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The Church Joyfully Glorifies God

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This is going to be fast and maybe feel like trying to drink out of a fire hydrant…because I want us to swim in the depth of the joy God has promised us and not to miss out on the joy set before us.
Why? BecauseJoy is necessary…happiness is commanded to the church.
Why? Because we were created to glorify God…and what glorifies God…
When we put our faith in Him and trust Him and obey Him and live for Him…but not simply of duty or because we have to or because we don’t want or go to hell...
That isn’t very glorifying to God if we...
1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
And the whole time we are bored and sleepy or worse...unhappy for His glory.
No! God is not glorified by your bored faith…or uninterested obedience....or unhappy devotion…in those things He gets no glory...
If we are being honest…the one that gets the glory by that type of faith…un-joyful faith…is us...
It is saying…God isn’t really that awesome…Jesus isn’t my greatest treasure or the source of unending joy…I would rather be doing somethinf else than living for God...
Everyone else is having fun…but at least I am showing up…at least I am not like them.
Church we know that makes no sense...we need to dig deeper.
Yes God is infinite....Yes God is Holy…Yes God is so perfect and good that sin can not be in His presence or go unpunished…yes God’s wrath will fall upon all those who are not in Christ…and at he same time...
Actually because of and over those truths...
Our God is a happy God…eternally and infinitely…full of joy.
This is difficult for us to fathom because we are finite human beings…so we can not imagine how God can be infinitely and eternally happy…like even before he made us God was happy…for all eternity…in perfect triune union and joy....
We have never experienced that and don’t often hear God described that way....but God is unchanging…we can not limit Him by what our minds can grasp...
God is not only infinitely happy…and unendingly joyful…He is the only true source of joy…the joy we experience in anything else meant to point us to…drive us to thanksgiving for and praise of our happy…Holy…God...
And God is most glorified by us church...when we are made happy....joyful....emotionally satisfied by Him.
The point of the universe is God…and all things are for His glory.
So we do not make Him glorious…but we enjoy and recognize and prolaim and display His glory…because...
Psalm 19:1 ESV
The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
This includes us...
Isaiah 43:6–7 ESV
I will say to the north, Give up, and to the south, Do not withhold; bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”
And therefore we who are called by His name…the church…is to live for His glory...
Colossians 3:17 ESV
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
or
1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
That is the point…the main thing.
We read our Bibles…to discover more and mroe of the glory of our awesome and Holy God…to dig for more treasure…and to learn how to better live for Him and find our joy in living for His glory.
We meet on Wednesdays and now this morning on Sundays to renew our minds and refresh our souls in our happy and awesome and Holy creator God…to swim in the ocean of His love nag grace for us…to humbly confess our sins and to bring praise and joyfully worship our glorious God…
Not to make Him glorious…but becuase of His glory…and in our Joy...
And we are to live all of life for His glory…joyfully. Finding our joy ultimately in Him.
That is the main thing…the point of life is that all we do…it is to be for the glory of God.
That we would be a people that pursues our joy…passionately pursues our joy…in God…and His glory.
A church unified around that truth it the most powerful force in the world...a church unified around that truth is the one the gates of hell will not stand against...a church unified…living out that truth together in all parts of life...in perfect unity is what Jesus says will cause unbelievers to believe the gospel we speak.
All of the other things will become clear if we are clear on this truth…
We will no longer argue and debate the obvious truths of the Bible…becuase our glorious, soveriegn, powerful, miraculous, God and His Word are the source of our joy…so we can say with the Psalmist...

119  Blessed are those whose way is blameless,

who walk in the law of the LORD!

Psalm 119:2

2  Blessed are those who keep his testimonies,

who seek him with their whole heart,

Psalm 119:12

12  Blessed are you, O LORD;

teach me your statutes!

Psalm 119:56

56  This blessing has fallen to me,

that I have kept your precepts.

Lord because...
Psalm 119:111 ESV
Your testimonies are my heritage forever, for they are the joy of my heart.
Sin and obedience and evil will be put in perspective by this thruth...
Faith and love and doctrine and salvation and gifts and soverignty and evangelism and the church…and even suffering…when seen through the lenses of…all things joyfully for the glory of God...
If we are to be of...one faith...one Christ...one way...one truth...one salvation...one Jesus. We need to start with…God. His glory…and all things are to be done and said and seen with that in perspective.
We need to know the point.
Let me ask you this...
What is the purpose of school or education? What is the point of football? What is the point your job? What is the point of your marriage? What is the point of parenting? What is the point of what you spend most of your time doing? 
Now, I guess some of you may say point something like high school is nothing...it's pointless. But know this...all of the things we choose to do with our time or even are forced to do with our time have a point. We may not agree with the point. We may not agree with the purpose. But they have one. All things do.
What happens, however, if we spend time doing one of these things without having any idea what the point or the purpose is. For example, going to high school day in and day out for 4 years...without knowing the point is to learn some stuff and gain some knowledge…to be put to use in your future.
What about basketball.
What if you spend your time every day by working on dribbling and passing and running and jumpoing but noone ever told you that hte point of basketball is to shoot the ball into the hoop to score points…and that scoring more points than the other team is the pijnt of the game...
You may be good at dribbling…even the best dribbler in the world…but if you have no idea what is the ultimate point of the game…then what your potential for success in a basketball game. 
If this is true for basketball and school. How much more so for life. You get one crack at this thing called life. 70 or 80 or 90 years…which are not promised to us...but even if we live that long…by the way...it may seem like a long time when you're five or 10.
But in light of eternity…as I stand here at age 41...seventy years is the blink of an eye. It is a dot on the never-ending timeline.
And what if you live this one life that you've been given…or we give our lives to this thing called church...without having any idea what the point is. That would be tragic. It would be sad. And your chance of success or failure in life (or as the church) would be extremely low.
You may succeed at something in this life and from a cultural perspective you may live a very good life…
We may all stand at your funeral and say what is said at every American funeral…he lived a good life and was a good guy and is in a better place now...
But what if we are completely missing the point…
What if we spend most of your time and energy not doing the ultimate thing we were made to do with our life. 
Or how about as a church…what if we miss the point…we may build an amazing church that is of no eternal or kingdom significance if we do not know the point...
Or as missionary William Carey once said, "I’m not afraid of failure. I’m afraid of succeeding at things that don’t matter."
So what is the point? Of both the church and your life? Of marriage and parenting and all things?
To glorify God. All thing for His glory.
And therefore to point us and others to the ultimate treasure of the universe…our lord Jesus Christ.
That is the point. He is the point.
And for us to pursue our joy in God and His glory with all we have…and all we have been given.
Our point is to glorify God by enjoying Him…finding our joy in Him now and forever.
So what is joy?
Christian joy...
Christian joy is a good feeling...a happy emotion...in your soul, produced by the Holy Spirit, caused by seeing the beauty and worthiness of Jesus Christ.
I think we are afraid to call joy a feeling or an emotion…but it is.
Christian joy is a good emotion and happy feeling. This not just in your head or decision it is an emotion and feeling…that is connected to your thoughts and decisions and belief....but it is an emotion in your soul...
Which means you don't have immediate control over it. You can't say right now I am going to feel joy. You can ultimate make a decision to feel something that you don’t actually feel.
Let's say you're driving down the road in your vehicle…it is dark outside and both the lights on your vehicle and the brakes on your vehicle go out at the same time. Dark road…no breaks…no lights...It is unlikely you will say let me decide whether not having breaks and not having lights on a road in a vehicle traveling at a high-speed is something that should cause me to have a certain emotion. I think I will be nervous and afraid right now. That is not how it works. It happens to you because it happens in you. It is something happening inside of you.
But God commands joy. What is that about? How can God command of us as his people something we cannot immediately produce in ourselves. We'll get to that.
Joy is a feeling. And it starts in your soul.
Because true joy is produced by the Holy Spirit. It is one of the fruits of the Spirit. The joy in my soul overflowing towards God because of what He is to me in Christ is coming from the work of the Holy Spirit.
And it is a result of the Gospel. Therefore true and lasting joy can only truly happen in a persistent fashion in someone who has seen the beauty of Jesus Christ.
For someone who God has shined the light of the glory of the Gospel in the face of Jesus Christ into your heart.
When I see Jesus more clearly and all that he is and all that he's doing and all that he is done for me. And all that he is doing in the World and in the Universe. And what I know He will do because of His promises that He has revealed to me in His Word...
My heart...my body...my soul will then find Him as the source of my joy.
I have said this before and will say it again this morning...there is one thing I know about each one of you in this room. You want to be happy. You can escape it. We spend most of our lives trying to satisfy some deep down longing for joy...
And even without Jesus we can find glimpses of joy…even in good things that He has created and given us…food, drink, people, our spouse, friends, vacations, sports, sex, school, work, electronic gadgets, toys, games, social media.
And those things give us some joy and satisfaction…the thing we are searching for…but if our joy ends in those things...we don't stay satisfied. We can't stay satisfied. Because we have not found what we are truly looking for. God has hardwired us for joy. We are in a universal search for full satisfaction.
In the Lord...
Psalm 37:4 ESV
Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
We are to delight ourselves in the Lord. That is a command. And it's followed with a promise. And he will give you the desires of your heart.
Do you see what that means? You were made to desire. You are commanded to delight...
You were made to search for joy. You were made to be satisfied and search for satisfaction and happiness. God does not want you to be unhappy or unsatisfied. But he also knows where you will find it. In him.
Psalm 16:11 ESV
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
In His presence is fullness of joy at His right hand are pleasures for evermore.
The path of life…when we are on the true path of life…the one that is in and leads to Christ…we are on the path to the fullness of joy and pleasures forever more.
True joy comes not only from God but in God. He himself, knowing Him and enjoying Him is what we were made to desire. That is what those other desires and joys are pointing us to. The restlessness in the human heart...the constant need for satisfaction and distraction is misplaced desire.
He made us to thirst. Our flesh desires happiness because He is the source .
Psalm 63:1 ESV
O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
Your desire to be happy is not just okay...but it is good…it is how you were created...God wants you to be as insanely joyfully happy as possible...in him.
God is committed with all of his sovereign and energy and power to do you good if you are his.
If you are in Christ this morining this this in the new covenant promise to you...as spoken in...
Jeremiah 32:40–41 ESV
I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me. I will rejoice in doing them good, and I will plant them in this land in faithfulness, with all my heart and all my soul.
That is God saying that to us...
I don't think we can say enough to each other and to our children and to new believers.
1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
And this is what I want you to see in this this morning...
Doing all things for His glory and your search for joy and happiness are the same thing. Your eternal full joy will be found in his glory. For his glory. When you live for his glory. Your happiness is found in God and your joy in God is what glorifies God.
There is another Christianese saying that we hear all the time…and this one I think it is true...but not the way we mean it.
God wants you to be happy.
This is most often used to tell someone to go ahead and do whatever it is that they have decided to do to make themselves happy…and then we excuse and encourage them by using God’s name in vein and telling them He wants them to be happy…so go ahead and pursue their happiness in that thing or act or person.
Like most of the enemies tactics…they are a twisting of th etruet.
Like the serpant in the garden asking eve…did God actually say you shall not eat of any tree in the garden?
Explain...
God wants you to be happy is beautifully and amazingly and gloriously true…IF...
If we add two words to the end of it.
God wants you to be happy in him!
God wants you to be happy by Him…through Him.
God wants you to be very happy…infinitely happy…eternally....forever…happy. And God knows that there is one one way for us to be infinitely and eternally happy.
In a world of searching…depression…anxiety…suicide…good being called evil and evil called good…
In a world where the american dream and the pursuit of sinfull desres are normalized and even celebrated…in the name of happiness...
God wnats us to be able to say.
Psalm 63:1 ESV
O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
and
Psalm 16:11 ESV
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Nothing makes me happier than to know you father through your son Jesus.
Psalm 51:10–11 ESV
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
Why?
Psalm 51:12 ESV
Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.
Jesus You are my joy...you are my treasure...you are my delight.
Habakkuk 3:17 ESV
Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls,
I have nothing Lord…without you I have nothing...
Habakkuk 3:18 ESV
yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
Church…joy is not optional. It is essential. It is a fruit of the Spirit. And they will know us by our fruit.
God's sovereign plan for His elect to be eternally happy. Not perfectly happy yet in this fallen world.
That is what Paul can say things like sorrowful yet always rejoicing.
But happy. Joyful. A different kind of people with a lasting, serious, happy, joyful way of living. Because we have found our supreme treasure.
Because we believe in Him and His promises…He is our source of joy.
That is Christianity. That is how God designed. That is what Satan is trying to deceive us against.
I want you to start seeing it in all things in all parts of your life that God created you for joy.
We are not o fight the temptation to pursue our sinful desires and pleasures by avoiding pleasure and joy...
No the war against temptation is to pursure joy...pursue pleasure in him.
Your endless fight to be happy is not fought by going out and searching for things to make you happy you away from God.
But all things that make you happy are meant to point you to God…or return you to God…or lead you to God.
The Bible is very clear. Fleeting happiness can be had by many people in many things. Many people from a distance…from the outside....for a while may look happy. But like the flower of the field and happiness outside of God and His ways…will fade.
But the Christian, the child of God, a follower of Jesus, is both commanded to rejoice and characterized as being one who rejoices.
Not only is Joy commanded, because Joy is not optional, you also need to hear that Joy is possible. The world is promising you joy outside of God...
Joy in sin…in things…in stuff…in distraction…in things that will not last.
We live in a crazy, mixed up world full of sin and suffering and confusion and mess and misery…and not only outside of the church but insie of what we call the church.
And the good news of the gospel tells you that joy is possible…and to be expected…and offered…by God because true hapiness can only be found in God.
My joy in my wife and my marriage is good and right and beautiful…and pointing to God…and the eternal marriage…of the bride…the church…to our savior and Lord…so I can enjoy my wife and marriage and in enjoying her I can also glorify the God who has given her to me and created marriage as a display of His love for us…His church.
My joy in my children points me to the love of my perfect father…the giver of life…the one who formed us in our mothers womb…the God of creation that I have sinned against but because I a min Christ…I can not cry to Him…Abba…Father.
My joy in coffee or stir fry…is good and right and to be savored…because it points me to the God of manna…the provider of all things…including food and drink…the stream of living water…the bread of life.
My joy of vacation and swimming in a pool is honoring to the God of the oceans…who will one day give me not only momentary rest…but eternal rest and worship in His presence forevermore.
My joy of mission and friendship and living out life with the men in this church is good and appointed by God…becuase it reminds me of my need for my friend Jesus…and my need for shaperning so I can joyfully be made into His Holy and perfect image.
My joy in the church is exceedingly pleasing to God and satisfying to me…because Jesus came and died for His church…He has chosen us our of the world to live in unity and fellowship with one another…and sho this world that Joy can be found…and life can be fulfilling and not wasted…and their search for happiness is a gift from God…because it leads us to our Savior…the source of all joy.
When we start to praise and glorify God for all that He has given us and honestly pursue our joy in Him…and His ways…and for His glory…and in the things He has given us…because they also lead us to Him…then we will better understand.
Matthew 13:44 ESV
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
So I tell you...
“Rejoice in the Lord” (Psalm 97:12). “Serve the Lord with gladness” (Psalm 100:2). “Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!” (Psalm 32:11).
And in the words of Jesus...
“Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven” (Matthew 5:12). “Leap for joy” (Luke 6:23). “Rejoice that your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:20). Yes, joy is possible, joy so true to us that have found Christ…or better…been found by Christ...
Joy is so deep in our hearts that we should turn to friends and neighbors and family and say, “Rejoice with me” (Luke 15:6, 9).
With the the apostle Paul…we should say...
“Rejoice in hope. . . . Rejoice with those who rejoice” (Romans 12:12, 15). “Finally, brothers, rejoice” (2 Corinthians 13:11). “Rejoice always” (1 Thessalonians 5:16).
"Be glad and rejoice with me” (Philippians 2:18). “Rejoice in the Lord” (Philippians 3:1). “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice” (Philippians 4:4).
Not that we who know God are blind to the pains of life in this age or the evils and sadness we see on the news...
But in Christ we have access to joy that is simultaneous with, and deeper than, and greatest than any of our sorrows — so we are “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing” (2 Corinthians 6:10).
If you are one of His please see how good God is good to us…He has taken us from the depths and made us whole and one in Chrsit…He has chosen us out of the world and saved us…He is with us and will not let the enemy snatch us from His hands.
So...“You shall rejoice in all the good that the Lord your God has given to you” (Deuteronomy 26:11).
Our joy will not be perfect in this life; we will always strain and struggle. We will have our angst and anxieties. We will have our ups and downs. Yet even here we have tastes.
Not only is unending and indesribable joy coming, but even now we sample the sweetness,
“Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory” (1 Peter 1:8).
So now we ask the practical question…how?
Here are four ways in which we Christians see and experience and find joy…in this world and also glorify God…and should also be a way that we bring others to Christ…because we have what they are searching for and living for and destructuvely living for…we have joy…in Christ.
1. Joy in Salvation
I believe this to be true with all of my heart…what I am about to say is one of the things trat continually drives me as a pastor and father and evangelist…this is why you should be so passionate about living your life as part of a true body of Chrsit…a biblical, gospel, God glorifying church…because...
The more and deeper and wider we understand our salvation…the cross…the gospel.
The more we see what Jesus did for us to save us…and the depths of God’s love for us in the way that from eternity past He loved us…and He chose us and saved us…and He formed us because He created us for His glory...
The more we grasp and hold onto and think about and thank God for our salvation…the more and better and deeper will be our joy.
True joy…lasting joy.
Enjoying God means seeing and savoring the salvation He gives us in Jesus Christ.
“I will take joy in the God of my salvation” (Hab. 3:18).
If you want to have a place in God’s word to really see and savor this…I would recommend Ephesiand 1 and 2. Spend some time resding it and meditating on it…and see the depth of God’s love for us in salvation…and find joy in it.
True joy is known only through union with Christ....because...
Ephesians 1:3–14 ESV
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
So as we live for and glorify God for our salvation…we get joy.
2. Joy in Revelation from God’s Word
Joy comes from soaking in and seeing God’s Word...
Psalm 119 (the longest chapter in the Bible) makes this bvery clear.
The psalmist “delights” in…finds His joy in...
God’s testimonies “as much as in all riches” (Ps. 119:14; see also vv. 35, 47, 70, 77, 103, 162, 174).
Think of Jesus’ words, “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 15:11).
We find full joy in the Lord only when we know He finds His joy in us. The pathway to joy is to give ourselves maximum exposure to His Word and to let it dwell in us richly (Col. 3:16).
By reading it and studying it and hearing it taught and preached....becuase God’s Word is joy-food for your joy-hungry soul.
3. Joy in Communion
There is joy in the Lord that can only be found and tasted and seen and experienced in the worship and fellowship we can only truly find in the body of Christ..in the Church.
The church is the new Jerusalem, the city that cannot be hidden, the joy of the whole earth (Ps. 48:2).
Last week we talked about the early disciples we seen as crazy…radical…and bold and even at times thoigh by outsiders to be drunk.
Part of this is because in the Spirit-led communion and fellowship of praise and unity and thanksgiving; and pastoring; and shepharding, and bearing with; and preaching; and singing; and forgiving; and gifting; and hospitality showing; and water, bread, and wine receiving…in living life with and as the chruch...abundant joy is to be found.
The Lord sings over us with joy as our hearts and lives and bodies sing for joy in return…to His glory.
4. Joy in Suffering
Ok now here we have a dicotomy...
A divine paradox. There is joy to be known (and only to be found) in the midst of and through affliction.
Viewed biblically, tribulation is God’s loving hand using life’s pain and darkness and persecution to mold us and shape us into the image of the One who suffered for the sake of the joy set before Him.
We are called to exult and rejoice in our sufferings…why…how?
Paul says, because “suffering produces . . . hope” in us (Rom. 5:3–4).
Peter and James echo the same principle (1 Peter 1:3–8; James 1:2–4).
Jesus says He suffered and was hated so shall we.
Romans 5:3–5 ESV
Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Paul leads us from rejoicing in the hope of the glory of God (v. 2) to joy that comes in suffering (v. 3) to praising and glorifying in God Himself.
Why? Because that kind of hope is the proof that Go’s love has been poured into our hearts and the Holy Spirit has been given to us.
God’s is gloryfied and we find joy as we…like our savior and Lord…suffer for the joy set before us.
5. Joy in Holy Obedience.
Please here what I am saying because the world…from every angle and to every age group is telling you a lie…a different story...
Here is the truth...
Holiness…obedience…will make you unbelievably happy.
For those that are saved…let me ask you.
When have you been most free from sin?
When have you been least motivated by selfishness and laziness and lust?
When has the fear of man, the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches had the least influence over you (Matthew 13:22)?
When have you felt the most capacity to love others and serve and the most concern for perishing unbelievers, the persecuted church, and the poor?
In other words, when has your life been most Holy and aligned with the heart of God?
I can tell you when. I know the answer.
It’s when you’ve been most in love with Jesus. It’s when you’ve been most full of faith in his promises so that you live by them. It’s when his gospel has been most meaningful and his mission has been most exciting, so that they dictate your life’s priorities.
In other words, you are most holy when you been most happy in God.
Holiness (or as Paul would say…the obedience of faith) is fundamentally a heart...an affection issue, not a behavioral issue.
I am not saying our behaviors (our obedience doesnyt matter…it matters a lot.
But our behaviors are symptomatic. Why?
James 2:17 ESV
So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
For many Christians and even in many churches, holiness has a bad rap…as though to talk about holiness makes us pharisees…but remember the prahisees were not Holy. They put obedience before faith…before salvation.
And therefore missed the point and missed the savior and misunderstood the gospel…obedience does not make us Holy...
Our love for Christ and our salvation and the Holy Spirit in us…makes us Holy.
It is a promis of the New Covenant...
Ezekiel 36:26–27 ESV
And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.
We don’t obey to get Holy or get saved…we are Holy and obedient in faith because ew have been saved.
1 Peter 1:16 ESV
since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
And hear me Holyniess and obedience are not primarily denial and joylessness...holiness is not something to fear but something God’s people desire.
In other words Holiness is the love for Christ in our hearts leading to obedience to Christ wioth our minds and hands and lives.
If we want to know the essence of the health of holiness, we need to return to Psalm 16:11:
Psalm 16:11 ESV
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
That is what holiness is really like.
Obeience is not dead and boring and joyless…it is the pursuit of as much joy and pleasure as we can contain for as long as is possible — because God promises it, is forever.
True holiness is the experience of joy in the path of God.
And the more true holiness we experience, the fuller our joy and greater our pleasures!
Holiness is fundamentally a heart issue… a joy issues.
What are you delighting in…where are you searching for joy and to fulfill your desurires?
In God’s path of life…in Chrsit…in Jesus...
Is your Joy in God? Is your hope in Him?
And if we love Jesus, we will keep his commandments — meaning that when our hearts and desire for joy is alinged with our love for Christ...our behaviors naturally follow (John 14:15). That is Holiness.
So here is the best part…to Be Holy and live for Christ is where you will find your greatest happiness.
God is supremely holy. And God is supremely happy (1 Timothy 1:11).
God is love (1 John 4:8). And he is all light with no darkness (1 John 1:5). All that is good, all that brings true, lasting joy, and all that is truly, satisfyingly, eternally pleasurable comes from him.
And we are to be holy as he is holy (1 Peter 1:16). So, to pursue holiness, we must pursue our greatest joy and happiness.
Who has delivered us from our bodies from sin and death? Jesus Christ (Romans 7:24–25)!
Our unholy sin disease has been given a cure in the cross.
God’s call to the obedient faith…to holiness...is an invitation to joy! Your fullest happiness ends up being the “holiness without which no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14).
Matthew 13:44 ESV
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
May we be a church…a people who in all of our joy and in the pursuit of immesurable and eternal happiness…gives our entire lives to Jesus....because He is the pricesless treasure…the source of happiness that we have been searching for.
Amen!
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