Summary: This was a message in a series on "joy in the Christian life" from Nehemiah & Philippians
Some might think it a bit strange that I’ve called this Sunday morning series
- "Joy in the Christian Life" = Because this is the 6th message in the series
- And this will be the first week that I’m really dealing with the idea of joy
- But the only joy available in the Christian life is Christian joy
- You can not have nor appreciate Christian joy without obedience to Christ
- So spent 5 weeks in Nehemiah trying to get a handle on obeying God
- Obeying His > Call = Vision = Will = Walk = Word = Ways
- So frankly that point can not be stressed enough
But today we switch gears to bring squarely before us "Christian joy"
- And I want to stress "CHRISTIAN joy" because that is something a bit different from "plain old joy" in the world’s understanding
"Joy" = Passion or emotion excited by the acquisition or expectation of good
- Excitement of pleasurable feelings which is caused by success, good fortune,the gratification of desire or some good possessed,
- or by a rational prospect of possessing what we love or desire; gladness; exultation; exhilaration of spirits.
- Joy is a delight of the mind, from the consideration of the present or assured approaching possession of a good.
- AKIN = Gayety, mirth, festivity, happiness, "a glorious or triumphant state"
- VERB = To be glad, rejoice or exceedingly happen = To congratulate or exhiliarate
Biblically that’s accurate
- "Joy" is = A positive attitude or pleasant emotion; delight.
- BUT THERE ARE many kinds of joy are reported in the Bible.
- This makes it difficult to give a simple definition of joy.
> 1 Corinthians 13:6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity... = What the wicked rejoice in
- Many levels of joy are also described, including gladness, contentment, and cheerfulness.
- But true Biblical joy = True joy in the Christian life rises to a level above this
Primary reason we are now in the Book of Philippians = [1.3-4]
- First of 17 references to either "JOY" or "REJO*"
- In such a small book = 4 chapters = 104 verses
- 1 reference every 6 verses = A full 16 % of the book
- And another salient and poignant fact = [1.7]
- Paul was writing this letter to the Philippians from prison
- Not a situation or circumstance the world would normally associate with "joy"
- Which only confirms = Christian joy is something different = Better
The joy which the people of God should have is holy and pure.
- Rises above circumstances and focuses on the very character of God = [Phil. 4.4]
- God is the source > Gal. 5 = v.19, "works of the flesh"
- All we have in our natural state = [5.19b - 22a]
- The best that our sin-filled flesh can produce = Misery = Pain = Shame
- BUT [v.22] = Contrast = "...the fruit of the Spirit..."
Precisely the reason I tried to stress so heavily obedience to God up til now
- PRE-REQUISITE to = Knowning = Having = Experience = TRUE Joy
- Can only be produced by the Holy Spirit
- Will only be produced in those who possess the Holy Spirit > Ephesians 1:13 In whom ye also [trusted], after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.