|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:22-24 When believers had confidence towards God, through the Spirit of adoption, and by faith in the great High Priest, they might ask what they would of their reconciled Father. They would receive it, if good for them. And as good-will to men was proclaimed from heaven, so good-will to men, particularly to the brethren, must be in the hearts of those who go to God and heaven. He who thus follows Christ, dwells in Him as his ark, refuge, and rest, and in the Father through him. This union between Christ and the souls of believers, is by the Spirit he has given them. A man may believe that God is gracious before he knows it; yet when faith has laid hold on the promises, it sets reason to work. This Spirit of God works a change; in all true Christians it changes from the power of Satan to the power of God. Consider, believer, how it changes thy heart. Dost not thou long for peace with God? Wouldst thou not forego all the world for it? No profit, pleasure, or preferment shall hinder thee from following Christ. This salvation is built upon Divine testimony, even the Spirit of God.
Verse 22. - And (as a guarantee that this confidence is not baseless or misdirected) whatsoever we ask, we receive from him. Note the present tense: λαμβάνομεν, not ληψόμεθα. Whatever the child of God asks as such, he ipso facto obtains (John 15:7). This is the ideal condition of things; for the child of God cannot ask what displeases his Father. And we are his children "because we keep his commandments." The ὅτι must not be connected too closely with λαμβάνομεν, as if our obedience were the cause of God's hearing our prayers. Our obedience shows that we are such as can pray efficaciously. (For the parallelism, comp. Exodus 15:26; Isaiah 38:3.)
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And whatsoever we ask we receive of him,.... According to his promise, Matthew 7:7; that is, whatever is asked according to the will of God, in the name of Christ, and for his sake, and in faith, nothing wavering, but believing in God, in his covenant and promises, for these are provisos in the case; and such as ask in this way may exercise an holy confidence that they shall receive; and indeed they do receive what they ask for; see 1 John 5:14;
because we keep his commandments; not that keeping the commands of God is the meritorious cause of receiving anything from him; for when men have done all they can, or are assisted to do, they are but unprofitable servants in point of merit: whatever is received from God, as it is in consequence of asking, so it is entirely owing to his own grace and favour, and for the sake of Christ; but keeping the commands of God is a necessary adjunct, or, as Calvin on the text calls it, an inseparable accident, or what necessarily belongs unto, and enters into the character of such, who are heard and answered by God, and receive at his hands; for there is a great deal of truth in what the Jews say to the blind man, John 9:31; and which may serve as a comment on these words:
and do those things that are pleasing in his sight; as keeping of his commandments is; not that these things ingratiate into the love and favour of God, or are the causes and conditions of it, for the love of God is prior to anything of this kind; nor are they the causes of men's acceptance with God, for the acceptance both of persons and services is only in Christ the beloved; but these things are what God approves of, when done in faith, from a principle of love, and with a view to his glory: and since he hears such persons that are worshippers of him, and do his will, and has promised good things to them; this is therefore a reason strengthening their confidence in him, that what they ask they shall receive.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
22. we receive—as a matter of fact, according to His promise. Believers, as such, ask only what is in accordance with God's will; or if they ask what God wills not, they bow their will to God's will, and so God grants them either their request, or something better than it.
because we keep his commandments—Compare Ps 66:18; 34:15; 145:18, 19. Not as though our merits earned a hearing for our prayers, but when we are believers in Christ, all our works of faith being the fruit of His Spirit in us, are "pleasing in God's sight"; and our prayers being the voice of the same Spirit of God in us, naturally and necessarily are answered by Him.
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