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"Joy To The World," was Isaac Wattsí attempt to put Scripture to music. The hymn is based on Psalm 98, especially verses 4-9. It is appropriate that Watts chose to put this Psalm to music as he sought to call us to rejoice in our Saviorís birth, since many Bible scholars point out the similarities between this Psalm and Luke 1:46-55, which is commonly known as the Magnificant - the song of praise offered by Mary upon meeting her cousin Elizabeth when arriving for her visit at Zechariah and Elizabethís home. Zechariah and Elizabeth had received news of their having a child - John the Baptist, and Mary had been told by the angel of how God would use her to bring the Messiah into the world (Read Luke 1:39-55). Some have suggested that since the underlying themes of Psalm 98 are found all through Maryís song of praise, that she possibly had meditated upon it as she journeyed to visit her cousin.
Letís notice the Biblical basis of this great carol of Christmas and the lessons taught us through it. "Joy To the World," is an exhortation to rejoice at the coming of Christ into this world; and we are given three reasons to rejoice in the birth of our Savior.
1. Christ Will Redeem - verse 1; Psalm 98:1-2
This same One who was born in a Bethlehem manger came to bear our sin so that we might be redeemed! Our personal redemption from sin is possible because of Christís coming into this world to pay the penalty for our sin. This hymn tells us that because of Christís birth, it is possible for all whose "heart prepares him room" to have Him enter in and change their life!
And when one does trust Jesus as his personal Savior, receiving forgiveness of sin, a right relationship with God and a home in heaven, his life is effected in three wonderful ways.
A. He will rejoice in the song of the Lord - v. la
In Revelation 5:9 and 14:3, it is mentioned that the inhabitants in glory sing this new song continuously! But the Psalmist tells us that we donít need to wait until we get to heaven to sing the Lordís song, we can do so today! The reason for this is that our redemption involves more than God taking us from earth to heaven one day; it involves God bringing heaven to us on earth today! And with that gift comes joy! (Luke 2:10; John 15:11; 1 Peter 1:8-9; Jude 24-25) As the Gaitherís put it, "The world didnít give it to me and the world canít take it away!"
As someone once put it, "The true expression of Christianity is not a sigh, but a song!"
B. He will rely on the strength of the Lord - v. 1b
When one receives Godís free gift of eternal life, he will rely on the fact that his eternal security depends on the One who promised, (READ John 10:27-29)!
C. He will reveal the salvation of the Lord - v. 2
The salvation made possible through the sacrifice of Christ is not only one which can be known (v. 2a); it is one which is shown (v. 2b). I couldnít begin to tell the number
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