The Fruit of the Spirit #2:
Text: Gal. 5:22-23
Thesis: To note the “what” and “how” of Christian joy.
(1) Joy is to be a common stable in the daily life of a Christian
(a) E.g., Paul told the Thessalonians to “rejoice always” (1 Thess. 5:16).
(b) Further, Paul told the Philippians to “rejoice in the Lord always” (Phil. 4:4).
(c) As a matter of fact, “joy” is one of the key components (i.e., in addition to righteousness and peace) of the kingdom of Heaven (Rom. 14:17).
(2) Let us attempt to better understand what joy truly is and how we can maintain it.
I. What is joy?
A. Gr. chara – closely related to “grace” (i.e., Gr. charis) … grace is what produces joy and joy is the reaction to grace
B. Note the distinction between earthly joy and Biblical joy:
“Joy is a state of inward contentment and satisfaction that grows from a secure relationship with Jesus Christ. It is not dependant on the circumstances of the moment. Circumstances have a tendency to change. Joy, on the other hand, is something that defies circumstances and lifts its head in spite of difficult situations” (Shelly 59).
C. Joy is vital to one’s spiritual and physical health.
1. Physical – E.g., “A cheerful heart is good medicine” (Prov. 17:22)
2. Spiritual – E.g., one’s outlook on life will affect his/her desire to succeed
II. How can one have and maintain joy?
A. Note: The basis of our joy is “in the Lord” (Phil. 4:4).
B. Jesus said: “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete” (John 15:9-11).
1. I.e., true joy can only be found in Christ.
2. In order to be “in Christ,” then you must obey God’s commands and thereby remain in God’s love.
- Do you have true joy in your life?