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07-01-07.01

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06-12-31.02                                                      07-01-07.02

Title:           “Inexpressible Joy”
Sub-title:   “Sir, your table is ready!”

FCF:            gloom is NOT a characteristic of the Christian walk

D-Theme:   God keeps us by his power!

M-Thrust:   Rejoice with joy inexpressible!

App:           We must rejoice with inexpressible joy because God keeps us by his power!

Comment:  well, for me this was a powerful message as I was exhausted completely by its delivery. Not sure how the folks felt about it—or Mike Smith doing a jig but there were many favorable comments @ Haviland Country Chapel and Melrose Church both.

Subject:     joy

Date:          69A1F051F0D747B28FA76A55D704C0B6

Text:           1 Peter 1:3-9

3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, 8whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.

• Introduction

•   Comprehending the incomprehensible

•   Ron Johnson and his family just returned from Arizona…

•   Where they had gone for vacation over the holidays…

•   When we talked on Friday in the light of our scripture text…

•   He told me of a place they visited in Flagstaff…

•   The Lowell Observatory…

•   …a privately owned astronomical research institution…

•   And a walkway there called the Pluto Walk…

•   (the Lowell Observatory is credited with Pluto’s discovery)

•   …a 350-foot scale model of our solar system, illustrating the distances and sizes of each of the nine planets in relation to the Sun. [1]

•   The distances are represented from our sun to Pluto…

•   By vertical posts with round disks on each…

•   Scaled to the diameter of the planet represented…

•   The point being that as you walk this walk…

•   And read the information on each post…

•   You attempt to comprehend something that is…

•   Incomprehensible

•   I mean, how many of us can comprehend a distance of…

•   …2.6 billion to 4.6 billion miles…?

•   Which is the distance of Pluto from our sun…?

•   That is something we cannot comprehend…

•   It can only be represented to us by posts and disks…

•   On a 350 foot long path…

•   Expressing the inexpressible

•   In our text this morning Peter speaks of something similar…

•   Where the Pluto walk aids humans…

•   …in comprehending the incomprehensible…

•   We are called on to express the inexpressible…

•   Joy—the joy of the Lord… which is our strength…

•   In fact, Peter suggests to us that the Christian walk…

•   Is one that is to be characterized by joy…

•   That the characteristic quality of life in Christ Jesus…

•   Is and ought to be that of joy…

•   Contrary to what you may think or believe…

•   Contrary to what your experience may be…

•   …gloom is NOT a characteristic of the Christian walk…

•   The characteristic quality of life in Christ Jesus…

•   Is rejoicing with joy—expressing the inexpressible…

•   It is χαρά: a state of joy and gladness—‘great happiness.’ [2]

•   And it often finds an outward expression…

•   It is experiencing a state of great joy and gladness, often involving verbal expression and appropriate body movement [3]

•   It is ἀγαλλιάω agalliaō; prop. to jump for joy, i.e. exult:— to be (exceedingly) glad [4]

•   When was the last time you jumped for joy…?

•   How long has it been since you’ve experienced exultation…

•   How long has it been since your heart leaped within…

•   Skipping a beat—dancing with joy…?

•   If it has been a while could it be that we have forgotten…

•   That our God keeps us by his power!

•   That by the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ …

•   God birthed us into a living hope…

•   …into an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled…!

•   So what then is the exhortation…?

•   Rejoice with joy inexpressible!

•   Martin Lloyd-Jones in the introduction to his book…

•   Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure…

•   Has this to say in the introduction…

•   Unhappy Christians are, to say the least, a poor recommendation for the Christian Faith; and there can be little doubt but that the exuberant joy of the early Christians was one of the most potent factors in the spread of Christianity. [5]

•   Rejoice with inexpressible joy because…

• …we have a living hope.................................. v. 3

•  3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead

•   Verse three is pregnant with reasons for us to rejoice…!

•   Through God’s abundant mercy…

•   …he has caused us to be born again… ESV NT Rev. Int. [6]

•   …to a living hope…!

•   abundant mercy

•   God’s great kindness/compassion expressed to us in need… [7]

•   His tender mercies… his steadfast love…

•   The extending of forgiveness — his patience/longsuffering…

•   And how great is our need…? How great is our need…!

Ephesians 2:1-3

1[we…] who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2in which [we] once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.

•   born again

•   We who were dead by his mercy have been born again…

•   We who were dead have been made alive…

•   We who were blind have been made to see…

•   He has made a wretch his treasure [8]

•   His purchased possession[9] purchased with His own blood[10]

•   And the result is…?

•   living hope

•   Our confidence—expectation—anticipation… in this life…

•   No longer dead but alive—alive in Jesus Christ…

•   Living, vital, vibrant, animated, lively…

•   The foundation for our rejoicing…

•   The reason we rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory…

•   Is because of who God is and what he has done…

•   To rehearse in our minds and in our hearing…

•   The kindness, mercy, and compassion of God…

•   Done for those who weren’t deserving of it…

•   But were only deserving of death…

•   Doesn’t that just make you want to rejoice…

•   Doesn’t that just put a smile on your face…

•   A dance in your step…?

•   But Peter isn’t done…

•   Rejoice with inexpressible joy because…

• …we have an unfading inheritance.............. v. 4-5

•  4to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

•   How many have been to a restaurant lately…?

•   How many have been to one that still takes reservations…?

•   So what happens when you go to the city on Friday night…

•   Wanting to eat @ a restaurant without reservations…?

•   You wait your turn—standing in line…

•   What happens @ a restaurant where you have reservations…!

•   Mr. Parker, your table is ready… I will seat you now…!

•   Now, think of your inheritance in Christ Jesus…

•   Incorruptible and undefiled… no moth or rust…

•   But eternal in the heavens… unfading…

•   Reserved in heaven for you!

•   As a believer in Jesus Christ when you arrive in heaven…

•   There’ll be no standing in line waiting…

•   …while they try to find your inheritance…

•   …because it has been reserved for you!

•   you who have been kept by the power of God…

•   That same power that was @ work in Jesus…

•   To raise him from the dead…

•   Is the same power that is @ work in you to keep you…

•   The power that is keeping you for the day of resurrection…

•   When you will hear the angels say…

•   Your inheritance is ready…! Your place @ the table…

•   The table of God—the Good Shepherd…

•   Prepared for you by Him in the presence of your enemies…

•   Through faith—the substance of your hope…

•   The evidence to you of unseen things…

•   Proof in your heart that these things are so…

•   Doesn’t that just make you want to rejoice…

•   Doesn’t that just put a smile on your face…

•   A dance in your step…?

•   But Peter isn’t done…

•   Rejoice with inexpressible joy because…

• …He is testing our faith............................... v. 6-7

•  6In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,

•   How many of us can say that we like to be tested…

•   That we like it when the temptations come…

•   Difficulties, trials, sins and griefs, sorrows, weakness…

•   How many of us like to experience loss or failure…

•   How many of us look forward to times of stress…

•   Unexpected trouble, calamity, bad news…

•   Unfortunately, all of the above is a sad fact of life…

•   Because we live in a sinful fallen world…

•   Where corruption and sin abound…

•   The Bible nowhere speaks about a “happy” Christian; it talks plentifully of joy. Happiness depends on things that happen, and may sometimes be an insult: joyfulness is never touched by external conditions, and a joyful heart is never an insult. [11]

•   But Peter says that God’s mercy abound all the more…

•   And that because of a heavenly reservation…

•   We can greatly rejoice… we can dance a two-step…

•   We can express the inexpressible…

•   We can comprehend the incomprehensible…

•   Even while we are grieved by various trials…!

•   Why?

•   Because it is for the testing of our faith…

•   The proving of the genuineness of our faith…

•   So that when the time comes for the maître d’…

•   To call you to your reservation—your seat @ the table…

•   He won’t stand there and say something like…

•   “sir, there seems to be some sort of a problem…”

•   “we don’t have a reservation for you…”

•   Instead you are ushered into the presence of Almighty God…

•   To sup @ the table forever…

•   Doesn’t that just make you want to rejoice…

•   Doesn’t that just put a smile on your face…

•   A dance in your step…?

• Application

•   “When you speak of heaven, let your face light up. When you speak of hell… well, then your everyday face will do.”

…Charles Haddon Spurgeon, speaking to his students

•  8whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.

•   gloom is NOT a characteristic of the Christian walk

•   Because through believing—through faith…

•   Through being kept by the power of God…

•   We receive the end of our faith—salvation of our souls…

•   Doesn’t that just make you want to rejoice…

•   Doesn’t that just put a smile on your face…

•   A dance in your step…?

• Conclusion

•   So child of God—express the inexpressible…

•   As you comprehend the incomprehensible…


----

[1]      http://www.lowell.edu/Public/Info/pwalk.html

[2]      Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996, c1989). Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament : Based on semantic domains (electronic ed. of the 2nd edition.) (LN 25.123). New York: United Bible societies.

[3]      Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996, c1989). Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament : Based on semantic domains (electronic ed. of the 2nd edition.) (LN 25.133). New York: United Bible societies.

[4]      Strong, J. (1997, c1996). The new Strong's dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words (G21). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[5]      David Martyn Lloyd-Jones. Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure. (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1965). Page 5.

[6]      Schwandt, J., & Collins, C. J. (2006; 2006). The ESV English-Greek Reverse Interlinear New Testament. Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[7]      Romans 2:4

[8]      How Deep The Father's Love For Us Stuart Townend © 1995 Thankyou Music

[9]      Ephesians 1:13

[10]   Acts 20:28

[11]   Oswald Chambers in The Shadow of an Agony

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