Summary: Motivation of a Christian Hedonism: Our Joy What I have covered in this Four Week Series:
Motivation of a Christian Hedonism: Our Joy
What I have covered in this Four Week Series:
The Confessions of a Christian Hedonism – How did I get here
The Foundations of Christian Hedonism: God’s commitment to God’s Glory (God centered thinking)
The Birth of a Christian Hedonism – New birth; depths of our sinfulness and the power of redemption
The Hope of Christian Hedonism – Gods power/commitment to our sanctification; how to fight for our joy; power over sin.
The Motivation of Christian Hedonism – Reward; joy as motive for Christian Hedonism
Two statements recently: ruined for ordinary; bored with God
Those are oxymoron’s. You cannot be a Christian and be bored with God. God is anything but boring (ie elders; any encounter with God).
1. Joy is Central to the life of the Christian
ESV 1 Peter 1:7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith - more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire - may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory. Peter is writing to the church to encourage them to persevere in suffering. It is easy in the midst of suffering, trials, to give up, throw in the towel and so he encourages throughout the book to hang on, not give in. But notice what he says here, in the context of testing of their faith, he says, you love him and believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory. Joy flows from faith. The two are interconnected (Rom 15:13). Joy is not an option. The psalmist tells us to delight ourselves in the Lord.
Joy is not related to or dependent upon our circumstances. Jesus said, "Blessed are you when people insult you . . . . Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great" (Matthew 5:11-12; Rom 5:3). The joy that God gives is not dependent upon our circumstances. That is why Paul can say to rejoice in the Lord always (Phil 4:4)
We should work together for our joy. Paul described the ministry of his team as being "workers with you for your joy" (2 Corinthians 1:24). Paul sought to work with the church or alongside the church for their joy (Phil 1:25-26). Notice it is the joy that gives glory to Christ (1 Peter 4:13)
Ultimately it is this joy that become unleashed in heaven (Matthew 25:21).
2. Heaven is a dynamic place of ever increasing in our knowledge/exp and enjoyment of Gods glory and so our joy will be ever increasing infinitely.
ESV Matthew 25:23 His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.'
Ephesians 2:6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
Edwards gave me the insight that heaven will be a never ending, ever increasing discovery of more and more of God’s glory with greater and ever-greater joy in him. Because we are finite and God is infinite God wills to reveal himself to us for our enjoyment of his fullness forever. But because we are finite and therefore cannot at any time or in any finite duration of time, comprehend the limitless, infinite fullness of God’s glory. Yet these verses tells us God will to lavish this fullness upon us. So the implication is that in our union with God can never be complete or full but must be increasing with intimacy and intensity forever and ever. The perfection of heaven is not static but dynamic. Because we will never become God because we are finite there will always be more for us as finite creatures to know and enjoy God. The end of increasing pleasure in God will never come.
In addition, the greater our capacity to enjoy God here will give us greater capacity to enjoy God in heaven.
Where the rubber meets the road:
What motivates me as a follower of Christ?
What am I worshiping?
What gives me the greatest pleasure and satisfaction in life?