John 15:7
If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
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(7) If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you . . .—He is now passing from the figure, which recurs again only in John 15:8; John 15:16. We should have expected here, “and I abide in you” (John 15:4); but His abiding in them necessarily accompanies their abiding in Him. The abiding of His words in them is the means by which, and the proof that they do abide in Him. (Comp. John 14:15; John 14:23-24.)

Ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.—The reading is not certain, but the first verb should probably be imperative, “Ask what ye will . . .” The promise in all its width is the same as that in John 14:13-14 (see Note there), and it is attended by the same condition, for they who abide in Christ, and in whom Christ’s words abide, cannot pray otherwise than in His name.

John 15:7. If ye abide in me, &c. — Our Lord having laid before his disciples the awful consequences of falling from grace, now proceeds to point out some of the peculiar advantages which should accrue from a contrary spirit and conduct; the first of which is that all their prayers should be heard and answered. If ye abide in me — Through a faith working by love; and my words abide in you — Practically and experimentally; if you adhere steadfastly to the doctrine which I have taught you, firmly believing my declarations, conscientiously obeying my precepts, and affectionately embracing and relying on my promises; ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you — Two things are implied in this promise: 1st, That the true disciples of Christ, who abide in him, and in whom his word abides, as above explained, will not ask any thing but what is proper to be done for them, and according to the will of God, 1 John 5:14-15. They will, especially, ask spiritual blessings, which they know it is his will they should ask and receive; and will ask them in the way which he hath prescribed, namely, sincerely, earnestly, importunately, and perseveringly; and in the way of repentance, faith, and new obedience; and, in the name of Christ, relying for the success of their petitions on the mediation of Christ, and the mercy and promise of God through him. And, with respect to temporal blessings, they will ask them conditionally, and with entire resignation, desiring to receive them only so far as God foresees will be for their good and his glory. 2d, That they shall always have such an interest in Christ’s sacrifice and intercession, and in God’s favour through him, that all their prayers shall be accepted, and their petitions granted in the degree, time, and manner in which they themselves desire they should be granted, namely, when and as far as God sees will be for their good: which is all they desire; for they would not wish their requests to be granted to their own hurt, the hurt of others, or God’s dishonour. Thus the desire of the righteous shall be granted, and God will fulfil the desire of them that truly and consistently fear him: he also will hear their prayer, and will save them, Proverbs 10:24; Psalm 145:19. To this purpose this apostle speaks, 1 John 5:14-15, If we ask any thing according to his will he heareth us, and we have the petitions that we desired of him, and whatsoever we ask we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. Dr. Macknight, however, and many other commentators, suppose that whatever encouragement this promise of our Lord may give to pious Christians, of all nations and ages, to believe that their sincere prayer shall be granted, yet, that it was primarily addressed to the apostles; and that our Lord, having in the preceding verses exhorted the twelve, as disciples or private Christians, proceeds now to give them directions as apostles or preachers, commissioned by him to teach his religion to the rest of mankind. They accordingly paraphrase the passage thus; If ye abide in me, in the sincere profession and practice of my religion; and my words abide in you, if ye faithfully teach mankind my doctrines and precepts, notwithstanding the difficulties you may meet with in this work; ye shall ask what ye will, &c., ye may ask any miracle you please, in confirmation of your authority, and it shall be granted unto you.

15:1-8 Jesus Christ is the Vine, the true Vine. The union of the human and Divine natures, and the fulness of the Spirit that is in him, resemble the root of the vine made fruitful by the moisture from a rich soil. Believers are branches of this Vine. The root is unseen, and our life is hid with Christ; the root bears the tree, diffuses sap to it, and in Christ are all supports and supplies. The branches of the vine are many, yet, meeting in the root, are all but one vine; thus all true Christians, though in place and opinion distant from each other, meet in Christ. Believers, like the branches of the vine, are weak, and unable to stand but as they are borne up. The Father is the Husbandman. Never was any husbandman so wise, so watchful, about his vineyard, as God is about his church, which therefore must prosper. We must be fruitful. From a vine we look for grapes, and from a Christian we look for a Christian temper, disposition, and life. We must honour God, and do good; this is bearing fruit. The unfruitful are taken away. And even fruitful branches need pruning; for the best have notions, passions, and humours, that require to be taken away, which Christ has promised to forward the sanctification of believers, they will be thankful, for them. The word of Christ is spoken to all believers; and there is a cleansing virtue in that word, as it works grace, and works out corruption. And the more fruit we bring forth, the more we abound in what is good, the more our Lord is glorified. In order to fruitfulness, we must abide in Christ, must have union with him by faith. It is the great concern of all Christ's disciples, constantly to keep up dependence upon Christ, and communion with him. True Christians find by experience, that any interruption in the exercise of their faith, causes holy affections to decline, their corruptions to revive, and their comforts to droop. Those who abide not in Christ, though they may flourish for awhile in outward profession, yet come to nothing. The fire is the fittest place for withered branches; they are good for nothing else. Let us seek to live more simply on the fulness of Christ, and to grow more fruitful in every good word and work, so may our joy in Him and in his salvation be full.My words - My doctrine; my commandments.

Abide in you - Not only are remembered, but are suffered to remain in you as a living principle, to regulate your affections and life.

Ye shall ask ... - See John 14:13. This promise had particular reference to the apostles. It is applicable to other Christians only so far as they are in circumstances similar to the apostles, and only so far as they possess their spirit. We learn from it that it is only when we keep the commandments of Christ - only when we live by faith in him, and his words are suffered to control our conduct and affections, that our prayers will be heard. Were we perfect in all things, he would always hear us, and we should be kept from making an improper petition; but just so far as men regard iniquity in their heart, the Lord will not hear them, Psalm 66:18.

7. If ye abide in me, and my words … in you—Mark the change from the inhabitation of Himself to that of His words, paving the way for the subsequent exhortations (Joh 15:9, 10).

ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you—because this indwelling of His words in them would secure the harmony of their askings with the divine will.

Here our Lord expounds what he meaneth by that abiding in him which he before mentioned by another phrase,

and my words abide in you, my precepts and promises; so its you by faith embrace the promises, and by obedience live up to the precepts which I have given you: for without these, though the words of Christ may come unto men in the preaching of the gospel, their ears may receive the sound of them, yet the word doth not dwell and abide in the soul: but if the word abides in the souls of men and women, then they may in prayer ask of God what they will, keeping to the conditions and limitations elsewhere required in holy writ, according to God’s will, 1Jo 5:14, believing, Matthew 21:22, in the name of Christ, John 14:13,14, for the honour and glory of God, (to which end all our actions must be directed), and they shall be granted to them.

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you,.... Abiding in Christ is here explained by his words or doctrines abiding in his disciples; by which are meant his Gospel, and the truths of it. This abides when it comes in power, and becomes the engrafted word; and may be said to do so, when such, in whose hearts it has a place, and has taken deep root, continue to have a relish and savour of it, a true and hearty affection for it, esteeming it above their necessary food; when they hold fast the profession of it, stand fast in it, steadfastly abide by it, and constantly attend on it; all which is a considerable evidence that they do, yea, there is a promise that they "shall continue in the Son and in the Father", 1 John 2:24; The blessing and privilege that such shall enjoy is,

ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you; or, as some copies read it, "it shall be given you": but this must be understood not of temporal things, as riches, honours, profits, pleasures, or whatever even the carnal mind of a believer himself may sometimes desire; but of things spiritual, and with such limitations and restrictions as these; whatever is according to the will of God, for the Spirit of God himself asks for no other for the saints; whatever is for the glory of God, and for their own spiritual profit and edification; and whatever is agreeably to the words and doctrines of Christ, which abide in them. Every thing of this kind they ask in faith, and with a submission to the divine will, they may expect to receive.

{2} If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

(2) Whoever rests in Christ's doctrine abides in him, and therefore brings forth good fruit, and the Father will not deny anything to such a person as this.

John 15:7. After thus deterring from non-abiding, in John 15:6, now again an inducement to abiding. But the figure now ceases, and leaves in what follows some further scarcely accordant notes (John 15:8; John 15:16) behind.

ἐὰν μείν. ἐν ἐμοί] Still in the sense of the figure, as the branches on the vine; but with καὶ τὰ ῥήμ. μ. ἐν ὑμῖν (in animis vestris), expressing the necessary consequence of a man’s abiding on Jesus, the language at once becomes proper, no longer figurative.

ὃ ἐὰν θέλ.] stands first with emphasis; but such an one wills and prays simply and solely in the name of Jesus (John 14:13-14), and cannot do otherwise.

John 15:7. From the fate of those who do not abide in Him, Jesus turns to the results of faithful adherence—ἐὰν μείνητεὑμῖν. The expression is altered from that of John 15:3; John 15:5, instead of “and I in you,” we now have “and my words abide in you”; it is by means of His teaching and His commandments that Christ abides in His people, and by His word they are fitted for fruit-bearing, John 15:3. Not that His words are a substitute for His personal presence, but its medium. But His presence is not to energise in them as if they were machines; they are to consider the exigencies that arise, and, giving play to judgment and conscience, are to ask for appropriate manifestations of grace: ὃ ἐὰν θέλητε αἰτήσασθε, “ask what ye will”. Petitions thus prompted by the indwelling word of Christ will necessarily be answered: καὶ γενήσεται ὑμῖν.

7. my words] Better, My sayings: see on John 15:3 and John 5:47.

ye shall ask what ye will] The better reading gives, ask whatsoever ye will, in the imperative. The promise is similar to that in John 14:13-14 both in its comprehensiveness and in its limitation. One who abides in Christ and has His words abiding in him cannot ask amiss.

John 15:7. Τὰ ῥήματά μου) My words, which impart cleanness; “and if I Myself abide in you” [comp. John 15:4]. The correlatives are, the words of Jesus which are obeyed, and the prayers of the believing which are hearkened to.—αἰτήσεσθε) ye shall ask: ye shall be able and also shall have the will to ask. Prayer itself is a fruit, and increases our fruit.

Verse 7. - In this verse he returns once more on the principle of union with himself, and of what will come out of it. The disciples may be sorely distressed at this possible doom, for whatever may be the lot of those who do not obey the gospel and are ignorant of the Law of God, the curse here uttered fails heavily upon those who have been once enlightened, etc., and have apostatized (Hebrews 6:4-6). The anxiety of the apostles ]s grievous, and they desire deliverance from this doom. And our Lord next unfolds the principle of prayer which laid such hold on the mind of the Apostle John: If ye abide in me (and then, instead of adding, "And I abide in you," he says); and my words abide in you; i.e. if my teaching so abide with you as to control your thoughts and ideas, remain in you as your guide and inspiration, then ask whatsoever ye will, and it shall be done to you. A timid interpretation of this promise limits the "whatsoever" to deeds of service in the kingdom of God, and fears, with Augustine, to trust the sanctified will of the believer. But in such harmony with Christ as these words supply, all the conditions of acceptable prayer are present. The believer in Christ, full of his words, evermore consciously realizing union with Christ, charged with the thoughts, burning with the purposes, filled with words of Jesus, will have no will that is not in harmony with the Divine will. Then faith is possible in the fulfillment of his own desire, and prayer becomes a prophecy and pledge of the answer. The apostle, after many years of pondering and of putting these principles into practice, confirms the truth of them (1 John 5:14-16). This is the true philosophy of prayer. The psalmist had gone a long way in the same direction (Psalm 37:4, "Delight thyself in the Lord; and he shall give thee thy heart's desire"). John 15:7Ye shall ask (αἰτήσεσθε)

The best texts read the imperative, αἰτήσασθε, ask.

Shall be done unto you (γενήσεται ὑμῖν)

Literally, it shall come to pass for you.

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