Summary: No matter how you look at it, the gospel is good news of great joy. Do you have joy? Real Joy? Everlasting joy? What is joy? Why did the angel proclaim Christ’s birth as an occasion of great joy? How can you and I have everlasting joy?
INTRODUCTION: Do not fear. For behold, I give to you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For to you is born today, in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:10-11 MKJV) Arthur Gossip wrote, "The New Testament is the happiest thing in literature, with the sound of singing in it everywhere; opening with the choir of angels over Bethlehem and closing with the Hallelujah chorus of the redeemed. No matter how you look at it, the gospel is good news of great joy." (copied) This morning do you have joy? Real Joy? Everlasting joy? What is joy? Why did the angel proclaim Christ’s birth as an occasion of great joy? How can you and I have everlasting joy?
I. What is Joy?
A. Webster defines joy as the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires.
B. Joy is not happiness.
1. We tend to equate "happiness" with joy but they are two totally different ideas.
2. Happiness comes from the world around me. Happiness is conditioned by and often dependent upon what is "happening" to me.
3. Happiness is dependent upon my circumstances.
4. Joy is not affected by external happenings.
5. Joy is a state of mind characterized by peace, a stability despite life’s inconsistencies
C. Man’s illusive and futile search for joy.
1. Joy cannot be found in pleasure
• Lord Byron lived a life of extravagant pleasure. At the end of his life, he wrote: "The worm, the canker, and grief are mine alone."
2. Joy cannot be found in wealth and riches
• Jay Gould was one of the wealthiest men of his time. When dying, he said: "I suppose I am the most miserable man on earth."
3. Joy cannot be found in prestige or fame.
• Lord Beaconsfield enjoyed more than his share of both. He wrote: "Youth is a mistake; manhood a struggle; old age a regret." (The Bible Friend, Turning Point, May, 1993)
II. Why did the angel proclaim Christ’s birth as an occasion for great joy?
A. It meant the fulfillment of a great hope.
1. Luke 2:11 For to you is born today, in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ (Messiah) the Lord.
2. The first promise of the coming Messiah was in the garden. – Genesis 3:15 (MKJV) And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He will bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.
3. The long cherished hope of the nation of Israel was being fulfilled the very night that the angel as God fulfilled His promise of providing the Messiah, the Anointed One of Israel.
4. Isaiah 9:6 (MKJV) For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government shall be on His shoulder; and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
5. We can have great joy because God ALWAYS keeps His Word.
6. 2 Corinthians 1:20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.
7. D.L. Moody said, "God never made a promise that was too good to be true." And God has never made a promise that He will not keep.
B. It meant deliverance from a deadly evil.
1. Luke 2:11 (MKJV) For to you is born today, in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
2. In the garden when man sinned the most deadly viral strain permeated his very soul – the virus of sin.
3. Genesis 2:16-17 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die.
4. The root of the human problem is that the dynamic deadly disease of sin is operating within every soul.
5. Romans 5:12 Therefore, even as through one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed on all men in that all have sinned.
6. Jesus birth announcement was the announcement of a Divine Redeemer who would save the souls of all who come placing their faith and trust in Him as Lord and Savior.
7. Matthew 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shall call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
8. We can have great joy today because God has provided a Savior who has provided victory over death.