Confidence toward God

1John 3:19-24 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. And he that keeps his commandments dwells in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us. 

‘And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him’ five blessings come of genuine love: Confirmation that we are of the truth; assurance of a clean heart before God; freedom from condemnation (3:20-21); faith and confidence in God (3:21) and answers to our prayers (3:22).

‘Heart’ [Greek word kardia] there are eight uses of the word: As the physical organ, the seat of the physical life; the blood pump (2Sam. 18:14; 2Kin. 9:24; Eccl. 12:6; Pro. 14:30); the centre of anything (Matt. 12:40); the inner man consisting of soul and spirit (Psa. 51:10; Matt. 5:8; 12:34-35; 15:18-19; 22:37; Rom. 6:17; 1Pet. 3:4); the conscience (3:20-21; Mark 8:17; John 12:40; Acts 2:37; Rom. 2:5) and the will (Acts 4:32; 1Cor. 7:37). The mind, including: (1) thoughts (Gen. 6:5; John 12:40), (2) imaginations (Gen. 8:21), (3) understanding (1Kin. 3:9, 12), (4) wisdom (Ex. 35:35; Pro. 2:10), (5) blindness (Deut. 28:28; Rom. 1:21),  (6) meditation (Ps. 19:14; Luke 2:19), (7) deceit (Pro. 12:20; Jer. 17:9), (8) wickedness (Jer. 17:9), (9) doubt (Mark 9:23; Jas. 4:8), (10) purposes (Acts 11:23). The soul, including (1) grief (Gen. 6:6; Deut. 15:10), (2) joy and gladness (Deut. 28:47), (3) desires (Ps. 37:4), (4) sorrow (Pro. 14:10; 15:13; John 16:6), (5) discouragement (Deut. 1:28), (6) fear (Deut. 28:65-67), (7) comfort (Jdg. 19:8), (8) pain (Ps. 55:4). The spirit, including: (1) zeal (Ex. 35:21, 26; 36:2), (2) humility (Ps. 34:18; Matt. 11:29), (3) faithfulness (Neh. 9:8), (4) hate (Lev. 19:17), (5) pride (Deut. 8:14; 17:20), (6) foolishness (Pro. 22:15), (7) integrity (Gen. 20:5-6; 1Kin. 2:44; 9:4; 1Chron. 29:17), (8) immortality (Ps. 22:26; 69:32; 1Pet. 3:4).

‘Whatsoever we ask, we receive of him’ five points are noted for answered prayer: freedom from condemnation (Rom. 8:1); confidence in God (Acts 4:13); asking (Matt. 7:7-11; Luke 11:9-13); keeping commandments (1Jn. 3:23-24) and pleasing God (Heb. 11:6; Jas. 1:5-8).

‘That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment’ two salvation commandments: Believe on the name of Jesus Christ (Matt. 1:21; Acts 2:38; 3:16; 4:12) and love one another (1Jn. 4:7-14; John 13:34).

‘Abide in him’ two such commands are given in Scripture: Abide in Him (1Jn. 2:28) and abide in Me (John 15:4). Keeping the commandments is the only guarantee of constant abiding (John 15:10). Abiding is the condition of fruit-bearing (John 15:4, 7). If one does not abide he is cut off and destroyed like a branch (John 15:6).

‘By the Spirit which he has given us’ plain evidence of sonship (1Jn. 3:24; 4:13; Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:6). Only sons [both men and women] are given the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:9). This does not refer to the fullness of the Spirit, which all sons have not received (John 7:37-39).

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