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Lesson # John 16:23-24
Study Material - John 16:23-24
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
23 And [kai] in [en] that [ekeinos] day [hemera] ye shall [ou] ask [erotao] me [eme] nothing [oudeis] . Verily [amen] , verily [amen] , I say [lego] unto you [humin] , [hoti] Whatsoever [hosos] [an] ye shall ask [aiteo] the Father [pater] in [en] my [mou] name [onoma] , he will give [didomi] it you [humin] .
24 Hitherto [heos] [arti] have ye asked [aiteo] nothing [ou] [oudeis] in [en] my [mou] name [onoma] : ask [aiteo] , and [kai] ye shall receive [lambano] , that [hina] your [humon] joy [chara] may be [o] full [pleroo] . KJV-Interlinear
23 'And in that day you will ask Me no question. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you shall ask the Father for anything, He will give it to you in My name. 24 'Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be made full. NASB
Thus far, the apostles have been led by the hand from verse to verse, on a course up to the Father and their means of access to the Father. Jesus Christ is the door through which we all must go through in order to get to the Father. However, we need a means or a carrier or a vehicle in which we can travel to reach the Father and that vehicle is the Holy Spirit, who is the one who will convict and convince, who is the teacher of spiritual phenomena.
Our access to Christ is through belief. Our access to the Spirit is through obedience (confession and fellowship). These two combined gain us an audience with the Father.
Remember that God is Righteousness and Justice. Righteousness and Justice when brought together make up His holiness. Righteousness is a state of purity free from blemish and defect. Justice is the correction activity which is the cleaning agent, if you will. That is, we are sinners and we need to be cleansed of our defects, before we can become pure. We cannot clean ourselves, so Christ went to the Cross and made a clean sweep of all of mankind's sins.
However, during our life we do not live as perfect individuals. Since the penalty of our sins has already been paid, then we are allowed to name our sins (in confession) to God and He then will cleanse us from all unrighteousness, 1 Jn. 1:9. God then restores us back into fellowship with this action.
Now, that said, we have two views of questions which come from humanity. The first is one of inquiry. Questions which are asked as inquiries are those questions which come from ignorance. 'I don't know, so I'll ask.' And then sometimes the questions are asked, and sometimes they are not, if we are too timid or too embarrassed to ask.
'In that day,' refers to the days after the ascension. Right now the apostles ask out of ignorance. Then as we will see in verses 29-30, they will be bold and boast of their understanding. An understanding which they lack. Jesus will challenge them on their response.
But for now they are ignorant.
In the latter days, the days after the ascension, and especially after the Holy Spirit is given, then their questions will be filled with understanding, and they will have the second type of questions, and those are of requests. The first type of question is of inquiry, the second type is of requests.
The first type is from the source of ignorance. The second is from the source of understanding. These are the two primary differences in how a person approaches God, from within the immature or the mature stages of ones spiritual life. When you are immature, you know little and lack understanding so you seek to learn. In the mature stage of ones spiritual life, then your understanding is more concrete, and your questions to God become petitions or requests. But not just any request as an immature person might submit. These are petitions based on knowledge and consistent with, Gods plan and purpose for man, for history, and for the individual.
Immature people ask to win the girl, or the boy, or to win the game, or to win the pot of gold, or to get the job, and such things. Their orientation to life is based on their environment. That is predominantly all they can orient to in life. The apostles have asked questions of ignorance, of ambition, of distrust, of impertinence, of curiosity.
But, as a person grows up spiritually, then one becomes more oriented to God and His plan. We are less concerned with what we might have on our table today and tomorrow, because we are more confident with knowing that God has already taken care of those details. We are more interested in learning Bible doctrine and growing up spiritually in our life, so as to advance to maturity and to the winners circle of the spiritual life, which will lead to great blessings both in time (now in our life) and in eternity.
What can we ask and receive? Anything related to and consistent with Bible doctrine. 'That your joy will be made full.' That is spiritual maturity. Joy is inner happiness. Inner happiness is based on capacity. Capacity is based on the structure of the soul. The structure of the soul dictates your direction of spiritual strength or lack of it. Bible doctrine is the source of spiritual muscle. Application of Bible doctrine to ones life is the exercise of that spiritual muscle. Exercise brings even more muscle and strength and that equates to stronger faith in ones life. All of this combined means a greater spiritual life both for now and in eternity. Our objective then in life is spiritual maturity, 'joy in you.'
Whatever we ask, then refers not to gold or social status, not to earthly things, but to spiritual knowledge for the purpose of growing up. Thus far the apostles have been interested only in themselves. But Jesus tells them that there will come a time when their questions will change. They will stop asking him questions of inquiry, questions of ignorance, but will begin to ask questions of confidence, of knowledge, of understanding. Furthermore, if anything is requested in Christ's name (the only means of access to the Father), from a position of strength (in fellowship), and directed to the Father, then it will be granted.
There now is the assurance and the certainty of your becoming a winner in your spiritual life. No matter what kind of a failure you are or have been in this life. No matter what kind of success you have experienced in this life, these are irrelevant. To win in the spiritual life, and thus to win at something that is more valuable than anything in this world, then all you have to do is first, want to learn Bible doctrine.
Second, keep yourself in fellowship and study daily. Third, ponder what you study (think about it). Do this over and over, again and again, day after day until you begin to understand it, and keep on with your daily studies for the rest of your life.
Fourth, apply what you learn to your daily life. That is, be responsible, and obedient to Gods commands, for Him, for yourself, and for society. And one day, you'll wake up and the light will come on inside your little head, and you will be amazed at what God has made out of poor and worthless little you.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
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.
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