John 17:14-16 “I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.”
A further explanation for this alienation between the world and the child of God is introduced by the concluding [hoti] (“because”) clause. The world does not understand the child of God because it did not understand Him. Opinions vary as to the antecedent of this pronoun. Suggestions include (1) God the Father, (2) Jesus Christ, or (3) God in Christ. Looking back, the near antecedent is the Father. It would be easy to see a reference to Christ, however, and the reception he received at his first coming. At the same time, the hostile attitude of the world toward both the Father and the Son cannot be overlooked. In either case in light of the world’s natural depravity and opposition to God, the child of God should anticipate rejection and hatred. Such rejection by the world attests to the reality that the rejected are indeed children of God. Christ warned his disciples (including John) of the world’s natural animosity toward his followers (John 15:18–16:4), and now the apostle communicates that same word of warning and encouragement to his audience. To be one of his is to be treated as he was treated, but to be treated in such a manner is to have assurance that we are his children.
Akin, Daniel L. Vol. 38, 1, 2, 3 John. The New American Commentary.
: Broadman & Holman Publishers,
3)Also check out the following blog post regarding "in and not of" from John 17 @ http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/let-s-revise-the-popular-phrase-in-but-not-of
I like Akin's words from the New American Commentary, in this verse “world” (kosmos) refers to the evil humanistic system that dominates the society around us, a hostile order that stands in opposition to God. We should look and be like Christ; to such a degree that we are going into and through the world on mission. While doing this we live with such a kingdom mentality that is counter intuitive to the ways of the world. If we are being winsome and gracious we can be confident that the rejection we experience is ultimately a rejection of Jesus and His way. If we are being self-righteous then we can be sure the world is rejecting us for our own sake and not Christ. Nonetheless, we should never be surprised when we experience persecution. If our 'sins yell crucify' then a sinful world will likely yell the same to us.
Let me know if you want more on the ‘word study’ side. “World” (kosmos) is the most common usage and then it is modified by the context of the verse. It appears 186 times in 151 verses in the ESV.
Hope this helps! Blessings.
In Christ, Pastor Rick