Sermons

Summary: We learn from this section that our joy is based on God's mercy, our inheritance, our faith, and God's prophesies and promises.

Introduction:

A. Let’s start with this cartoon.

1. The cartoon shows a grumpy boy heading off to school with his dad reminding him: “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

2. The boy replied: “I know ‘this is the day the Lord has made.’ Can’t I rejoice and be glad tonight?”

B. Do you ever feel that way – Can’t I rejoice later?

1. Maybe you don’t often feel joy-full.

2. But Scripture tells us to “Be joyful always.” (1 Thess. 5:16).

3. And Scripture says: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Phil. 4:4)

4. Here’s a great quote: “We have learned that joy is more than a sense of the comic, more than earthly pleasure, and to a believer even more than what we call happiness. Joy is the enjoyment of God and the good things that come from the hand of God. If our new freedom in Christ is a piece of angel food cake, joy is the frosting. If the Bible gives us the wonderful words of life, joy supplies the music. If the way to heaven turns out to be an arduous steep climb, joy sets up the chair lift.” (Serwood Wirt, Jesus, Man of Joy)

5. And listen to these insightful words of Elton Trueblood: “The Christian is joyful, not because he is blind to injustice and suffering, but because he is convinced that these, in the light of the divine sovereignty, are never ultimate. The humor of the Christian is not a way of denying the tears, but rather a way of affirming something which is deeper than tears. Yes, a few things in life are absolutely tragic, no question about it. First among them, a joyless Christian.” (Charles Swindoll, The Finishing Touch, Word, 1994, p. 65)

C. So how can we experience this inexpressible and glorious joy?

1. How can we rejoice in the Lord always regardless of what is happening in our lives?

2. Those must have been important and often asked questions in the 1st Century as the church faced ongoing and ever-growing persecution.

3. Let’s look at how the apostle Peter answered those questions.

4. Our inexpressible and glorious joy is based on a number of things.

I. Our Joy is Based on God’s Mercy.

A. In First Peter 1:3, Peter wrote: 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…

1. Peter began this wonderful section with a sweeping doxology regarding the wonder of our salvation.

2. And it all begins with God’s mercy.

3. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

4. How great and wonderful is God our Father and His Mercy!

B. We would have no opportunity for salvation or joy if it were not for God’s mercy.

1. It is God’s mercy that is the motive behind everything that God does for us.

2. God’s mercy focuses on our miserable, pitiful condition as sinners.

3. God’s mercy is His compassion toward all of us who were dead in our transgressions and sins.

4. All of us were once in a wretched and helpless condition because of our sin.

C. Paul wrote: But God ”who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ…” (Eph. 2:4-5).

1. Because of God’s mercy and Christ’s death and resurrection, we have new birth into a living hope.

2. And all of this should certainly cause us to rejoice! Amen!

3. God loves you and is merciful toward you, and gave His one and only Son to die for you, so that you can be forgiven and live with God forever – Do you think you can rejoice in that?

II. Our Joy is Based on Our Inheritance

A. Peter continued: 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you…

1. Everyone knows what an inheritance is, right?

2. An inheritance is wealth that is passed down from person to person at the time of a person’s death.

3. Some of us will receive an earthly inheritance which might be a house, car, other items like jewelry, Caribbean islands, or cash.

4. Receiving an earthly inheritance is good, but receiving a heavenly inheritance is even better.

5. As Christians, our names are written in Christ’s last will and testament – He’s left us an inheritance!

B. The apostle Peter reminded those exiles in Asia Minor, and us as well, that even in the midst of persecution, they ought to praise God and patiently wait for His promised eternal inheritance.

1. So what’s so great about our heavenly inheritance?

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