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Sermon # 14
Luke 11:13  "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?"

In these words, our gracious Father who is in heaven, permits us to decide an important point by the conviction of our own consciences. He appeals to our feelings as parents, in order to encourage our hope, and enliven our confidence. "If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone?" (Luke 11:11). If a hungry child come to a father, saying, "Father, I am starving for want, give me bread to eat;" would the father (unless he were worse than a brute) give his child a stone, to mock him? "Or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion," to destroy him? Certainly not. "How much more shall your heavenly Father," whose affection for His poor sinful children is so infinitely superior to yours for the offspring of your bodies, "give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?"

I am a poor, ignorant sinner. I want to know myself as a sinner before God, and as exposed to His just indignation. I want to know Jesus Christ as a Saviour to my poor soul; for to know Him is life eternal. But this saving knowledge I can only derive from divine teaching. God has promised His Holy Spirit, to lead the poor ignorant sinner, that feels his ignorance (for that is the point), into all truth necessary for his comfort and salvation. "O Lord, let Thy Holy Spirit be my teacher."

I am a poor helpless sinner. I find I have no power to believe on the Son of God. Yet faith in Him is essential to salvation. My conscience is distressed on account of my sins. I want to "know him, and the power of his resurrection" (Philippians 3:10). But I can no more believe, by any mere exertion of my own powers, than I can make a world. God has promised His Holy Spirit, to create faith in the heart of every humble suppliant. "O Lord, help me to believe, to the peace of my conscience, the joy of my heart, the sanctification of my nature, the salvation of my soul, and the eternal glory of Thy Name."

God giveth His Holy Spirit to them that ask Him. We can do no good, we can do nothing but sin, and so destroy ourselves, without His special assistance. Do you feel you want it? And do want and absolute necessity drive you to a throne of grace for this comprehensive blessing? Do you ask as a hungry child asks his father for bread? Are you sensible of your ignorance, so as earnestly to seek His divine teaching; and of your helpless state, so as to ask help of God? "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you" (Matt. 7:7). Consider, God cannot break His Word. If you have asked without receiving, it is because you did not ask in earnest. You do not feel your want. Ask of God to give you to feel your wants, and then He will supply them; ask Him to teach you to pray. Come to Him as a poor, ignorant, helpless child, for "Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 18:3). "Lord, give unto us this childlike spirit."

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