Summary: This is a sermon about the importance of finding your source of joy in Christ and Christ alone.
Background: Paul’s shifting from giving us Godly examples to follow to warning us about falling prey to false teachings which will certainly rob you of genuine joy.
Purpose Statement: To experience genuine joy requires that you...
I. Find Your Joy in the Lord (v.1)
A. First, the issue of this “Finally”...
1. Some commentators argue Paul means to end but then thinks of something else to say. Others teach that later didactors added everything after this.
2. I believe that he is merely closing one thought and starting another. He concluded his exhortation and is moving into his warnings (See outline)
B. What does it mean to find your joy in the Lord?
1. 1st he is not talking about some subjective experiential feeling
a. Happiness = happenstance
b. People always say “God wants me to be happy”
c. Paul is addressing ‘joy’ which is not based on external circumstances
2. Genuine joy is not found anywhere but in Christ
a. 1st step to Xian joy is surrendering to God the things you use as a source of joy that are not Christ centered
b. Joy is one fruit of walking in the Spirit – Gal 5:22
3. Then what is it?
a. The Good News
b. Restoration lyrics (see below) – Genesis we walked with God, through Christ we are able to restore that relationship on an even more intimate level.
C. Paul never tires of reminding people of this
1. His love for the Gospel
2. His love for God’s People
D. How is it a safeguard to me?
1. Authentic Christianity means transformation
a. Some folks notion of going back to nature – they get a camper with all the amenities of home and park it in a campground with pool, entertainment center, etc. They haven’t gone “roughing it” at all – everything remains the same. So too, this is true for far too many who claim to be Christians.
2. Looking at Christ will prevent us from sinning
a. When are you more apt to sin?
II. Be On Guard Against Heresy (v.2)
A. The dogs
1. Two kinds of dogs – kunarion (pets) and kuon – (wild scavengers)
a. kuon prey on the weak eating garbage
2. Seems kind of mean spirited in our culture of tolerance to say that other religions are kuon
a. Moonies that came here wanting our church to unite with them in an initiative supporting the family – we could not do it. We could not attach the name of Christ to a group teaching another Gospel – Galatians 1:8 (quickview)
B. The evil workers
1. Even their good works are from bad motives because they are working self-righteousness
C. The false circumcision
1. Judaizers had made it more than symbolism – it was symbolic like baptism
D. What do all these heresies have in common
1. Focus off Christ – on someone else, usually yourself
III. Be Committed to the Truth (v.3)
A. Knowledge is power
1. Bank tellers learn to recognize Counterfeit money not by handling lots of different counterfeit bills, but by spending an inordinate amount of time studying the real thing