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Summary: 3rd Sunday of Advent 2003 -- A discussion of the many ways our joy is made full in and through Christ.

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That Your Joy May Be Full

3rd Sunday of Advent, 2003

Scripture Ref: John 16:24, 15:10-11, 17:13, 14:13-14

Acts 2:25-36

Romans 15:13

2 Timothy 1:4

1 John 1:3-4

2 John 1:12

Additional References: The Bible Knowledge Commentary

New Bible Dictionary

New Topical Textbook

1. 3rd Sunday of Advent Candle Lighting

a. Last Sunday we lit the candle of peace. We light it and the candle of hope again as we remember that Christ will come again and bring to the world everlasting peace.

b. The third candle of Advent is the Candle of Joy. It reminds of the joy that Mary felt when the angel Gabriel told her that a special child would be born to her - a child who would save and deliver his people.

c. God wants us all to have joy. The angel who announced to the shepherds that Jesus had been born told them: "Do not be afraid. I am bringing you good news of a great joy for all people - for to you is born this day, in the City of David, a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord."

d. We light this candle to remember that Christ brings the promise of a new life - a life in which the blind receive sight, the lame walk, and the prisoners are set free. We light it to remember that He is the bringer of true and everlasting joy. (Light the 3rd candle.)

2. Introduction

a. Lighting the 3rd Advent candle sets the theme for today’s message—joy.

b. The Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) record the note of joy associated with the proclamation of the good news of the kingdom in its many different forms: for example, at the Savior’s birth in Luke, at the triumphal entry in Mark and Luke, and after the resurrection in Matthew.

c. In the Fourth Gospel Jesus, Himself, communicates this joy, and it now becomes the result of a deep fellowship between the church and Himself, as told in John.

d. In Acts joy marks the life of the early church. It accompanies the gift of the Holy Spirit to the disciples, the miracles performed in the name of Christ, and the fact and report of the conversion of the Gentiles; it also characterizes the Lord’s Supper.

e. But what is this thing called “joy?”

(1) Webster’s 1990 Collegiate Dictionary: (1) the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires—delight, (2) a state of happiness or bliss.

(2) Webster’s 1828 Dictionary: The passion or emotion excited by the acquisition or expectation of good; that 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. To rejoice; to be glad; to exult.

(3) New Bible Dictionary: The Hebrew and Greek words translated joy imply its outward expression, and less usually, intense joy. In both the Old and New Testament, joy is consistently the mark both individually of the believer and corporately of the church. It is a quality, and not simply an emotion, grounded upon God himself and indeed derived from him, which characterizes the Christian’s life on earth, and also anticipates eschatologically the joy of being with Christ for ever in the kingdom of heaven.

3. That Your Joy May Be Full

a. Today’s society tells us we should be happy and full of joy, and then proceeds to tell us of all the wonderful products and experiences available to us to reach that end.

b. Christ had a completely different point of view on this subject.

c. Read John 16:24—Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.

(1) In the verses surrounding this passage, Christ has been telling the disciples of future events and how they will change the disciples’ relations with Him.

(2) Since Jesus would not be with them physically (in that day means after His Ascension), they would not be able to ask Him questions, but the Holy Spirit would help them.

(3) The words in My name are not a magical formula that allow the user to automatically get what he asks for; instead those words tied the requests to the work of the Son in doing the Father’s will.

(4) Prior to this, the disciples had not prayed in the name of Jesus. Now they are to do this since Jesus’ death and the Spirit’s coming would enable them to enter into God’s new program of the Church Age.

(5) Answered prayer brings complete joy because God is at work in them.

4. How Is Our Joy Made Full?

a. Through the Favor of God

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