Confidence in Prayer
I John 3:21-22
In discussing this subject, I shall,
I. Show that if our heart does not condemn us, we have and cannot but have confidence toward God that He accepts us
II. That if we have confidence that our heart does not condemn us, we shall also have confidence that God will grant us what we ask
III. Show why this is so, and why we know it to be so
I. If our heart really does not condemn us, it is because we are conscious of being conformed to all the light we have, and of doing the whole will of God as far as we know it. While in this state it is impossible that, with right views of God's character, we should conceive of him as condemning us. Our intelligence instantly rejects the supposition that he does or can condemn us, that is, for our present state. We may be most deeply conscious that we have done wrong heretofore, and we may feel ourselves to be most guilty for this, and may be sure that God disapproves those past sins of ours, and would condemn us for them even now, if the pardoning blood of Christ had not intervened; but where pardon for past sins has been sought and found through redeeming blood, "there is therefore no more condemnation" for the past. And in reference to the present, the obvious truth is that if our conscience fully approves of our state, and we are conscious of having acted according to the best light we have, it contradicts all our just ideas of God to suppose that he condemns us. He is a father, and he cannot but smile on his obedient and trusting children.
Indeed, ourselves being in this state of mind, it is impossible for us not to suppose that God is well pleased with our present state. We cannot conceive of him as being otherwise than pleased; for, if he were displeased with a state of sincere and full obedience, he would act contrary to his own character; he would cease to be benevolent, holy, and just. We cannot, therefore, conceive of him as refusing to accept t us when we ...
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