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Fruit of the Spirit - Joy

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Our State of Theology – 9i(8)c1
Galatians 5:22-23: Fruit of the Holy Spirit, Joy, What is it?
Galatians 5:22–23 (NKJV)
22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
Fruit = καρπός karpos = product or outcome of something; effect, result.
The word fruit is singular, which means that all nine attributes are included in the one fruit.
You don’t get love or joy or peace, or so on; you get love and joy and peace, and so on.
The Holy Spirit produces one kind of fruit, that is, Christlikeness.
The fruit of the Holy Spirit is not the same as the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Not everyone has the gift of teaching. Not everyone has the gift of preaching. Not everyone has the gift of giving. Not everyone has the gift of administration.
When we come to the fruit of the Spirit, every Christian is to manifest all of the fruit of the Spirit.
Joy = χαρά chara = the experience of gladness.
1 Thessalonians 1:4–10 (NIV84)
4For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you,
5because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake.
6You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.
7And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia.
8The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it,
9for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God,
10and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.
Joy was given by the Holy Spirit. When?
When they welcomed the message of the gospel and were transformed.
Christ’s enemies would do anything to make life miserable for Christians. The Thessalonians displayed a “joy given by the Holy Spirit,” despite the misery they were enduring. Such a response defies natural explanation.
The same One who gave Paul and his companions power for proclaiming the Gospel (v.5) dwelt within those who received the Gospel and transformed them.
Joy is not something that we conjure up through our emotions based on the circumstances around us.
Joy is given by the Holy Spirit.
The same Spirit who gave power to those who preached the gospel gave joy to those who received it.
Charles Spurgeon: If in reading the history of the first Christian centuries you are asked to point out the men to be envied for their joy, you would point to the believers in Jesus.
There is a room in Rome that is filled with the busts of the emperors. They look like a collection of prizefighters and murderers, and scarcely could you discover on any countenance a trace of joy. Brutal passions and cruel thoughts deprived the lords of Rome of all chance of joy. There were honorable exceptions to this rule, but taking them as a whole you would look in vain for moral excellence among the Caesars. Lacking this thing of beauty, they missed that which is a joy.
Turn now to the poor, hunted Christians, and read the inscriptions left by them in the catacombs. They are so calm and peaceful that you say instinctively, “A joyous people gathered here.” Those who have been most eminent in service and in suffering for Christ’s sake have been of a triumphant spirit, dauntless because supported by an inner joy. Their calm courage made them the wonder of the age.
Romans 12:9–21 (NIV84)
9Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.
10Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.
11Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.
12Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
Romans 12:12 (Phillips NT)
12Base your happiness on your hope in Christ. When trials come endure them patiently, steadfastly maintain the habit of prayer.
External circumstances can fluctuate up or down. If your hope is based on these, then your hope will be inconsistent and will constantly go up and down.
Our joy is connected with our hope. That hope should be in Christ.
13Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
14Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
15Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.
16Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
17Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.
18If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
19Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.
20On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
One specific source of our joy as Christians is our hope, which is based on the grace bestowed upon us in Christ Jesus.
Christian hope is not just a fond wish but is an earnest and confident expectation of the full salvation awaiting us at the last Day.
No matter what our present circumstances may be, when we think about the sure glory of heaven yet to come, we cannot help but be filled with joy!
“Let hope keep you joyful.”
“Hope of future salvation … stimulates present joy.”
It enables us to live our daily Christian lives with “the eagerness of a pilgrim going home.”
To have joy, like all the other traits of the fruit of the Holy Spirit, you have to have an eternal mindset.
There is much more to life than what we just physically see and experience.
Philippians 4:4–9 (NIV84)
4Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Rejoice = χαίρω chairō = rejoice, be glad. Be in a state of gladness, happiness, or well-being.
Chairō is not only a feeling and expression of joy but also an action one chooses.
5Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
9Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Some, wrongly identifying joy as a purely human emotion. Can people be commanded to produce an emotion?
Joy is not a feeling; it is the deep-down confidence that God is in control of everything for the believer’s good and His (God’s) own glory, and thus all is well no matter what the circumstances.
(e.g.) Shunammite woman who went to Elisha after her child died, stated to her husband and Gehazi, “It is well.” (2 Kings 4:8-37)
Chairete (rejoice) is a present imperative, calling believers to the continual, habitual practice of rejoicing.
We must choose to continually and habitually practice rejoicing.
A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy: What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.
The history of mankind will probably show that no people has ever risen above its religion, and man’s spiritual history will positively demonstrate that no religion has ever been greater than its idea of God. Worship is pure or base as the worshiper entertains high or low thoughts of God.
We tend by a secret law of the soul to move toward our mental image of God. This is true not only of the individual Christian, but of the company of Christians that composes the Church. Always the most revealing thing about the Church is her idea of God, just as her most significant message is what she says about Him or leaves unsaid, for her silence is often more eloquent than her speech. She can never escape the self-disclosure of her witness concerning God.
Were we able to extract from any man a complete answer to the question, “What comes into your mind when you think about God?” we might predict with certainty the spiritual future of that man.
1 Thessalonians 5:16–18 (NIV84)
16Be joyful always;
17pray continually;
18give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
One day a man was invited to eat dinner with an old Indian, a highly respected man in the community. They walked to the hotel together. As soon as the food was served at the table, the man began to eat, but the Indian paused, bowed his head and gave thanks to God for the food. A little while later he said to the man, ‘Do you know what a man reminds me of who sits down at the table and eats the food that God gives him without thanking God for it?’
‘No,’ said the man abruptly as he continued to eat. He obviously did not care to talk about such matters.
‘Well,’ said the Indian, ‘the man who sits down at the table and eats the food that God gives him without thanking God for it, reminds me a good deal of the pig under a chestnut tree eating chestnuts, and doesn’t so much as look up to see where the chestnuts come from.’
Whenever something good happens, we must look up and give praise and thanksgiving to our gracious and merciful God. Later in the epistle Paul says, ‘Be joyful always’ and ‘give thanks in all circumstances’ (5:16, 18). That should be our attitude.
How many times have we thanked God for the safe trip instead of thanking Him when we avoided an accident or mishap?
Biblical joy comes from God; it is not a superficial emotional response to positive circumstances.
Christian joy constantly flows from what the believer continually knows to be true about God and about his eternal, saving relationship to Him—regardless of circumstances.
Joy comes from a consistent relationship with Jesus Christ. When believers’ lives are intertwined with Christ, he will help them to walk through adversity without sinking into debilitating lows and to manage prosperity without moving into deceptive highs.
Nothing that happens on this earth can compare with the glory that awaits God’s people.
Believers are not required to conjure up this joy, for the ability to rejoice has been given to them as a gift.
Hebrews 12:1–3 (NIV84)
1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
For the joy set before Him: Jesus knew what had to be done to accomplish His Father’s will. Jesus looked beyond the suffering of the cross, including the shame associated with being crucified, and set His eyes on the joy of purchasing salvation for all the elect from the very beginning to eternity.
William Newell: “There is no joy like the accomplishment of a noble task: and of the noblest task of all eternity, Christ was to say, ‘I have finished it.’ ”
Philippians 3:13–14 (NIV84)
13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,
14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
This is a life with a specific direction and purpose in mind: Christlikeness now and Christlikeness in heaven.
Hebrews 11:13–16 (NIV84)
13All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth.
14People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own.
15If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return.
16Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.
They were longing for a better country: This was their hope.
Philippians 3:20-21 (NIV84)
20But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,
21who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
This is not your home. Heaven is!
2 Corinthians 4:16–18 (NIV84)
16Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
17For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
18So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
The temporal things that are seen now appear to be permanent, but in fact the eternal things that we cannot see are permanent.
Our suffering and troubles are light and momentary compared to the eternal glory that is waiting for us.
When we have an eternal mindset, the likelihood for joy increases dramatically.
Romans 8:18 (NIV84)
18I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
1 Peter 1:3-6 (NIV84)
3Praise 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,
4and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade--kept in heaven for you,
5who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.
6In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.
All through life, inevitably, our physical strength fades away; but all through life it ought to happen that our souls keep growing. The sufferings which leave us with weakened bodies may be the very things which strengthen our inner selves.
From the physical point of view, life may be a slow but inevitable slipping down the slope that leads to death. But, from the spiritual point of view, life is climbing up the hill that leads to the presence of God.
No one need fear the years, for they bring us nearer, not to death, but to God.
This is an eternal mindset.
Luke 10:17–20 (NIV84)
17The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”
18He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.
19I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.
20However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
It is far more important to make sure of our standing in God’s sight than to obtain high office in man’s sight.
We can rejoice that our name is “written in heaven” because God chose to write it there.
It was not the choice of a man or an angel.
It was and is God’s sovereign choice.
We are citizens of the heavenly Jerusalem, those “whose names are written in heaven.”
We are children of Heaven by God’s choice!
Hebrews 12:22–24 (NIV84)
22But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly,
23to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect,
24to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
All believers are God’s “firstborn,” for all are promised his inheritance (Ephesians 1:11).
“Firstborn” refers to the privileged position of the firstborn son in every family; it was he who received the blessing (see 12:16–17).
But now every believer is a “firstborn son.” There is no longer only one for each family. All believers are on the same level. We are all heirs of God’s promise (Romans 8:17).
In Colossians 1:15 there is only one true firstborn (prototokos), referring to Christ, but in and through him we participate in his privileged position.
We become members of God’s family and can approach God our Father at any time.
Isn’t it amazing that our names are written in heaven!
This should give us joy, as we live out each day here on earth.
How can we remain joyful or even just be joyful?
What are some of the blessings that accompany joy?
What are some of the ways we lose our joy?
Next Week!!! (The Lord willing)
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