OceanSide church of Christ
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WHAT I NEED IN MY CHRISTIAN LIFE…
Victor M. Eskew
A. Jesus wanted His disciples to be full of joy (John 15:11).
These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
B. One of the elements of the fruit of the Spirit is joy (Gal. 5:22-23).
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
C. The Christian life ought to be the most joyful life one can experience, but for some it is not.
1. Instead of joy, there is boredom.
2. Instead of joy, there is drudgery.
3. Instead of joy, there is dread.
4. Instead of joy, there is sorrow.
D. The causes of a lack of joy in our Christian lives are many.
E. In this lesson, we want to discuss the subject: “What I Need in My Christian Life…More Joy.”
I. JOY VERSUS HAPPINESS
A. In this section, we want to discuss the differences between joy and happiness.
1. Some may believe that we are “splitting hairs.”
2. Both involve the emotions of man and both are considered to be positive in nature.
3. However, there are some differences.
B. The contrast:
1. Is based upon understanding 1. Is based upon positive results
2. Comes in unusual ways 2. Comes in natural ways
3. Rooted in spiritual things 3. Rooted in earthly things
4. Always beneficial 4. Can be very empty
5. A fruit of the Spirit 5. A product for all
6. Grounded in truth 6. Can be deceitful
7. Enduring 7. Fleeting
C. Objection: But, the Bible speaks of both joy and happiness.
1. This is true.
a. Joy is found 63 times in the KJV.
b. Happy is only found 6 times in the KJV.
2. The word “happy” is a translation of “makarias.” It means “to be blessed” or “to be supremely blessed” (Ex., John 13:17).
If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.
a. In the context, Jesus is teaching about the need to wash the disciples’ feet.
b. He says that if you will humble yourself and be a servant, you will be happy.
1) This is not happiness defined by the world.
2) Jesus means that those who learn servitude will be blessed, yea, supremely blessed.
II. THE WRONG SOURCES OF JOY
A. What things would be necessary for a person to go on a search to find true joy?
1. Riches, time, and power
2. Solomon had all of these and went on just such a search.
a. Ecclesiastes 1:13
And I gave my heart to seek and search out…
b. Ecclesiastes 1:17
And I gave my heart to know…
B. Solomon reveals some of the things that he sought out in his experiment.
1. “And I gave my heart to know wisdom” (Eccl. 1:17).
2. “I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure” (Eccl. 2:1).
3. “I sought in my heart to give my heart unto wine” (Eccl. 2:3).
4. “I made me great works” (Eccl. 2:4).
5. “I gathered me also silver and gold” (Eccl. 2:8).
6. “And I turned myself to behold wisdom, and madness, and folly” (Eccl. 2:12).
C. His conclusion is stated throughout the book about these things.
1. The word “vanity” is found 33 times, and the word “vanities” is found 4 times.
2. Ecclesiastes 1:2
Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities, all is vanity.
a. BDB: breath, vapor
b. Strong: empty, transitory, unsatisfactory
3. NOTE: All of these things are vanity, but these are the things that men are still giving themselves to in order to find joy in their lives.
III. TRUE SOURCES OF JOY
A. Just as we have a book in the Bible that reveals where joy is not found, we also have a book that reveals where true joy is found.
1. The book is the four-chapter book called Philippians.
2. The key verse of the book is Philippians 4:4
Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.
B. Paul mentions numerous things that ought to bring joy to the child of God.
1. Paul found joy in prayer (Phil. 1:3-4).
I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all, making request with joy.
a. The Philippians were a special church to the apostle.
1) Paul established this church.
2) They had assisted Paul as he preached the gospel and when he found himself in necessity.
b. As this church came to his mind and lips in prayer, his prayers were filled with joy as he made requests for them before the throne of God.
2. The preaching of Jesus Christ brought Paul joy (Phil. 1:18).
What then? Notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretense, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.
a. The preaching of Jesus Christ is the only way one can be saved (John 14:6 Acts 4:12).
b. When Paul heard that Christ was preached, his heart was filled with joy.
3. The continuance of a brother’s life (Phil. 1:25).
And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you for your furtherance and joy of faith.
a. Paul was being held in a Roman prison.
b. He knew he could be sentenced to death.
c. Death for him was not a bad thing (Phil. 1:23).
d. His life being spared, however, would bring joy to the Philippians.
e. Example: brother Bernard Downy was sick
4. The unity of brethren (Phil. 2:2)
Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord.
a. When churches struggle and fight, it is difficult to take, whether we are involved in the battle, or, whether we merely hear of it.
b. The psalmist states that unity is good and pleasant (Ps. 133:1).
5. Bearing hardship on behalf of others (Phil. 2:17)
Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.
a. If Paul’s sacrifices benefited others, he said that is would bring him great joy.
b. NOTE: A sacrifice involves a loss. It costs the person something. This is one of those usual things that brings joy.
6. Because we are in Christ (Phil. 3:3)
For we are the circumcision, which worship God in spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.
a. Paul is writing to Gentiles and tells them “we are the circumcision.”
1) Christians are the true Jews today.
2) Christians are the people of God today.
b. Christians rejoice because they are in Christ. In Christ, all spiritual blessing can be found (Eph. 1:3).
7. All those we convert are our joy (Phil. 4:1).
Therefore, my brethren, dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.
a. Paul had given up everything to become a Christian.
b. He had an abundant number of converts, however, who were his joy. He was glad they had been saved by the precious blood of Christ.
A. We have seen that joy and happiness are not the same thing.
1. Happiness is tied to happenings.
2. Joy is tied to spiritual things.
B. We can experience untold joy in the here and now, but our ultimate joy will come in the hereafter.
1. When we are presented faultless before the presence of God’s glory (Jude 240.
2. When we see those we have converted stand justified in the last day (I Thess. 2:19-20).
3. When God says to us: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: Thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord” (Matt. 25:21,23).