanity as alienated from God, and acting in opposition to Him. The sum-total of human life in the ordered universe, considered apart from, and alienated from, and hostile to God, and of the earthly things which seduce from God."

We are talking about people who do not know Jesus.  And all of those who do not know the Savior belong to the world.  They speak the world's language. They are loved by the world and are in rebellion to God's Law and his Love.  We need to remember that God sent His Son to save a condemned world. We belong to him. We need to bring a message of salvation to the world to whom we once belonged.

Do not be afraid of the world. Rather, bring God's message of salvation to those around you who belong to the world.