Summary: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (Luke 11:9-10)
Our theme for today’s sermon is “ask and it shall be given”. It is a teaching on prayer and its various dimensions that include the need to pray, the way to pray and the results to expect. Prayer is the heartbeat of the believer and results from an intimate relationship with God. It is to the believer’s spiritual life what oxygen is to the physical body. Prayer sustains the believer’s spiritual life, just as oxygen sustains the physical body. A physically dead body has no need for oxygen just as a spiritually dead person sees no need to pray. Since in Adam “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23) and “the wages of sin is death”, (Rom 6:23) we are all spiritually dead and separated from God and see no need to pray. Jesus Christ took our place on the cross and paid the penalty for sin that whosoever believes in Him is “delivered from the domain of darkness and transferred into His kingdom, for in Him we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins”. (Col 1:13-14) The good news is that our salvation does not depend on us for “By grace are we saved through faith, and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God”. (Eph. 2:8)
Step One: The revelation of God’s grace
a) Testifies to our spiritual birth
The revelation of God’s grace is through faith and testifies to our spiritual birth, eternal life and godly nature and is confirmed by the presence of the Holy Spirit. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life”. (John 3:16)
b) Testifies to our justification
The revelation of God’s grace testifies to our justification. Justification means “just as if” I had never sinned. “Jesus was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our Justification.” (Rom. 4:25)
c) Testifies to our righteousness
The revelation of God’s grace testifies to our righteousness. Jesus was made sin with our sinfulness that we might be made righteous with His righteousness, a righteousness that has never known sin before. We have become His children and can call Him Father. Which Father will deny His beloved children when they ask for what they need to fulfil His will and divine purpose?
“Abraham believed God and it was counted to him as righteousness”. (Gal. 3:6) He had an intimate relationship with God and was able to intercede on behalf of Sodom and Gomorrah when he heard about its impending destruction. He knew the nature and will of God and asked the Lord “Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked?” (Gen. 18:23) Abraham continued saying “Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put the righteous to death with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?" (Gen 18:25) Abraham established the truth he knew about God and then began to intercede for 50 righteous people. He continued to reduce the number of the righteous till he reached 10. He stopped at 10 righteous people believing that Lot and his family would make up that number. He was wrong because if there had been 10 righteous people God would not have destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.
God is a just God and will not destroy the righteous with the wicked. As believers we have become the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. Jesus met God’s requirements when He bore and exhausted the full judgement of God on sin before crying out “It is finished”.
Step Two: The revelation of God’ nature
a) God is good
Abraham had an intimate relationship with God. We can also relate to God the right way when we have a revelation of His power, goodness, love and faithfulness. The Psalmist declares that “the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever and his faithfulness to all generations”. (Ps. 100:5) “There is only one who is good” declares our Lord. (Matt. 19:17) God is willing to meet our needs and will always honour His Word and fulfil His promises.
b) God is love
The Scriptures reveal that God is love. “Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love”. (1John 4:8) “God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him”. (1 Jn. 4:16) When God abides in us, we act and ask according to His will.
c) God is faithful
The Scriptures also reveal the faithfulness of God. “The Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one”. (2 Thess. 3:3) The Lord is at work in our lives to protect us and faithfully fulfill all His promises.