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Summary: What is the fruit of joy and how can we get it?

Introductory Considerations

1. Today we look at the second fruit of the Holy Spirit. Of all the fruit this is the one that seems a little different - for the fruit represents the character of God.

2. While we may think of God as faithful etc. we seldom think of joy as a character of God. We have a picture of a God who is stern and serious - but do we think of joy in Him. I am not aware of any passage that describes God as joyful nor have I read about this in any theological discourses on the character of God.

3. Yet we read 1Chr 16:27. "Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy in his dwelling place." Heaven is filled with endless joy and bliss - read in psalms especially. Can God’s home be filled with joy and He Himself not be joyful? I think we can say that God is a God of joy.

4 Other thing is that joy seems selfish. Other fruit relates to how I deal with others, including my attitude toward them. Or, as self-control, it deals with how I am able to withstand and battle sin.

5. But joy - it is for me - how I feel, almost seems wrong - some Christians tend to think so.

Teaching

1. Joy is a fruit - evidence that HS is in us, that we have character of God in us. (1Thess 5:16)

2. Is all joy a fruit? Joy is the opposite of sorrow . Is sorrow always bad?

3. First look at sorrow. There is a worldly sorrow and a godly sorrow. (2Cor 7:10)

a. Godly sorrow is our sorrow over our sin which lead us to repentance. Also includes a sorrow for the lost (Jesus wept over Jerusalem, a sorrow over loved ones (Lazarus - he wept).

b. Sorrow often need before we can rejoice. (Heb 12:2) Sorrow of repentance leads to joy of salvation.

c. Worldly sorrow is a sorrow that is like self pity - like Elijah when he felt sorry for himself. It includes forgetting our blessings (what God had done for us) and looking only at difficulties.

d. It includes thinking we deserve more than what God has given us.

4. Joy also can be worldly. Includes relishing in sin - look what I got away with. It can also be a joy that depends on outer circumstances - we can be filled with joy when God is blessing us - how great it is when our cup runneth over.

5. Even as Christians we can rejoice in the wrong things. In Luke 10:17-20 - disciples told not to rejoice by Jesus.

a. In each case rejoice should be translated "continuously rejoice".

b. What Jesus is saying is that we must not make the blessings or even the work of God our joy.

c. There would be times when the disciples be persecuted and not see God’s blessings or power at work. If joy only in results, then we will often have sorrow - like person who is up one day and down the next.

d. Jesus says be thankful to God that we are saved - over that which does not change. We are told to base our joy not what God does but in He Himself (Neh 8:10; Phil 4:4) 12x times in NIV "rejoice IN the Lord"

6. We are filled with joy when we know God and when we keep our eyes focused on Him. We rejoice in His works, as scripture often says, but our joy is beyond His works, but rather in Him and His purpose


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