Summary: Paul gives the church in Philippi the keys to refining our Joy.
INTRO: 1. Last week Paul defined “Triumphant Joy” for us as…
a. A gift: supernatural joy that can only come from God.
b. A stance: a gift that we must commit to hang onto, taking a stand to rejoice.
c. An element of change: has the power to facilitate change first in us and then around us.
d. Jesus Christ: the main ingredient to our Joy, the more of Him we have the more joy we have.
2. But Paul doesn’t stop there with this message of triumphant joy, He goes on to tell us that this joy must also be refined in our lives.
a. We must become accustomed to living with this new found joy.
ILL. Every few years there’s a new techno-gadget that comes out to improve our lives and make everyday routine less cumbersome. However, there is often a season of confusion that precedes us using them to our greatest advantage. Take computers for instance… since grade school I’ve witnessed computers go from being a toy in a home to being a fact of everyday life. I remember first hesitation, then confusion, then familiarity and now I’m perfectly comfortable working on a computer. I work on one during the day, come home and work on one at night. I have one that I can take with me if I travel..
b. We must learn to apply it in a diversity of situations.
3. But more than that, this “Triumphant Joy” is refined in our lives… as we grow to use it and apply it, it overcomes things in us and becomes a part of us.
a. Joy will become supernaturally natural in your life… second nature.
b. It will become your normal response to even the darkest situations.
4. Paul points to three things that refines our Joy… things that we seldom see in relation to our joy.
a. The Gospel of Jesus Christ.
b. The Fellowship of Believers
c. The In-working of God’s nature in us.
5. These three things seem to some degree detached, but when you look at them as they apply to Joy… they seem to make so much sense.
I. REFINED IN HIS GOSPEL
a. This really shouldn’t surprise us, because the gospel is the instrument by which we first found this joy… the "good news" of Jesus Christ.
b. Paul let’s us know that the gospel of Jesus Christ is designed not just for my initiation into joy, but also for the developing of my joy in Christ.
c. We’ve all witnessed young converts who come to Christ with such Joy upon hearing the gospel but later fall away because they discard the gospel as if it’s exhausted it’s usefulness.
d. Paul let’s us know that his life was joyful because his life was gospel-full.
e. If many believer’s would be honest with themselves they’d admit that the reason that there is no real joy in their lives is because they don’t really believe the gospel.
f. Before the gospel can refine our joy it must be three things in our life.
A. THE GOSPEL MUST BE PIVOTAL Vs. 27
1. Twice here in this one verse Paul points God’s people to the gospel.
2. Not to the gospel preached, taught, or even sung… but the gospel lived.
3. Paul was saying the gospel isn’t something you know it’s something you live… your life revolves around it’s truths.
4. Paul said “let your conversation” another word for lifestyle.
5. When we stumble the gospel says he died for me.
6. When we’re sick the gospel says “by His stripes we are healed.”
7. When we’re under attack the gospel says “not even the gates of hell shall prevail.”
8. When we have need the gospel says “he shall supply your need according…”
9. When I come to the end of life’s journey the gospel says “I go and prepare a place for you…”
10. No matter what I face I can face it if I believe what I say I believe.
11. Paul says watch how you present the gospel with your life.
B. THE GOSPEL MUST BE PERSONAL Vs. 28
1. Paul said no matter what your adversary tries to pull on you don’t be terrified because you’ve made the gospel personal.
2. You see Paul was saying it’s not just for the sinner or the age old saint… it’s yours.
3. You refuse to be defeated because the gospel has already settled the matter… to the enemy perdition… to you salvation.
4. The gospel doesn’t just say Jesus won the victory, it says Jesus won the victory for me.
5. If you live a defeated life it’s simply because you choose to… Jesus can do nothing more than He already has to bring victory to your life.
6. There’s a theological word for this “appropriate” when you take what he offers you and hold it close to you and declare for the devil to hear “It’s Mine!”