Christ: The Way of joy
The Way of Joy!
The Way of Joy!
When you think of joy, what do you think of? It is a special day, a special thing? This joy, Christ the way of joy is much more than a day or a thing and that is what we are looking at today.
The way of Christ is the way of Joy
Joy that may be full (Jn15:11)
11 “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.
Jesus in speaking to them (apostles) to stay attached to the vine, in other words to stay plugged in so that His joy may be in them and their joy may be made full.
Joy this is His joy fulfilled in them (Jn17:13)
13 “But now I come to You; and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My joy made full in themselves.
Jesus in praying to the Father for the Apostles is praying that His joy may be fulfilled (made full) in them.
(Transition) Do you think Christians should be joy filled people? Do you think they are, in general?
(Insert lack of joy picture here)
How come there seems to be many Christians who are falling short of having, experiencing, living in the full joy of the Lord being filled with the joy of the Lord?
Do you find joy lacking because of:
being discouraged, dismayed, dispirited?
Sad, hopeless, unloved, unforgiven, uncared for?
Lacking joy can and oftentimes does impact other areas of our lives
Our worship life
Lack of enthusiasm, attendance, involvement, service
Our family life
No desire to do anything, and oftentimes do not do anything
Our work life
Not doing all things unto the Lord; doing the minimum to keep the job
A poor light of Christianity to others
(Transition) so if we are to be joy filled, full of joy, fulfilled joy people may we take time this morning to look at what it is, and how to experience it.
Understanding, defining Joy
Understanding, defining Joy
There are things that go together like . . . and I’m sure you can fill in the blank with many different things. There are bible things that go together too and joy and grace are two of them.
Comparing definitions of the two
(Insert the slide: Chara - Joy in the Greek)
Joy in Greek is Chara
Thayer’s defines as joy, gladness, Vine adds in the word delight in its definition
This word in the Greek New Testament is used 60 times.
Chara is a companion word with Charis
(insert slide - Charis - grace in the Greek)
Charis is most often transliterated as “grace”
In the objective sense it is “that which bestows or occasions pleasure, delight or causes favorable regard” - Vines
Could you, would you make a guess how many times that is in the N.T.? -112 times
“Joy is the gladness that comes from grace!”
Considering the relation of Joy to Grace
One exposition on joy says it is “directly proportional to grace one has received, or at least to the perception of the grace that one has received.”
Receive a small gift your joy may be minimal
Receive a large gift, your joyous reaction may be greater.
(insert leaky joy slide here)
Billy Sunday said “ if you have no joy in your religion, there’s a leak in your Christianity somewhere.”
(insert little heat of joy slide here)
William Gurnall said “the reason why many poor souls have so little het of joy in their hearts, is that they have so little light of the gospel in their mind.”
(STOP, EXPAND on those two quotes)
The more we understand God’s grace, understand the gospel the more we will experience God’s joy and and be filled with God’s joy.
(Insert- Contemplate joy picture here)
Contemplating the abiding joy of the Lord
Christ does not want us to be joyless (Jn15:11, 9-13)
we know Jn15:11 says about Christ’s joy in them, to be full, but now need to keep in context to get a better way to contemplate joy here.
9 “Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. 10 “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
11 “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full. 12 “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.
13 “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.
Joy in abiding in his love, keeping his commandments, so that your joy may be full. and in that Joy you will from love, love one another, and be willing to give up your life for others in service.
Christ wants us to have joy that is inexpressible (1Pt1:6-9)
6 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, 7 so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
8 and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.
God’s grace in you will produce God’s joy through you, joy that is inexpressible and full of glory!
Yes even joy in your distress, trials
Joy that is proof of your faith, that is precious, even when it is tested in and through the fires of this life
Joy because Of Gods grace produced a love of God and a joy that is inexpressible as mentioned a moment ago.
Joy that makes us rejoice (Php4:4)
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!
Joy that is seen by others by your outpouring of it that looks like gentleness (v.5)
(Transition) When we loose focus or the graciousness of God’s grace, of the Gospel of grace received that brings us joy (gladness, delight) it is easy to see why many are lacking that joy. So now may we turn to the things that bring experienced joy or in experiencing joy.
Producing joy in our lives
Producing joy in our lives
Joy, faith, grace can grow in the life of the believer. So here are a few things that can help the process.
Faith produces joy (Php1:25; Rom10:1; Rom15:13; ref Mt6:25-30, 14:27-31)
Joy comes from confident trust in the Lord.
25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy in the faith,
Joy that will progress, grow because of your faith.
Our faith in God can dispel the joy killers like worry, doubt and fear as noted in (Mt6:25-30, 14:27-31)
Don’t worry about what you will eat, drink or wear, God will take care of it.
Don’t let the storms, winds, of this life keep you in the boat, be willing to step out in faith when you step toward the Lord with your eyes on Him!
Faith that produces joy, can I emphasis just for a moment the importance of God’s word?
For God word brings faith.
17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
Faith in God through His word produces joy
13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Obedience produces joy (Act8:35-38; 1The1:6)
Obedience to God’s word produces, fosters joy in the heart of the obedient believer.
35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture he preached Jesus to him. 36 As they went along the road they came to some water; and the eunuch said, “Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?”
37 And Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” 38 And he ordered the chariot to stop; and they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch, and he baptized him.
Notice the progression here:
Preaching, preaching of scripture, brought faith
Faith brought desire
Desire brought confession
Confession brought obedience
Obedience brought joy, or rejoicing
But wait there is more, check this out too
6 You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit,
With the church at Thessalonica having received the word, in much tribulation (expand on what tribulation we may face from the word of God and obedience to it) they became imitators of the other believers with the joy of the Holy Spirit
(Transition) joyless, or lack of joy, could we suffer from that because of lack of obedience to God that brings, produces joy?
Forgiveness produces joy (Rom7:22-24; Ps32:1-4, 10-11; Ps51:7-12, 3-4; ref: Rom5:1-2, 10-11)
Sin, the guilt of sin can be a joy killer, thief, and we know that Satan is quick to accuse us, make charges against us (Rom8:33)
Awareness of sin, guilt, remorse, consequences of it causes stress, unhappiness and worry. Paul illustrated that in:
22 For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, 23 but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members.
24 Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?
But where there is forgiveness of sin , there is joy!
i want to take a few minutes and use a good biblical example of confession brings forgiveness and forgiveness brings joy
1 How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered! 2 How blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit!
3 When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away Through my groaning all day long. 4 For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer. Selah.
5 I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I did not hide; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord”; And You forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah.
Blessed because knows sins are forgiven, covered, and judgment withheld
My body, it was wasting away, my sin was heavy on me.
I confessing, acknowledged my sin, I laid it all out there and You forgave the guilt (feeling; and the penalty) of my sin.
10 Many are the sorrows of the wicked, But he who trusts in the Lord, lovingkindness shall surround him. 11 Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous ones; And shout for joy, all you who are upright in heart.
What do those who are upright in heart here? They shout for joy, they rejoice and are glad. Why? because they trust in the lord has His lovingkindness surrounds them.
Then in flipping over to the restoration psalm (Ps51). I invited you to even turn there if you like and read with me parts of the psalm.
7 Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. 8 Make me to hear joy and gladness, Let the bones which You have broken rejoice.
9 Hide Your face from my sins And blot out all my iniquities. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from Your presence And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation And sustain me with a willing spirit.
Forgiveness that produces joy, what does it look like?
Purified and made clean
Washed whiter than snow
Creates a clean heart
Renews a steadfast spirit
And, restores the joy of Your salvation, the salvation that Christ went to the cross for. That was purchased for you, that took on the penalty of your sin an mine when we realize is it against God and God alone that we sinned and it is our personal iniquities that have separated us from him.
Personal responsibility maybe better give the scripture
3 For I know my transgressions, And my sin is ever before me. 4 Against You, You only, I have sinned And done what is evil in Your sight, So that You are justified when You speak And blameless when You judge.
So, those who are in Christ Jesus, have accepted the gift of grace, the way to joy from him and enjoy the joy that comes from it.
For we are justified by faith, we have peace with God (oh wait, let me give you the passage better than a paraphrase of it.
1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.
and a few verse later
10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
So add to what we already have before and now we have been reconciled, so who would not want to exult
By the way that means to “feel or show triumphant elation or jubilation.”
(Transition) Forgiveness, there must be forgiveness if there is to be fellowship. If you have not been forgiven, of your sins, or have not take personal responsibility for your sins that separate you from God, today is the day to take care of that. I will come back to that a little more in a few minutes I want to press on a little more.
Christian fellowship produces joy (Phm7; 2cor7:7; Php4:10; 2Jn12)
Bear with me a few more minutes this is such a joyous, jubilant, grace filled topic it is worth it.
7 For I have come to have much joy and comfort in your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you, brother.
Joy in fellowship, comfort and love!
7 and not only by his coming, but also by the comfort with which he was comforted in you, as he reported to us your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me; so that I rejoiced even more.
Joy in the comfort offered in fellowship, and zeal that we can have for one another.
10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity.
Joy that is personal because we can know in fellowship comes personal care for one another. Joy that is in the Lord!
12 Though I have many things to write to you, I do not want to do so with paper and ink; but I hope to come to you and speak face to face, so that your joy may be made full.
Look at this verse, joy that shares joy that produces joy in the joy giver and the joy recipient, joy that may be made full and that is where we started today.
Christian service produces joy (Act11:20-23, 15:3; Rom16:19-20, 1the3:6-9; Act20:35))
Personally with Barnabas about the conversions in Antioch (Act11)
As a church as exampled in the conversion of the Gentiles (Act15)
As seen in obedience to the gospel; victory by the God of peace over Satan (Rom16:19-20)
Joy in the joy brought by others and shared (1The3:6-9)
Finally and will finish with this verse
35 “In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”
Do you have joy, are you filled with joy? if not Christ is the way of joy! The way through
Faith in Christ
Obedience to His will, to the call of the gospel
That brings forgiveness through His blood
And that brings us into fellowship with one another so we can
Serve one another in His kingdom.
(insert invitation slide -Obey the gospel slide here)
Do you love the Lord? than obey the gospel
Do you need your personal convicted sins forgiven, than obey the gospel
If you believe, are ready to confess and repent, then obey the gospel.
(Insert - Dont delay obey the gospel picture here)
Have you obeyed the gospel by being baptized? If not do it now, do not delay
(Song) (Prayer) (Exit)