Promise of Answered Prayer
I. THE CHILD OF GOD IS ASSURED OF HIS SALVATION BASED ON TRUTH HE BELIEVES THAT IS BASED ON THE WORD OF GOD.
A. Verse 19, begins which "and by this" (and thereby). It is referring to verses 16-18 which states the fact that what a professing Christian does is one evidence on which he can based the assurance of our salvation.
If a professing Christian has the love of God in his heart, which comes from truly trusting in Christ and being "born again, " he will love God and love his brothers and sisters in Christ and seek to help them.
B. Literally it says "this then is how we know." In Greek, the phrase "and shall assure" is in the future tense which means our assurance is based on the condition laid down in Verse 18, that is if we do in fact love.
One note I would like to make. I hear some criticize those who make reference to the structure and grammar of the Greek in which the New Testament was written. Friends in English alone there is no way to know that the phrase "and shall assure" is in the future tense. The Greek language gives a fuller meaning. The Word of God was written in Greek and we better be careful about criticizing someone for referring to language God choose to use to give us the New Testament.
C. Verse 20. If our hearts condemn us. In coming to assurance present sins will many times cause us to have doubts.
At times we feel emotionally the presence of the Lord. But in truth, whether we "feel" it or not the Lord is present in the life of the Christian.
A man I know when called on publicly to pray always begins his prayer, "Lord as we come into your presence." That statement for the Christian is false, as believers are never out of His presence. God is always with the true Christian because he is indwelled by the Holy Spirit.
D. Our salvation does not rest on FEELINGS...but on truth.
As a pastor working in Utah I have often talked with devout members of Mormon cult. I have listened to them as they go on and on about how much they love the Lord Jesus. They are very sure emotionally that their experience is true, but in fact the had believed a lie.
Salvation is not based on a feeling. Truth is not based on or authenticated by a burning in the bosom, as the Mormons call it! Truth is based on the only source of truth, God Himself and that truth that is revealed in the Bible, which is God's Word.
The cult denies absolute truth that Jesus Christ is GOD! They deny His deity. Note that is 2:22
John says that "who is a liar, but he that denies that Jesus is the Christ?" God says he is the Antichrist. See v22-25
The cults denying that Jesus is God, say the Bible calls Him the son of God, not God.
John 10:27-30...Verse 30 says that "I and my Father are one." The cults respond, "Yes, but only one in purpose and goal not one God."
However, those that heard what Jesus said fully understood what he was saying. John 10:31 says these Jews they took up stones to kill Him. Verse 33 explains why:
"Thou being a man makest thyself God." It is not "a god", but "theos" meaning Almighty God. So the cult member who denies that Jesus Christ is God, is in fact basing his beliefs in error and untruth. Their feels have no validity because they are not in truth believing on Jesus Christ who is God, but an idol they dreamed up that they called Jesus Christ, but who is not.
II. GOD HEARS THE PRAYERS OF HIS CHILDREN WHEN THEY DO HIS WILL. 1 John 3:22
A. Verse 22. God answers the prayers or requests of His Children because they are His children who are "keeping His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in his sight".
1. God does not hear the prayers of the wicked!
Psa. 18:41 "If I regard iniquity in my heart the Lord will not hear me".
2. John 9:31 "Now we know that God heareth not sinners: (lost) but if any man be a worshiper of God, and doesth his will, him will he heareth."
3. Note the condition, one must worship God and also do His will. A person can in fact physically and emotionally worship God, and yet not have his prayers answered because he does not do the will of God!!!
B. There Can Be Hindrances to Prayer.
1. James 1:6-7. Asking without faith. "But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord."
a. Note this does not put a degree on the amount of faith one has.
b. Matthew 17:20....Jesus said that the disciples could not cast the demon out of the boy because of their UNBELIEF! He then said "If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall be removed"
c. A mustard seed is small, Jesus was not saying you have to have faith, to a certain degree to achieve a certain reaction.
Jesus was using an exaggerated expression to illustrate His point. For example have you heard the expression, "If his brains were dynamite he couldn't blown his nose!" Anyone hearing the expression would understand its meaning? It is a poignant way of saying a person is not very smart. Jesus was saying that they had no faith.
d. The TV healers, who are all false teachers, use this verse saying if a person has "enough" faith then God will heal them. That friend is not in Scripture! They assumption that God honors faith by degrees is a misunderstanding of biblical faith.
e. God does answer prayer and will heal, or help in any situation the child of God finds himself. That God's promise! But the criteria or condition is always stated that He answers in response to the presence of faith....not to the degree of faith.ILLUS: How many of you came today to church in a car? When you got in the car and started it did you believe if would get you to church? Did you believe a little bit or a great deal? No, you just believed it would get you to church and the proof of that is that you got in, started it and drove to church. It was not a matter of degree, but of confidence in the automobile. Would it make sense that you believed only enough to drive the car half way here and walk the rest? No!
Gods says, "The just shall live by faith." (Habakkuk 2:4, Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11, Hebrews 10:38)
1st: A person must in truth be a child of God and that only comes from accepting Jesus Christ in Faith. What greater act can God do than to save a sinner. How much faith is required?
ANSWER: Faith as a child. If a person can exercise faith to a degree that God will save him...Then that amount of faith is all sufficient...then how can one say we do not have enough faith to see a person healed, or a problem solved..etc. So first a person must be a child of God!
2nd: A person must be in the will of God and the prayer must be inside the limits of God.
C. What are some specific hindrances to answered prayer?
1. James 4:3, Ye ask, and receive not because ye ask amiss, that you may consume it upon your lusts. Asking out of lust, a carving or obsession for things: Song: "Oh, Lord give me a Mercedes-Benz"
2. Husbands who do not honor their wives..their prayers will not be answered. I Peter 3:7
3. I John. 3:22. Being out of the Will of God or doing that which is pleasing to God.
a. Unconfessed sin in a persons life places them outside the will of God. I John 1:9
b. Having an unforgiving heart. Mark 11:25
"When ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses."
c. Seeking after the world and not Christ. Matthew 6:33 "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." God's people seek His will first and then God provides for them.
1. Verses 23-24 As children of God, we are commanded to love one another and this being able to love even when the love is not returned or we are deliberately hurt, comes not from emotion but from a belief in God. We trust God and thus this belief gives us the direction and strength to overcome our carnal nature to hurt back when hurt.
2. Verse 24.. He that keeps the commandments of God is one who God is dwelling in. We know we are his because of the spirit in us.
We know we are his because of the spirit in us... What is that Spirit? The spirit to love and please God, and in belief and trust submit ourselves to him, serve others to do what the Bible says.