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1 John 3:21-24
21 Beloved [agapetos], if [ean me] our [hemon] heart [kardia] condemn [kataginosko] us [hemon] not [ean me], then have we [echo] confidence [parrhesia] toward [pros] God [theos].
22 And [kai] whatsoever [hos] [ean] we ask [aiteo], we receive [lambano] of [para] him [autos], because [hoti] we keep [tereo] his [autos] commandments [entole], and [kai] do [poieo] those things that are pleasing [arestos] in his [autos] sight [enopion].
23 And [kai] this [houtos] is [esti] his [autos] commandment [entole], That [hina] we should believe [pisteuo] on the name [onoma] of his [autos] Son [huios] Jesus [Iesous] Christ [Christos], and [kai] love [agapao] one another [allelon], as [kathos] he gave [didomi] us [hemin] commandment [entole].
24 And [kai] he that keepeth [tereo] his [autos] commandments [entole] dwelleth [meno] in [en] him [autos], and [kai] he [autos] in [en] him [autos]. And [kai] hereby [en] [touto] we know [ginosko] that [hoti] he abideth [meno] in [en] us [hemin], by [ek] the Spirit [pneuma] which [hos] he hath given [didomi] us [hemin]. KJV-Interlinear
21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; 22 and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight. 23 And this is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. 24 And the one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And we know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us. NASB
The heart in the physical body is that little pump which circulates or causes the circulation of the blood throughout the body. The blood brings all the nutrition your body needs to every corner of the body.
Likewise in the soul, your use of the doctrine in your soul is that circulation action as illustrated by the heart. Only the circulation occurs in the soul, and the blood being circulated is the doctrine which you have learned. In other passages this 'soul' blood may be referred to as the oil in the lamp and so forth.
So our soul is condemned when it is not functioning in the light (in fellowship). When you are out of fellowship, then your soul condemns you in that you are operating under the control of your sin nature instead of the Holy Spirit.
Now learn the principle of this passage.
First you must be a believer, 'believe I the name of His Son.' Second you must learn doctrine in order to have any 'blood' to pump throughout your soul. Without learning, then that means that you have no true blood to pump. Might as well have green ice water in your soul.
Third, you must function in fellowship, live in the light, dwell in eternal life, operate under the love one another principle. And love here is 'agape,' the principle of tolerance, and compassion, and honor, and integrity, and so forth. This is not a mushy lovey-dovey sort of emotional thing.
And finally we must conform to the mandates which God places upon us and live our daily lives in a manner consistent with that which God expects of us.
Given all of this then, God will hear all your prayers. God hears no prayer of the unbeliever except for one, and that is their faith expression in Christ when they believe. All other prayers are rejected. Likewise for believers, if they are out of fellowship, then God does not hear their prayers either. Only prayers offered from believers who are in fellowship, are heard and considered.
There is one more consideration before a prayer is approved, and that is whether or not the prayer is consistent with Gods pan for your life and whether or not the prayer is consistent with Gods plan for history.
For example, if you prayed for the Rapture to occur now, when God has it planned for some other date in the future (say a hundred years from now), then your prayer is out of step with history and Gods plan, and it will be denied.
7 'If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you. 8 'By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. NASB
26 And He said, 'If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the LORD your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, the LORD, am your healer.' NASB
3 and said, 'Remember now, O LORD, I beseech Thee, how I have walked before Thee in truth and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in Thy sight.' NASB
Most people pray out of emotional desires, which are not consistent with Gods plan. Naturally their prayers are turned down. Most people are not in fellowship when they pray. Their prayers are turned down. Most people pray for something to occur from others, ie. make others do this or that. God does not interfere with a persons right to make their own decisions. God will not impose decisions or actions on others. Your prayers are turned down.
Most people will pray for something (money) because they seek their reliance or trust or security in having lots of money. Money is of the world and the world is not something where you should place your trust. We are to trust in God. And that means exercising your faith in Him. Your prayers are turned down.
Faith is one of the most difficult attributes of the spiritual life to master, because to really apply faith you need to be in a situation (or repetitive situations) of total helplessness with no apparent way out before your true focus is finally directed toward God. God will place each believer in such a place for testing purposes from time to time in order to drive out the impurities of their soul and to hammer out and refine, as in a forge, the imperfections in the metal of the soul.
When this type of testing comes along, many Christians fall away in utter failure in their spiritual life. Running away crying and screaming into the night so to speak. Very few will look at the test as the Israelites looked down the oncoming swords and certain death of the charging Egyptians, and 'wait' on the Lord to do battle for them.
But for those who 'stand fast' then God will answer their prayers and grant their requests. Do not play the part time Christian game and expect much from God. Your 'pattern' of life must function in a manner consistent with that which God demands. An on again, off again spiritual life is not really living the Christian life.
John closes this chapter with the reminder that the true spiritual life comes from you in God, which really means that you must learn Bible doctrine and live in fellowship, and therefore your life will be in Him, in the spiritual life, and then the result of your living the spiritual life will be God in you and that also means that the Holy Spirit which was given to each and every believer (in our Church Age) will be in control of your soul.
That is the ultimate place of dwelling in existence. Doctrine in you from your consistent daily learning of Gods Word, from your continued residence in fellowship due to your alertness and constant watchfulness for failure in your life, from you obedience to Gods mandates, from your observance of the responsibilities which God expects of you, and all of this equates to your advancement toward spiritual maturity.
If you have ever wanted to be well connected to someone who has the resources to help you out in anything and everything in life, then God is the best connection that you can possibly have.
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End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.