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Ask and You Will Receive

(John 16:23-33)

I. Introduction.
A. Orientation.
This morning,
We were considering the different things
Jesus has done to give us joy:

He has prepared a place for us in heaven,

And will come again to receive us
Into that perfect world of love and holiness;

He has given us His Spirit to show us

That we really do belong to God
That we really are His children;
To give us power to serve Jesus,
As Jesus served His Father;
To experience His love,
As Jesus experienced His Fathers love;
And to help us in our work
In bringing the Gospel to others,
By restraining the world
And convicting them of the truth;

He has given us the settled peace

Of knowing that everything He said is true,

That our sins are forgiven,
That were not giving our lives to a fools errand;

And He has given us every reason

To be courageous in the face
Of a world that will be hostile to us,
Because He has overcome the world
By the blood of His cross.

There will be difficulties

And things about ourselves and the world
That will bring us grief,
But Jesus has given us a joy
The world cant take away
And will last forever.

B. Preview.
This evening, lets consider
The second reason Jesus gave
That will give us joy:
And that is the promise of answered prayer.

Jesus is directing His disciples now

To a change that is about to take place:

Since He was leaving to go to the Father,

They would no longer come to Him
For the things they needed,
Rather they would go directly to the Father in His name.
That is now what we are also to do
That we might receive what we need,
And in the process, be filled with joy.

II. Sermon.
A. First, Jesus tells us that we may now ask the Father directly for anything we want.
He says in verse 23, Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in
My name, He will give it to you.
This may sound strange
Because Jesus told them earlier
That they could ask Him for whatever they wanted
And He would do it for them.
He says in John 14:13-14, Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that
the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I
will do it.

Now Hes telling them

That they should directly to the Father.

Even earlier in His ministry,

He had told them to pray to the Father.
Consider what He teaches them in the Lords Prayer:

Jesus said in Matthew 6:7-13, And when you are praying, do not use meaningless
repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their
many words. So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need
before you ask Him. Pray, then, in this way: Our Father who is in heaven,
hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it
is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we
also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver
us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.

So whats changed?
Now they are to pray to the Father in His name.
Look at verse 24, Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you
will receive, so that your joy may be made full.

Theres a transition thats about to take place.

Jesus is about to complete His work
Hes about to go to the Father
To be crowned with all power and glory
To take up the rule over all creation,
And to begin His work as Mediator.
Once that happened,
And He was no longer on earth,
The disciples would no longer
Ask Him to do things for them,
But they would direct their prayers
To the Father;
And they would no longer simply pray to the Father
Pleading His kingdom, power and glory,

As Jesus taught them in the Lords Prayer,

But now they would pray
Pleading the righteousness of Christ
The merits of His Son:
Jesus says, If you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you.

This appears to be the way

Jesus would now have us ask
For the things we need:
We are to direct our prayers to the Father,
In the name or on the merits of His Son.
We cant ask in our own name,
But only in His.
We can ask for anything,
Whatever we want,
Whatever we need
And He will give it to us,
So that our joy may be made full.
Well come back to this in a few moments.

B. Jesus tells us theres another reason

We can ask the Father directly:
Because He loves us.

He says in verses 25-27, These things I have spoken to you in figurative language;
an hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figurative language, but
will tell you plainly of the Father. In that day you will ask in My name, and I do
not say to you that I will request of the Father on your behalf; for the Father
Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came
forth from the Father.

Now that we have been forgiven

And reconciled to Him
By the righteousness of His Son,
We are actually lovely to Him.
Jesus says we dont need to go to Him
So that He can go to the Father,
But that we can go straight to Him
Because He loves us.

How can we know that the Father loves us?

How can we know we are reconciled to Him?
Notice that Jesus says in verse 27, For the Father Himself loves you, because you
have loved Me and have believed that I came forth from the Father.
If you believe that Jesus came from the Father
That He is everything He says He is:
The Son of God,
The Christ,
The Savior of the world
If you have trusted Him to save you,
You can know the Father loves you.

But there is something else that must be true of you

You must love Him
He must be the center of your heart
First in your affections

That will show

By the way you live
He will be first in your life.
Remember what Jesus said earlier
In John 14:15, If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.
How many of them will you keep?
All of them.
When will you keep them?
All the time.
Will you ever fail to keep them?
Of course.
But you wont allow yourself to fail
You will do your best to obey Him,
Because you love Him
And because thats what He wants you to do.

Does Jesus mean to say

That the Fathers love for us
Depends on our love for Jesus

And our first believing in Him?

Yes and no.

The Father wont love us in this way

And grant us this blessing
Until we first love and trust in His Son.
When were outside of Christ
He loves us, but with a love of benevolence
He shows us kindness and mercy,
But He doesnt love what we are.

But when were in Christ,

He loves us with a love of complacence
He loves what He sees in us,
Because Christ is in us and we are in Him.

It wasnt our love and faith that put us in Christ,

As is commonly believed in the majority of Christian churches today
It was His love that gave rise to ours
John writes in 1 John 4:19, We love, because He first loved us
And it was His grace
That gave rise to our faith
Paul writes in Ephesians 2:8-9, For by grace you have been saved through faith;
and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that
no one may boast.

Our love and faith isnt what moved Him to love us,
Its the evidence that He first loved us in eternity
And sent His Son for us
That He might send His Spirit to change our hearts
So that we might love Him and believe.

When we love Jesus,

And believe in Him,
We know the Father loves us,
And that we can go directly to Him
In the name of His Son
To ask for what we want.

C. This promise should also be a source of joy, peace and courage.

He says in verse 33, These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may
have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome
the world.
When Jesus tells us
That we can go to the Father
In His name in prayer,
He isnt giving us a blank check
To ask for whatever we want
At least, thats not exactly what He means.
Verses like this have been misused in this way
By the Health and Wealth Movement for years.


On the other hand, it is a blank check

If your heart is right.

If you love and trust in Jesus,

Theres nothing you will want
Other than to glorify Him and His Father.
When these are the things you ask for,
He will give them to you.

When you ask for the things

That will help you better glorify the Father and Son,
And He gives them to you,
Your joy will be made full,
Because this is what you want
More than anything else in the world
Because you love Them.

Think about the peace this can give you as well.

The Lord says through Paul in Philippians 4:6-7, Be anxious for nothing, but in
everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made
known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will
guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Are you anxious/worried about anything?
Then take your worries to the Father
And ask for His help in the name of His Son,
And He will give you peace.


And what about courage?

Courage comes from believing
That Jesus has overcome the world.
How can you have a stronger faith?
You can pray and ask the Father in the name of His Son
And He will give it to you.

Just be aware that when you ask for things like this
He will more likely make you face situations
Where you have to face your fears
Than simply zap you with more faith.

Lets be encouraged by this

To ask the Lord for great things
That we might see Him do great things
For His glory and for the glory of His Son,
As He promised, that our joy might be made full.
As Paul writes to the Ephesians in 3:20-21, Now to Him who is able to do far
more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works
within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations
forever and ever. Amen.