Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Verse 19 (1 John 5:19)

We know that we are of God - Have the fullest proof of the truth of Christianity, and of our own reconciliation to God through the death of his Son.

The whole world lieth in wickedness - Εν τῳ πονηρῳ κειται· Lieth in the wicked one - is embraced in the arms of the devil, where it lies fast asleep and carnally secure, deriving its heat and power from its infernal fosterer. What a truly awful state! And do not the actions, tempers, propensities, opinions and maxims of all worldly men prove and illustrate this? "In this short expression," says Mr. Wesley, "the horrible state of the world is painted in the most lively colors; a comment on which we have in the actions, conversations, contracts, quarrels and friendships of worldly men." Yes, their Actions are opposed to the law of God; their Conversations shallow, simulous, and false; their Contracts forced, interested, and deceitful; their Quarrels puerile, ridiculous, and ferocious; and their Friendships hollow, insincere, capricious, and fickle: - all, all the effect of their lying in the arms of the wicked one; for thus they become instinct with his own spirit: and because they are of their father the devil, therefore his lusts they will do.

- Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible