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Christian Joy

Notes & Transcripts

Christian Joy

2Corinthians 7:2-16               November 30, 2003

 

Scripture Reading:

Unison Reading: # 692 Hymnal, Psalm 16

Introduction:

Bumper Sticker Theology: “What if the ‘hokey pokey’ is what it’s all about?”

Happiness and joy are not the same. We can assume a wrong view of joy by thinking it is supposed to be happiness. Like our national constitution, we have come to believe we have the “inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”.

Topic:  Joy

 

Happiness depends on what happens; joy does not.

   Oswald Chambers (1874-1917)

 

Happiness is a feeling. Joy is an attitude. A posture. A position. A place.

   Tim Hansel

 

Happiness is caused by things that happen around me, and circumstances will mar it; but joy flows right on through trouble; joy flows on through the dark; joy flows in the night as well as in the day; joy flows all through persecution and opposition. It is an unceasing fountain bubbling up in the heart; a secret spring the world can't see and doesn't know anything about. The Lord gives his people perpetual joy when they walk in obedience to him.

   Dwight Lyman Moody (1837-1899)

 

   -Edythe Draper, Draper's Book of Quotations for the Christian World (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1992). Entries 6527-6529.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,” (James 1:2 NIVUS)

“Let 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.” (Hebrews 12:2 NIVUS)

“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,” (Romans 14:17 NIVUS)

ILLUS: “It’s a Pleasure”, p. 354, Strength for the Journey

2Corinthians 6:3-13 ---

In what ways might we know whether a servant of Christ is serious about serving?

A serious servant of Christ does not discredit the gospel message by a passionless presentation.

A serious servant of Christ charts a path to God by passionately going the distance - no matter what.

A serious servant of Christ speaks of his passion by his life.

A serious servant of Christ calls for passion in the life of others.

2Corinthians 6:14-7:1 (A serious servant of Christ has a passion for holiness.)

In what ways should we carry out our passion for holiness?

Or - In what ways are we to be stewards of the gift of holiness we have been given?

We must guard against sinful relationships.

We must guard against satanic entrapments.

We must guard against defaming God.

We must celebrate our difference.

We must celebrate our new family relationships.

We must enable God’s promise of holiness for ourselves by participating in it.

As we move from chapter 5 to 6 to 7 and to 8, we see the following progression taking shape.

Motive         Passion          Joy          Generosity

    (5)                (6)                (7)                (8)

Paul’s passion for Christ, born of right motives in ministry, moves him now to deep expressions of joy.

As we look at Paul’s expression of joy, we can ask ourselves how we too can experience the type of joy he can boast about because of his pure motives and profound passion.

Big Question:

2Corinthians 7:2-16

In what ways can Christians experience real joy?

We can experience real joy by courting an unfettered conscience.

We can experience real joy by abiding in fearless love.

We can experience real joy by looking beyond present trouble.

We can experience real joy by receiving the ministry of others.

We can experience real joy by hearing of the sincerity of others.

We can experience real joy by reveling in the obedience of others.

We can experience real joy by celebrating the vindication of truth.

I.       Cycle One

          A.      Narrative (v. 2)

          B.      Implication

We can experience real joy by courting an unfettered conscience.

We can experience real joy by abiding in fearless love.

We can experience real joy by looking beyond present trouble.

We can experience real joy by receiving the ministry of others.

We can experience real joy by hearing of the sincerity of others.

We can experience real joy by reveling in the obedience of others.

We can experience real joy by celebrating the vindication of truth.

          C.      Illustration

          D.      Application

II.      Cycle Two

          A.      Narrative (v. 3)

          B.      Implication

We can experience real joy by courting an unfettered conscience.

We can experience real joy by abiding in fearless love.

We can experience real joy by looking beyond present trouble.

We can experience real joy by receiving the ministry of others.

We can experience real joy by hearing of the sincerity of others.

We can experience real joy by reveling in the obedience of others.

We can experience real joy by celebrating the vindication of truth.

          C.      Illustration

          D.      Application

III.    Cycle Three

          A.      Narrative (v. 4)

          B.      Implication

We can experience real joy by courting an unfettered conscience.

We can experience real joy by abiding in fearless love.

We can experience real joy by looking beyond present trouble.

We can experience real joy by receiving the ministry of others.

We can experience real joy by hearing of the sincerity of others.

We can experience real joy by reveling in the obedience of others.

We can experience real joy by celebrating the vindication of truth.

          C.      Illustration

          D.      Application

IV.    Cycle Four

 

          A.      Narrative (vv. 5-6)

          B.      Implication

We can experience real joy by courting an unfettered conscience.

We can experience real joy by abiding in fearless love.

We can experience real joy by looking beyond present trouble.

We can experience real joy by receiving the ministry of others.

We can experience real joy by hearing of the sincerity of others.

We can experience real joy by reveling in the obedience of others.

We can experience real joy by celebrating the vindication of truth.

          C.      Illustration

          D.      Application

V.      Cycle Five

          A.      Narrative (v. 7)

          B.      Implication

We can experience real joy by courting an unfettered conscience.

We can experience real joy by abiding in fearless love.

We can experience real joy by looking beyond present trouble.

We can experience real joy by receiving the ministry of others.

We can experience real joy by hearing of the sincerity of others.

We can experience real joy by reveling in the obedience of others.

We can experience real joy by celebrating the vindication of truth.

          C.      Illustration

          D.      Application

VI.    Cycle Six

          A.      Narrative (vv. 8-13)

          B.      Implication

We can experience real joy by courting an unfettered conscience.

We can experience real joy by abiding in fearless love.

We can experience real joy by looking beyond present trouble.

We can experience real joy by receiving the ministry of others.

We can experience real joy by hearing of the sincerity of others.

We can experience real joy by reveling in the obedience of others.

We can experience real joy by celebrating the vindication of truth.

          C.      Illustration

   I rejoice in knowing that...

   There is no oil without squeezing the olives,

   No wine without pressing the grapes,

   No fragrance without crushing the flowers, and

   No real joy without sorrow.

Title:  Fear, in Conviction

 

   As, when the air is covered with clouds, and the sun darkened, tempests begin to arise, lightnings fly from heaven, rumblings are in the air, the clouds burst, and the thunder-crack comes, and rain falls, to be followed by sunshine and fair weather; so a man touched in conscience with sorrow for his sins, oppressed with their burden and vileness, complains to God, sighs, sobs, and groans like the thunder-crack, dares not look up to heaven for his wickedness, but condemns himself and pours out tears like drops of rain. Straightway follows quietness of conscience, with wondering, and praising the unspeakable goodness of God, for his mercies and comforts in Christ.

 

   -- Cawdray

   A discussion arose between some members of a Bible class in reference to the first Christian exercise of the converted soul. One contended that it was penitence or sorrow; another that it was fear, another love, another hope, another faith, for how could one fear or repent without belief? An elder, overhearing the discussion, relieved the minds of the disputants with this remark, "Can you tell which spoke of the wheel moves first? You may be looking at one spoke, and think that it moves first, but they all start together. Thus, when the Spirit of God operates on the human heart, all the graces begin to affect the penitent soul, though the individual may be more conscious of one than another."

 

   -- Charles Haddon Spurgeon, The Quotable Spurgeon, (Wheaton: Harold Shaw Publishers, Inc, 1990)

Title:  True Repentance Required

 

   The gondoliers at Venice, when we were sojourning in that queen of the Adriatic, frequently quarreled with each other, and used such high words and ferocious gestures that we were afraid murder would come of it. Yet they never came to blows, it was only their rough way of disputing. Often and often have we heard men upbraiding themselves for their sins, and crying out against the evil which their follies have wrought them. Yet these very people have continued in their transgressions, and have even gone from bad to worse. They barked too much at sin to fall to and destroy it. Their enmity to evil was mere feigning--like the sword-play of the stage, which looks like an earnest fight, but no wounds are given or received. Let those who play at repentance remember that they who repent in mimicry shall go to hell in reality.

 

   -- Charles Haddon Spurgeon, The Quotable Spurgeon, (Wheaton: Harold Shaw Publishers, Inc, 1990)

“10  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. 11  I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” (John 15:10-11 NIVUS)

Joy is peace dancing and peace is joy at rest.

   F. B. Meyer (1847-1929)

 

Joy is sorrow inside out; Grief remade again.

   Hannah Hurnard (1905-1990

          D.      Application

VII.   Cycle Seven

          A.      Narrative (vv. 14-16)

          B.      Implication

We can experience real joy by courting an unfettered conscience.

We can experience real joy by abiding in fearless love.

We can experience real joy by looking beyond present trouble.

We can experience real joy by receiving the ministry of others.

We can experience real joy by hearing of the sincerity of others.

We can experience real joy by reveling in the obedience of others.

We can experience real joy by celebrating the vindication of truth.

          C.      Illustration

          D.      Application

Conclusion:

Big Answer:

2Corinthians 7:2-16

In what ways can Christians experience real joy?

We can experience real joy by courting an unfettered conscience.

We can experience real joy by abiding in fearless love.

We can experience real joy by looking beyond present trouble.

We can experience real joy by receiving the ministry of others.

We can experience real joy by hearing of the sincerity of others.

We can experience real joy by reveling in the obedience of others.

We can experience real joy by celebrating the vindication of truth.

Timeless Truth:

Christian joy goes far beyond skin deep. It is a confidence of soul and spirit that is insurmountable. Christian joy is an abiding belief in the ‘big picture’.

Candy’s night light ‘happy face’ that lights up when it gets stepped on.

“22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23  gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24  Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25  Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:22-25 NIVUS)

“You 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.” (1 Thessalonians 1:6 NIVUS)

“8  Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9  for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” (1 Peter 1:8-9 NIVUS)

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13 NIVUS)

“24  To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— 25  to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.” (Jude 1:24-25 NIVUS)

As we consider joy, and the beginning of Advent, the countdown to the celebration of our Savior’s birth, we understand the only real reason for joy – real abiding joy – is found only by faith in Christ.

Maybe ‘turning yourself around’ is what it’s all about. But it’s still just hokey pokey unless you get to the part that says, “you put your whole self in ---“.

Maybe a little hokey pokey is a good thing – but in the right sense, of course.

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