on 1-john 5 :4
Whatsoever is born of God - Παν το γεγεννημενον· Whatsoever (the neuter for the masculine) is begotten of God: overcometh the world. "I understand by this," says Schoettgen, "the Jewish Church, or Judaism, which is often termed עולם הזה olam hazzeh, this world. The reasons which induce me to think so are,
1. Because this κοσμος, world, denied that the Messiah was come; but the Gentiles did not oppose this principle.
2. Because he proves the truth of the Christian religion against the Jews, reasoning according to the Jewish manner; whence it is evident that he contends, not against the Gentiles, but against the Jews. The sense therefore is, he who possesses the true Christian faith can easily convict the Jewish religion of falsity."
That is, He can show the vanity of their expectations, and the falsity of their glosses and prejudices. Suppose we understand by the world the evil principles and practices which are among men, and in the human heart; then the influence of God in the soul may be properly said to overcome this; and by faith in the Son of God a man is able to overcome all that is in the world, viz., the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eye, and the pride of life.
on 1-john 5 :4
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world - The world, in its maxims, and precepts, and customs, does not rule him, but he is a freeman. The idea is, that there is a conflict between religion and the world, and that in the heart of every true Christian religion secures the victory, or triumphs. In John 16:33, the Saviour says, "Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." See the notes at that verse. He obtained a complete triumph over him "who rules the darkness of the world," and laid the foundation for a victory by his people over all vice, error, and sin. John makes this affirmation of all who are born of God. "Whatsoever," or, as the Greek is, "Everything which is begotten of God," (πᾶν τὸ γεγενημένον pan to gegenēmenon;) meaning to affirm, undoubtedly, that "in every instance" where one is truly regenerated, there is this victory over the world. See the James 4:4 note; 1 John 2:15-16 note. It is one of the settled maxims of religion, that every man who is a true Christian gains a victory over the world; and consequently a maxim as settled, that where the spirit of the world reigns supremely in the heart, there is no true religion. But, if this be a true principle, how many professed Christians are there who are strangers to all claims of piety - for how many are there who are wholly governed by the spirit of this world!
And this is the victory - This is the source or means of the victory which is thus achieved.
Even our faith - Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, 1 John 5:5. He overcame the world, John 16:33, and it is by that faith which makes us one with him, and that imbues us with his Spirit, that we are able to do it also.
on 1-john 5 :4
5:4 For whatsoever - This expression implies the most unlimited universality. Is born of God overcometh the world - Conquers whatever it can lay in the way, either to allure or fright the children of God from keeping his commandments. And this is the victory - The grand means of overcoming. Even our faith - Seeing all things are possible to him that believeth.